Jeanne is a lovely restaurant in the old town of Antibes. This is a restaurant that we recommend to our guests looking for an intimate and casual dining experience with unique, quality dishes and wines. We sat down with sisters, Marine and Elsa, to find out more about them and their restaurant Jeanne.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself. What did you do in life before Jeanne? How did you each discover your passion for food and wine?
We are sisters and our parents have always loved gourmet cuisine and fine wines. Our mother used to cook delicious food with fresh ingredients on a daily basis. This is where our passion for food and wine began and how we learned that food and wine are an accompaniment to life experiences.
Before opening Jeanne, Marine worked in financial markets and Elsa in high-end fashion in Paris.
After the loss of our mother Jeanne in 2013, Marine decided to quit her job in finance and follow her passion for wine. She then started the Master of Science of the OIV (International Organisation of Wine and Vine) in Wine Management. During this Master’s degree program, Marine visited more than 20 countries and met influencers in the wine industry. At the end of her graduate program, Marine worked in a vineyard in California.
While Marine was pursuing her MSc in Wine Management, Elsa was completing her Master’s degree in luxury marketing in Paris. At the same time, she worked for high-end fashion brands as a wholesale and retail seller in showrooms.
2. Why did you decide to open your own restaurant? Why “Jeanne”?
We were interested in creating a project together around food and wine. We decided to join forces in this adventure and to pursue our passion, work beside each other, and take on the challenge of running our own business.
Since the beginning, we knew we wanted to honour our mother and name our future place after her, Jeanne.
A few months later we had sourced wines and produce and found the perfect space and location to open Jeanne in the old town of Antibes.
3. What are each of you roles in the restaurant?
Marine takes care of the service. Our wine list has over 250 different bottles and Marine shares her wine knowledge with guests and can offer advice on choosing the right wine pairing for the table.
Elsa is in charge of the kitchen. She discovered her love for cooking over the past several years and has learned even more thanks to Jeanne’s chef pop-up experiences.
4. What should people expect when they come to Jeanne for a meal and a glass of wine?
Market cuisine, local produce, living wines, cozy atmosphere, and good vibes.
In addition, once every two months, Jeanne hosts chef pop-ups. Top chefs are invited to Jeanne to create their own tasting menu with local produce for one or two dinners. Since we’ve opened our restaurant, we have welcomed 25 different chefs from all over the world including Sweden, Austria, Greece, and Brazil.
5. How often do you change the menu? Where do you source the produce from?
The menu changes every week depending on the season and on Elsa’s inspiration. The South of France is a beautiful region with a great diversity of produce. We focus on locally sourced ingredients working with local fishermen and farmers.
6. How would you define you cooking style?
Jeanne’s cooking style is strongly influenced by the Chinese community on Reunion Island. The menu is a fusion of French, Creole, and Chinese cuisine. Elsa prepares simple and creative dishes that are inspired by her love of travel and nature.
7. Tell us about the selection of wines in your cellar. What does “natural wine” mean and why did you choose this kind of wine for your cellar? Where do the wines come from?
We look for wines that complement our style of food and are in-line with our philosophy. Jeanne is a small restaurant and we work with small quality-focused producers. We know all of our wine growers personally and have visited most of their vineyards to understand their approach to wine. We taste and carefully select all the wines before they go on our shelves. The wines mainly come from France but you can also find Australian, Austrian, Greek, Italian and Spanish wines on our menu.
‘Authentic’ wines, ‘real’ wines, ‘natural’ wines, however you want to label them, the wines we love have a few things in common: they reflect the grape, terroir, weather, the skill and passion of the grower, and the history and tradition of a specific area. Our wines are produced from organic or biodynamic grapes, and fermented naturally in the cellar with no additives. It is the traditional way to make wine. These wines are an authentic expression of a place and are astounding and unique in taste.
8. What is your favourite ingredient to cook with and what is your favourite wine?
It is hard to pick a favourite ingredient and wine. The most important point to consider with food and wine is that it’s to be enjoyed with friends and family. We enjoy creating new dishes depending on our mood and the products we find and we then pair it with the right wine.
9. If you could invite anyone to Jeanne, who would that person be and which bottle of wine would you open?
We would love to invite the singer Sade as we are very fond of her music band and her soulful, smooth jazz vibes. Also, the address of Jeanne happens to be 10 Rue Sade!
We would open a red wine from Provence called ‘Le Papillon Rouge’ by Domaine Henri Milan. The 2016 vintage is so easy to drink, fluid and elegant, a velvet texture with wild rosemary notes shining through the red berry fruit.
Photos by Zoya Stafienko for A.M.A Selections. All images ©A.M.A Selections