Award-winning Chef, Mory Sacko, has been on an upward trajectory ever since his breakout in 2020. At the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, while many other chefs closed shops due to the long months of lockdowns, Sacko said his year turned out to be “a bit crazy, but very beautiful.”
During the pandemic’s lockdowns, Sacko left his post as sous-chef for his mentor, Thierry Marx, at the Mandarin Oriental (a two-star Michelin restaurant) to establish his trade.
In a short while, Sacko became a household name, competing in the 11th Season of the Top Chef – France’s favorite television cooking contest, which attracted millions of viewers during the lockdown. Despite not winning the cooking contest, Sacko gained a massive fan base for his exceptional dishes and gentle mien in the kitchen.
After the TV show, he opened his restaurant, Mosuke, on September 1, 2020, at 11 Rue Raymond Losserand, 75014, Paris. His fame in the Top Chef show drew more patronage from customers desperate to savor the array of dishes on his menu.
Two weeks after he opened the doors of his restaurant, he was named ‘Young Talent’ by Gault & Millau. On January 2021, he received the ‘Young Chef Award’ from La Liste. Two weeks later (January 18, 2021), Mosuke became the first African-owned restaurant in France to win a Michelin Star for cuisine that centers on West and Central African traditions mixed with Japanese and French influence.
“I can already say that my year 2021 is even greater than 2020, which was already exceptional,” Sacko wrote on social media.
“It’s nice to be the first, but I hope I won’t be the only one. It’s important because when I was at hotel school, I didn’t see any starred Michelin chefs who looked like me, there weren’t any. I ate African cuisine as a child so I knew it was good, that wasn’t the issue. But it lacked figureheads to offer it in a way that pleased the restaurant guides and more Western palates. Finally, we’re breaking a glass ceiling and I hope it will show young people that starred cuisine doesn’t have to be European or Asian.”
Sacko was born to an Ivorian mother who grew up in Senegal and a Malian father. His roots in Ivory Coast, Mali, and Senegal formed the main style that reflects in his cooking, with a minor influence of Japanese – which has been an obsession ever since, and the French culture that he grew up in.
His mother’s cooking accustomed him to West African tastes. “I ate the cosmopolitan food of West Africa at home, and often went to eat central African food in friends’ homes. I also know the Congolese cuisine really well,” he said.
The 30-year-old culinary expert is currently the most famous chef in France – admired not just for his deft combination of West and Central African recipes with French local produce and Japanese seasonings, but also for promoting inclusivity in cultures.
Mory Sacko continues to be a TV personality in France with his series – Cuisine Ouverte, where he travels around France, promoting the heritage and diversity of French cuisine through an inventive exchange of local and foreign cuisines.
“Sacko, now 30, is currently France’s most famous chef – hailed not just for his daring combinations of French local produce with African recipes and Japanese seasoning, but described by food writers as “better than a politician” for promoting inclusivity in French culture and cuisine. Emmanuel Macron has called on him to cook for an important Africa-France summit,” Angelique Chrisafis of The Guardian wrote.