Adrian Moore is assistant head concierge at the new Mandarin Oriental Hotel Paris and also writes about the Paris restaurant scene on his blog and for other luxury and travel publications.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
Born in Toronto, Canada, raised variously in Kentucky, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire (but mostly the latter two).
When did you move Paris and why did you move here?
Moved to Paris in 1992 to open the Disneyland Paris (then EuroDisney park), stayed for love.
How did you become a hotel concierge and what was your first job?
I sort of fell into the concierge job after having been a general dogsbody in hotels over the years. After my travels around the world, I ended up penniless in England, by turns working in a watercress processing factory, running a youth hostel, and working at a seaside hotel in Brighton. At which point I embarked for Paris.
What was the most important lesson you learned in becoming a successful concierge?
We learn new lessons every day. But the golden rule of the guest always being right still holds strong. One must always listen to the client, understand what they want (even when sometimes they don’t know themselves!) and strive to provide exceptional service above and beyond what is initially asked. My guests travel a great deal, frequent the world’s best establishments and expect even more from us.
You write a food blog. How and why did you start that? You also write for other publications about food, so please tell us how you started doing that and some of the other publications and guidebooks you write for.
My sadly neglected food blog was started in 2005 back in the day before every Tom, Dick and Harry was constantly real time twitting everything they put in their mouth. I’m quite enthusiastic about discovering new restaurants so blogging was a way of sparing friends my incessant blathering about this or that new hot place or delicious dish. I’ve always been a writer for pleasure, and coming to Paris exposed me to the fabulous world of gastronomy which gave me an exciting subject to motivate me in written expression. My first gig was through a guest who asked me to write for a lifestyle magazine he owned in Dubai, and using these clips I pitched other more prestigious publications. It snowballed from there and I’m still hoodwinking as many high end glossy publications as is possible. I choose and write about hot new tables for Condé Nast Traveler US (I’ve been choosing and writing their Hot List/Hot Tables list for the last couple years), Travel and Leisure (chose my favourite sandwich in Paris a few weeks ago , in the glorious company of people like Anthony Bourdain, Mario Batali and Martha Stewart) , a host of inflight magazines and my new favourite publication, the Barbara Fairchild run, iPad only, REAL EATS. Apart from that I’ve written hundreds of restaurants reviews for any and every type of publication on the planet and have been published in French, English, Dutch and Arabic.
What are some of the perks of your job? What is Les Clefs d’Or and what are some of the perks of it?
The best perk is completely and totally satisfying a guest. That and making friendly connection with extraordinarily interesting and influential people. Les Clefs d’Or is the ultimate mark of the professional concierge . It is a brotherhood (and sisterhood), an old boys network, a prestigious association. A sort of family of likeminded brethren who like to get together, eat drink and be merry and talk shop.
What are some the more unusual requests you have received from hotel guests?
No request is too unusual or impossible unless illegal or immoral. Doing the impossible is sometimes a challenge though. Getting 10,000 roses on a few hours notice was a small challenge.
I know discretion is a key part of your job, but if you can, please tell us some of the celebrities you have worked with?
Everybody and anybody worth knowing about, talking about on all levels of entertainment, business, politics, religion, etc etc. Let your imagination wonder.
You presently work at the Mandarin Oriental Paris. How is it different from your last job at the George V Hotel and since the Mandarin Oriental Group is from the east, is there a different philosophy in treatment of guests?
I think at the very top end of the food chain, the bleeding edge of top flight service becomes similar across diverse brands. But I wouldn’t be here unless I believed Mandarin Oriental, Paris had a vast potential to be the best hotel of its kind in both Paris and one of the best in the world. We’re just starting out, and I think that with the management and the concierge team and all the talent we have here, we’re going to push the envelope on what a luxury hotel can be in the City of Light. Our hotel is completely unique, anchored in the best design talent (Jean Michel Wilmotte, Jouin/Manku, Sybille de Margerie), Thierry Marx in the kitchen and Philippe Leboeuf one of the best GM’s on the planet.
What are your five favorite Paris restaurants right now?
I love Septime because of Bertrand Grébaut’s delicious market cuisine and Théo’s service
Le Dauphin is one of my locals for Franck’s warm welcome, the funky vibe, tasty small plates and (egads!) natural wine.
The cocktail club boy’s Beef Club is fun, the meat’s great, decor cool, but I’d go just for the downstairs speakeasy and Sylvain, Paris’ coolest doorman.
The Cork and Cavan is one of my locals (I know, I know, an Irish bar in Paris??) , but it is the best Guinness in town, Kevin the owner is a great pal and the regular barflies are the coolest in town.
It’s no secret that I’m a great fan and very good friend with the boys behind the two star Michelin Passage 53. It’s not brand new, but this unique, iconoclastic East meets West gourmet is consistently perfect and totally satisfying.
What do you prefer about Paris?
It’s difficult to say what I prefer about Paris. I could definitely mention the food, the wine, pretty girls and dozens of other things. But when it comes down to it, I just feel at home here like nowhere else in the world.
Adrian's blog: http://www.adrianmoore.blogspot.fr/
Adrian will be coming out with a new, cutting edge website soon, I will keep you posted.
I am happy to announce the sale of a new set of prints of my Eye Prefer Paris Photos. I am offering 20 of my most popular and iconic images for sale including my doors, architectural details, statues, and monuments. They will make great gifts for all your Francophile friends, relatives, and colleagues but don't forget to buy some for yourself.
Click here to see photos and for full details including sizes, prices, and shipping. Here is a sample of some of the photos.
New! Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes
I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotte's professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
Location: We will meet by a metro station close to the market
Class days: Tuesday,Wednesday, Thursday,Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
Click here to sign up for the next class or for more info.
I am pleased as punch to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Tours, which are 3-hour walking tours I will personally be leading. The Eye Prefer Paris Tour includes many of the places I have written about such as small museums & galleries, restaurants, cafes & food markets, secret addresses, fashion & home boutiques, parks, and much more.
Tours cost 195 euros for up to 3 people, and 65 euros for each additional person. I look forward to meeting you on my tours and it will be my pleasure and delight to show you my insiders Paris.
Check it out at www.eyepreferparistours.com