Food D’ici et d’ailleurs

Connie Zagora, Chef at Le Kitchen

Published on 27/10/2021

In the space of seven years, swedish chef Connie Zagora and her husband Laurent Ozan have managed to turn Le Kitchen into one of Lyon's major attractions for epicurians.

 

It was chance that brought the couple to Lyon, the Capital of the Gauls. During a two-week stay in 2003, Connie fell in love with France, decided to stay for a year, learned the lingo, and ended up studying the art of cookery at the École Ferrandi in Paris, and then the Ritz. She could very well have pursued her career in the French capital, but, along with Laurent Ozan, she wanted to move to a more laid-back city, where the living is good and where they could satisfy their desire for gastronomy and culture.

Lyon ticked all the boxes and the rest is history. Connie worked at the Sofitel, and then Takao Takano. Laurent wanted to open a dessert bar, so she decided to cre-ate a business based on her own cuisine and model. In Scandinavian culture, food is served at all times of the day. Their res-taurant opens bright and early, at 8 am, serving sweet and savoury breakfasts, and remains open until 6:30 pm, withnon-stop service: “We wanted to offer something different to coffee and croissants at the counter. ” 

A melting pot of cultures

Her culinary influences are varied, including Sweden, of course, and France, bien sûr, but also Poland, her parents’ homeland. “They are two cul-tures that share many types of flavours, particularly smokiness, sharpness and bitterness, as well as picked ingredients, such as mushrooms and berries,” says the chef, who won the Gault et Millau‘Young Talent’ award in the second year following her restaurant’s opening. 

Is she nostalgic for the flavours of her native Sweden? “I like missing dishes, because I’m all the happier when I’m reunited with them! ” As a locavore and staunch defender of seasonal cuisine, she likes to wait for the return of ingre-dients such as asparagus, elderflower, wild garlic and peas, but she would like to see more smoked meat and fish on dinner tables in Lyon. This includes her favourite dish, smoked prawns, accom-panied by some Jura white wine.

She is not much one for sweets, with the exception of kanelbulle

She is not much one for sweets, with the exception of kanelbulle, the cinnamon rolls made fresh every day by Laurent for the restau-rant, and will happily forgo dessert for some cheese or a starter (such as foie gras from La Meunière, for exam-ple). She is not a big fan of the dishes typ-ically served in bouchons, or offal in general, but she will not say no to a Sabodet sausage with a glass of Gamay.

Le Kitchen
34 rue Chevreul, Lyon 7e.
Tél. : 06 03 36 42 75.
Open Thursday to Monday from 8 am to 6:30 pm.
Breakfast from €6.50 to €13.50.
Starter and main course or main course and dessert: €21.  
Plated desserts served throughout the day: €8.
Pastries from €2.70 to €3.40.

Short bio

  • 1981 : Born in Stockholm, Sweden.
  • 2003 : Arrived in France.
  • 2014 : Opening of the Kitchen Café, in Lyon’s 7th district. Award of the ‘Bib Gourmand’, by the Michelin Guide.
  • 2021 : Phase two of Le Kitchen, with a new name and a fresh look.