Chef Cedric Maupillier began his culinary journey at the ripe age of 15 in Toulon. Humble beginnings at Levilly Bakery and Monte Carlo’s Café de Paris sparked a passion in the industry that led him back to school where he received his BA in Restaurant & Hotel Management. Upon graduating, Maupillier picked up and moved to England where he quickly proved himself working under noted chef Julian Clauss-Ehlers, as well as staging in several Michelin rated chefs’ kitchen. He later returned to France to work for few years at the 3 Michelin Stars rated La Cote St. Jacques and at the Relais & Chateaux’s Du Pralon.
The chef’s next move was across the pond where he parlayed his experience into a position at the Ritz Carlton’s Maestro in 2002 under the leadership of Fabio Trabocchi. From there Maupillier went to work for the famed Michel Richard at Citronelle as the executive sous chef, eventually moving on to assist Richard in the developing and opening of his latest project as Executive Chef and got rewarded in 2008 James Beard Best New Restaurant Central until about two years ago when he left to do some culinary research abroad (vacation…). When the chef returned to D.C. he met restaurateur Saied Azali who was opening a new restaurant in Adams Morgan, Mintwood Place, where Maupillier continues to serve as Executive Chef.
At Mintwood Place, his hard work has shown through the accolades. Mintwood Place and he have garnered: Washington Post and Washingtonian 3 star reviews, Food & Wine’s The People’s Best New Chef: Mid-Atlantic, nominated for Chef of the Year at the RAMMYS in 2013/14/15 and took home Best New Restaurant in 2013, Best Brunch in 2014 and Best Upscale Casual Restaurant in 2015 , was a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic in 2013/14/15 and Best New Restaurant in 2014 and included in Conde Nast Traveler’s 70 best new restaurants in the world in 2013.
In November 2015, Chef Maupillier, with business partner Saied Azali, opened Convivial Restaurant in the Washington, DC Shaw neighborhood. Since its opening, Convivial and Maupillier have garnered accolades including a 3 star review from the Washington Post, 3.5 star review from the Washingtonian, and he was a James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic for the fourth year in a row. At Convivial, Chef Maupillier incorporates both French and American influences, a fitting combination to his dual citizenship, as he became a U.S. citizen in February of this year.
What do you love most about Your City?
I like that it feels like a small town. Very clean. I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of very educated people.
Favorite breakfast meal & restaurant?
My favorite restaurant to go have breakfast is the Unconventional Dinner. I get the egg sandwich.
What are you doing at:
6:00 AM – Still sleeping
10:00 AM – Working out
12:00 PM – Favorite Power Lunch spot/meal?
My days usually do not allow me to go out to lunch. Most of the time for lunch, I sit down and have family meal with my staff.
7:00 PM – In the restaurant. Sometimes cooking on the line, some nights in the dining room engaging with guests.
11:00 PM – Heading home from the restaurant or walking my dog, Freckle.
What drink do you need to get through the day and at the end (and how many)?
Lots of water! (and maybe a glass of wine after a long day_
Most used App/Favorite Instagram Account?
Mosted used app: Dark Sky (should we open the patio???)
Favorite Instagram Account: Convivial – I love seeing the dishes from the guest’s perspective.
What should everyone try at least once?
Working in a restaurant for more than a few weeks. Or any sort of customer service job. It teaches you a lot about people and how to be a better guest.
Where do you enjoy getting lost?
In my dreams.