I remember the first time I tasted Nouvelle cuisine in France prepared by Les Frères Troisgros. I was 9. It was unforgettable: elegant, artful, beautiful food; so delightful in its presentation, each bite was a bittersweet dissolve. The kitchen and stage from which this gastronomic genius appeared was behind closed doors. L'Atelier Paris Haute Design, a French luxury kitchen design company, just relaunched in 2019 with Ricardo Moraes at the head of the table. Their bespoke kitchens speak to this power of cuisine and aim to marry a level of function and elegance born to inspire the modern-day chef with each kitchen environment rich with history and style. Here is why Ricardo has taken the reins and is quickly earning the equivalent of Michelin stars for kitchen design.
“TO CONTINUE TO INNOVATE AND DO SOMETHING NO ONE ELSE IS SET UP TO DO.”
Olivia Daane (OD): Where are you now? What is your vision for L’Atelier?
Ricardo Moraes (RM): Right now I am in Miami. We have showrooms in Miami, Paris, New York and LA to give people a taste of the possibilities. My wife Maria (who is an architect and interior designer) and I are bringing this brand, that began in the 1830’s, back to its glory. I always loved entertaining. Our projects are unique and customized for people who are passionate about cooking. We start with the floor plan and work with the person or chef who uses the kitchen and what they need it for...meals for events, 200 people or small dinners. The goal is to bring this brand back to glory and open showrooms in London and possibly Dallas next...to continue to innovate and do something no one else is set up to do.
OD: Your designs are sigh-worthy. Literally swooning. You are modernizing but not losing the roots of artful construction. What is a ballpark on one of your fabulous and functional kitchens?
RM: It’s pretty open-ended...$150,000-$800,000. We are integrating design and technology for home cooks and professional chefs alike.
OD: This type of attention to design must make for some high performance days onsite. How do you refuel to stay creative and innovative?
RM: We have a vineyard in Bordeaux and we try to put the noise of the city behind us. We go there about five times a year and for sure during harvest. I avoid reading the news because it is not going to help me in any way shape or form. I listen to chill music. I am a fanatic about cars. I love my new 911 I just got for my birthday. It is just incredible. I am loving spending time on this farm cultivating a crop and watching the whole cycle of a plant growing into a fruit. It is pretty magical. It is all up to the weather.
OD: What would you be doing if not designing and bringing these spaces to life?
RM: I have no idea! I didn’t plan for this. That is how I have been my whole life. I knew I wanted something smaller than my last company and more curated to just bring enjoyment to people.
Ricardo is a lover of life and loving his ability to carefully hone these kitchen environments just like he has learned to slow down with the wine growing seasons. He is installing a kitchen in his chateau in France which dates back to the 1400’s. “This will be my dream kitchen. Let’s put it this way...it is going to be stunning! If someone really loves cooking and has the budget...we are above mainstream but we are not stratospheric. It looks incredible. Never insult your customer by being outrageous. We are happy to do a range with 6 burners up to a full-blown commercial kitchen. I wanted to make sure we were in line with reality.
L’Atelier is function and elegant design within reach. Ricardo’s reality is delicious…and beautiful. A link to true craftsmanship of years gone by with an eye on the needs of the now.