Charles Compagnon: the multifunctional chef
What happens when you take two creative minds and put them together under the same roof? To put it simply, magic. Gesa Hansen and Charles Compagnon, designers and chefs, helped create a piece of history in contemporary Paris. They live in the suburbs, in Fontainebleau, in a cottage where she designs furnishing accessories and he roasts coffee. But who really is Charles Compagnon?
“Charles Compagnon is a Paris-based all-round food-world personality, who loves the food and wine world so much that he became a sommelier and at-home roaster.”
Over the years, Charles has managed to make a name for himself in French gastronomy’s high-class, refined world. And it was in one of his restaurants that he met the love of his life, Gesa, while she was decorating the interiors of Faubourg Saint Denis. From that moment they became inseparable and complementary in their respective creative efforts. At the age of 15, Charles embarked on a culinary journey, attending culinary school in the French capital, and his passion never died out in the years to come. He is an all-around personality, who loves the food and wine world so much that he decided to study to become a sommelier and roaster. It is now a habit to start the day with a ritual: the coffee that Charles Compagnon roasts every day in the roastery he’s set up in his barn.
This passion is deeply rooted in the chef’s life and led to the fulfillment of a dream: having a roastery directly at home to produce his Café Compagnon. An advanced system, built in the old stables of the estate, to control all stages of production. Today Charles roasts coffee beans for several Parisian venues and picks up fruit and vegetables to be delivered to his restaurants every morning. To be sure, this move to the countryside was a tough test for the chef, accustomed as he was to the frenetic rhythms of the kitchen, but it seems he has gotten very used to his new lifestyle.
In Compagnon’s restaurants, he offers a well-crafted wine list and serves dishes such as duck with coconut beans, corn and kale or pumpkin risotto with chanterelles and hazelnuts. To round out the meal, a Compagnon coffee is an absolute must. There’s also now a home delivery service, Chaud Chaud Chaud, or Hot Hot Hot, specialized in aperitifs.
“In Compagnon’s restaurants, he offers a well-crafted wine list and serves dishes such as duck with coconut beans, corn and kale or pumpkin risotto with chanterelles and hazelnuts.”
This is a rich and elegant gastronomic selection bringing home the ideas and products of chef Charles Compagnon. Perhaps the word “chef” is reductive for a multifaceted character like him, who also created his own brand of beer in Belgium. A curious perfectionist, he is interested in experimenting with everything before serving a product to his customers, leaving nothing to chance, but pays attention to every detail. He’s a man with myriad, multifaceted dreams who now aims to expand the boundaries of his coffee empire to the whole city of Paris, with no sign of stopping anytime soon.
Patrizia, born in 1992, graduated in Architecture at the Politecnico of Milano. I’ve always loved this world of stories, stories and construction techniques, but what really didn’t convince me was the idea of spending my life between subway trips, fixed schedules, patterns and habit. It was exactly in front of the possibility of having a permanent contract that I decided to leave for America. To do what, you may be wondering? To realize the first of my many dreams: being a cook. And here I am, writing stories of my travels, of the people I met during my transoceanic trips and handing down the recipes of the dishes I taste around the world.