Unlike most chefs, Guy Minet is almost entirely self-taught. Although he worked in restaurants from the age of 16, starting as an apprentice at the legendary Le Fouquet’s on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, his experience was primarily in the dining room. In fact, he didn’t cook professionally until he opened a restaurant in the Ivory Coast in his late twenties. He traveled widely after that and came to Naples from Quebec in 2000. Minet, 61, formerly a partner and chef at the French American Bistro, opened Chez Guy Parisian Bistro in Naples in December 2017.
His cooking style:
It’s primarily French comfort food. I use a lot of fish and try to cook a bit lighter, but I still serve duck confit and beef bourguignon.
On the comeback of butter and cream:
I’m not sure if they’re good for us or not, but they certainly taste good. Even in France, where nouvelle cuisine has been all the rage, butter and cream are coming back. In moderation, I think they’re both fine.
He most likes to cook for:
Friends. I also host a lot of small dinner parties. Beyond that, either someone I love or possibly my future girlfriend.
What he would order for a last meal:
I’d start with a nice ribeye steak with a side of scalloped potatoes sautéed in duck fat with garlic. After that, a ripe Camembert with a glass of wine.
For the love of pastry making:
It’s my specialty. We do all the baking there, everything except bread. I realized about seven years ago that I loved baking. It’s so convivial—you can make a large raspberry tart at home, share it with your neighbors, and get to know them better.
On opening the bistro:
It’s hard to say exactly why, because I had a good business at the French American Bistro. It was a big risk, but I suppose I wanted the challenge of having my own place. It’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do.