Cannes According to ... Chef Claire Gouny: "Americans Ask for Weird Food"

Claire Gouny - S 2016
Courtesy of Subject

The chef of La Meissouniere (15 rue du 24 aout) dishes on the Croisette.

What’s the festival like for a chef in Cannes?

It’s like preparing for Top Chef every day. But it’s only two weeks. It’s like hiking to the top of Everest, every year.

What’s your favorite getaway during the fest?

I go to Palm Beach sometimes. It’s a private beach, and there’s a public beach next to it that is really quiet and hidden. It’s the best place ever. If you go there for a half an hour, it’s like you’ve been away for a week.

What’s your craziest festival experience?

I had some kids shooting a short film here, and they were trying to sniff cocaine — it was fake! — but on the terrace of the restaurant. I was worried, but you couldn’t see the name of the restaurant, so that was good.

What are the strangest food orders during the festival?

We have a lot of weird Americans that ask for weird food: "I can’t eat this and that." We don’t have that kind of diet in France. I had a vegan woman who didn’t want anything with fat and no cooked vegetables.

What’s the biggest American faux pas?

They’re terrible about coffees. They want a double this and that with soy milk ... what am I, Starbucks?