When you grow up in Africa, the recipes and ingredients of the continent are bound to make their way into your cooking, as is the case for Alexandre Mazzia. He lived in the Democratic Republic of Congo until he was 15.

When Mazzia arrived in France, he hadn’t planned on becoming a chef. His higher education began with medical school before he moved to hotel training. In 1995, he began to cook with esteemed French and Spanish chefs, including Pierre Hermé, Michael Bras and Alain Passard.

Winning a “Young Talent” award in 2011 gave him the money to fund his own restaurant, which he opened in 2014. It has been hard to get into since it first opened. It also gave Mazzia his first Michelin star in 2015. The second came in 2019, along with many more accolades.