Sylvain Harribey always goes back to his roots. The executive chef at Gaby Brasserie Française at Sofitel New York credits his knowledge of precise French techniques as the key to his success.
Born in Rouen in the north of France, Harribey was raised in the renowned food and wine region of Bordeaux. His fascination with food and cooking began at an early age, when he would join his mother in the kitchen and help her prepare Sunday meals for friends or festive holiday dinners for family.
As an adult, he enrolled in the Talence Hospitality School in Bordeaux, where he earned a French culinary degree in 1990, which was followed by advanced training in specialized seafood preparation. He later attended the renowned Lenôtre in Paris to perfect his baking skills.
From commis de cuisine to chef de partie to sous chef and then executive chef, Harribey has held positions of increasing responsibility at the finest restaurants in France and the United States. He also served briefly as sommelier at The Ritz in London.
For the past 11 years, Harribey has been associated with Sofitel Luxury Hotels, becoming executive chef at Sofitel Philadelphia and then at Gaby in Sofitel New York.
Harribey earned a prestigious AAA 4 Diamond Award and has participated in the Gridiron Chef Award in Dallas for the James Beard Foundation. He won first place on the Food Network’s competition reality series Chopped in 2010.
“I cook with my heart – and my French heritage – but I like to be creative and challenge my skills,” says Harribey. “I look for new ways to refine classic French recipes and techniques. I try new combinations of ingredients, experiment with different culinary traditions, and use the freshest products from local farms. I want everyone to enjoy the taste of every single item on the plate.”