Raoul Coly, The Chef


<<I’d like to give back to the spices everything they bring me. So I honor them!>>


The Chef

An enthusiast

Raoul Coly is what we call a “purist”. A lover of things that he keeps in their essence, their authenticity beyond all influences. He loves things that have soul, meaning and taste. This same sensibility can be found in his restaurant Ô Petit Club Africain, which offers world cuisine, especially African.
He is also, and above all, passionate about spices. That’s what makes his cuisine so authentic and full of freshness. From ginger to Janseng, from Pèpè to Pepper in all its forms and colors, from Africa to Asia, a taste of Chef Raoul Coly’s cuisine is already a journey.

His cuisine

Raoul Coly’s cuisine is rich in history. It is familial and personal, even national.
Family and personal, because Raoul Coly grew up in Senegal, in the Casamance region, where the Diola ethnic group imbued him with traditions close to the land, developing the heritage of his ancestors. His childhood and adolescence were continually enriched by this human force of sharing, solidarity and learning.

Accompanying his mother from an early age to the markets, and helping her in the kitchen, Raoul, curious and attentive to the smallest details, pursued his culinary education, with or without his mother, to taste, try and discover all that Casamance and Senegal could offer him that was best and most exceptional. This is how young Raoul, then a guide, met his future wife Virginie, who had come to make a documentary about Casamance. He followed her to France, where he worked mainly in the corporate world, retaining his passion for cooking as the inveterate gourmet he has always been, with his sights set on one day opening his own restaurant.

In 2006, he began training as a chef at the Grégoire Ferrandi school and obtained his CAP. In 2012, after proving himself at Livio Pizza in Neuilly, at the then Michelin-starred Petit Céladon and at the Ministry of Health, working on Jocelyne Bachelot’s team and as an extra in a number of major Parisian hotels.

After 2 years at number 10 boulevard Richard Wallace, Raoul moved to number 14 boulevard Richard Wallace in January 2015. The address boasts a pleasant room and veranda, where you come “home” to eat the best of Africa and Senegal. “Ô Petit Club Africain” is open to all, not just the African diaspora. This doesn’t stop the Chef from serving you dishes prepared in the traditional and authentic way, rediscovering the simplicity but also the profound richness of the dishes of his childhood.

National history. Indeed, the chef is committed to defending this cuisine and the products of Africa, which are often misunderstood or adapted to European palates, losing their meaning and flavor. It’s in his own way that he defends and carries forward, along with others, the heritage of national cuisine, and of the Continent. The journey begins, welcome to the world of Raoul Coly, an establishment decorated by himself, with a passion for art, design and craftsmanship that you’ll find all along the walls and around, a beautiful atmosphere where you feel welcomed, as if you were in the home of a good friend who shares with you his memories, his passions, his history, the time to taste a dish.


His world

The setting of Ô Petit Club Africain is surprising. One immediately notices a taste for noble materials (leather, wood, cedar) throughout the restaurant. Then, hanging on the wall, works by artists and craftsmen take pride of place above the restaurant. Paintings, black-and-white photographs, custom-made picture frames by a local craftsman, and very special lamps. The chef, who is already very involved in the community with his association Vivre en Casamance, is also concerned by artistic expression, making his space available to artists and craftsmen.