Anticonformist, altruist and ultra-talented: Thierry Marx, the multi-hatted chef

He is one of the most renowned chefs in the world. Known to the general public through his time as a judge on Top Chef, Thierry Marx is not just a chef of exceptional restaurants. Over the decades, this gastronomic craftsman has built up a veritable empire, and has no hesitation in using his fame to defend his peers and French cuisine.


Tonight, Luxus Magazine invites you to its exclusive event ‘L’art de recevoir’ at the Pavillon Elysée Té. The cocktail reception, hosted by Thierry Marx, will celebrate the launch of the latest issue of Luxus Magazine alongside our partners and inspirational speakers.



From adolescence to housing estates…


Nothing predestined Thierry Marx for such success. Born in the Ménilmontant neighbourhood in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, to a father who worked in the building trade and a mother who worked in a laboratory, little Marx grew up in the 1960s. He enjoyed going to the bakery run by Bernard Ganachaud, the inventor of the Gana baguette, who introduced him to the taste of bread. During his school years, Thierry Marx moved to a council housing estate in Champigny-sur-Marne. In this new environment, the schoolboy developed a rebellious attitude and dropped out of school. Despite a poor academic record, the rigour of judo pushed him to persevere all the way to the lycée pro where he studied general mechanics, but not the hotel school he wanted to join at the time.


This was followed by a series of odd jobs and the army, with which he left for Lebanon as a paratrooper. Once back in France, Thierry Marx resumed his studies, gaining a CAP in pastry-making and chocolate-glazing, a BEPC and, in revenge for his life, a general baccalaureate.


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His first significant encounter was with Bernard Loiseau, who inspired and motivated him to pursue a career in cooking by telling him about his career path. But he had to enter this world through the ‘back door’ and make his mark. He was taken on as a commis in the Taillevent restaurant run by chef Claude Deligne, then joined the brigade of Joël Robuchon, Alain Chapel and Jacques Maximin.


… Towards the stars


After travelling to Sydney, Singapore and Tokyo, Thierry Marx returned to France and worked as a chef at the Roc en Val restaurant in Montlouis-sur-Loire and at the Cheval Blanc in Nîmes. In 1988 and 1991, he was awarded a Michelin star at these two restaurants. The chef then reached the highest echelons of gastronomy, taking charge of the kitchens at Château de Cordeillan-Bages in Gironde, where he was awarded one star in 1996, then two stars three years later. Voted chef of the year in 2006 by Gault & Millau, he became head chef at the Mandarin Oriental Paris in 2011. His restaurant Sur Mesure was awarded two stars. Thierry Marx literally reaches for the stars when he takes over the reins of Madame Brasserie, the restaurant on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower. In 2023, the chef opened his own restaurant, Onor, which was awarded a star in the iconic Red Guide that same year.


A Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, Thierry Marx doesn’t just line up stars in the Michelin Guide: he’s up there with them in the sky. After meeting Thomas Pesquet in 2016, the chef was chosen by the CNRS to prepare the dishes that the astronaut will taste during his space mission in the ISS. A pioneer of molecular cuisine, Thierry Marx is proving his impeccable mastery of the marriage between science and traditional French gastronomy. With chemist Raphaël Haumont, he co-created the French Centre for Culinary Innovation in 2012, a laboratory dedicated to inventing and developing the cuisine of the future.


A committed chef


An uncompromising judge on Top Chef from 2010 to 2014, Thierry Marx has added to his impressive CV by writing books, acting as resident chef at the Té catering company (Groupe SOS), setting up several bakeries and opening the streetfood restaurant MarXito in 2018 in the eighth arrondissement of Paris. The aim of these restaurants, whose prices are intended to be accessible to as many people as possible, is to democratise tasteful, gourmet, home-cooked cuisine, while enabling a broad public to eat well without breaking the wallet in gastronomic settings. This vision of modern, affordable cuisine is not new to Thierry Marx. In 2012, the chef founded the association Street Food en Mouvement, which promotes quality street food and works to professionalise the industry.


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Thierry Marx is committed not only to his customers, but also to budding chefs. This non-conformist entrepreneur has no intention of keeping his success just for himself. What he wants to do is help others with their professional culinary projects. Driven by this sincere love of passing on knowledge and social sharing, in 2012 Thierry Marx inaugurated Cuisine Mode d’Emploi(s), a cookery, bakery and catering training centre aimed at people who have missed out on employment. The aim? To offer a fast-track training programme for school leavers, long-term jobseekers, people undergoing vocational retraining or in trouble with the law, and to meet the strong recruitment needs of the catering and hotel industry. In 2023, it will also launch the ‘monCVnum’ platform to pool the CVs of applicants and facilitate recruitment. Not to mention the training courses offered by the Thierry Marx School.


This inveterate altruist also devotes himself to his colleagues. In addition to his efforts to solve the sector’s recruitment problems, Thierry Marx does not hesitate to take a stand at Covid-19 to draw attention to the difficulties faced by restaurateurs and hoteliers, and to call on the government to provide more support for the industry. As national president of the UMIH, the main hotel union, the chef speaks out on behalf of the industry to improve conditions. Yesterday, Wednesday 29 May, at the UMIH general meeting, Thierry Marx voiced his concern about the crushing costs and fragile profitability of hotels.


Thierry Marx’s militant actions and comments reflect his deep commitment to ensuring that French gastronomy and the hotel industry continue to thrive and shine. He may be an ultra-talented, multi-award-winning chef, but above all he is a ‘man of values’.


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Featured photo : © Presse

Grâce à une veille accrue et à une excellente connaissance de ces secteurs, la rédaction de Luxus Magazin décrypte pour ses lecteurs les principaux enjeux économiques et technologiques de la mode, l’horlogerie, la joaillerie, la gastronomie, les parfums et cosmétiques, l’hôtellerie, et l’immobilier de prestige.


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