“I grew up with my hand in the soil, growing vegetables with my grandfather.”
Geoffrey Sacchi, Nikki Beach’s fresh faced and quietly confident Executive Chef sits forward in his seat, his thick French accent and easy personality providing levity to our interview.
“When I cook, I try to bring in that spirit from home,” he explains. “I’m sure most people agree that the cooking of our grandmother was always the best.”
Geoffrey’s grandparents were major influences in the direction of his career— his grandfather in teaching him to embrace and respect the earth and his grandmother in her culinary proclivity.
Having received his training at the prestigious Lycee Paul Augier in Nice while studying the techniques of celebrated French chefs such as Joël Garault of the Hôtel Hermitage in Monte Carlo, Geoffrey’s illustrious career took him around the world, from Dubai to Spain to Ireland where he perfected his craft.
“One of the most important things I learned from my upbringing, my travel, my experiences and my education was to respect seasonal products— to work with nature. I cook what is in season and in doing so I take care of the environment.”
Despite having been resident on island for a relatively short period, Geoffrey has formed strong linkages within the local agricultural community and is mindful of the decisions that he has made in the Nikki Beach kitchen. He is committed to infusing local elements into his cuisine wherever possible, which has extended to his selection of presentation materials, including locally sourced mahogany and coral stone.
Geoffrey is the ultimate free spirit, taking great pleasure in the finer things in life, while appreciating downtime in nature— travel and water sports are his primary distractions when he is not at work. He does not drink alcohol or party and is passionate about health— his own and that of the environment.
“If I don’t take care of myself, it will be reflected in the food that I cook,” he explains. “I owe it to those whom I feed to have a healthy body and mind.”
And from the perspective of the environment, Geoffrey is aware of what he refers to “a massive responsibility as a chef.”
possible from local sources and I develop recipes around what is available and sustainable,” he affirms.
As a citizen of Monaco, where fish is the only natural resource, it is not surprising that Geoffrey is passionate about all things seafood and ocean-related. As we discuss his love for the ocean, he takes a pause.
Begging to be excused, Geoffrey rushes to the kitchen and returns several minutes later with a serving of the most succulent Octopus Carpaccio. The pickled flavour of the mollusc integrates beautifully with greens and a fragrant dressing, making it the most tender and delicious salad that I have had in a very long time.
Given our discussions and the delicacy that has been presented, I presumptuously assume that fish must be Geoffrey’s favourite ingredient— but I am mistaken.
“Believe it or not, my favourite ingredient is curry!” he laughs cheekily; this is certainly not the response that I was expecting from the Monegasque chef.
Geoffrey Sacchi is principled, playful and full of surprises, much like the menu at Nikki Beach.
“At Nikki beach you can have cuisine from all over the world— Japan, Italy, Thailand, France…” he goes on. “Regardless of inspirations, my objective is for your meal to be exquisite and…. The job of a chef is to give people a great experience.”
As I take the last bite of Octopus Carpaccio, my satisfaction evident on my face, Geoffrey smiles broadly, indicating a strong sense of pride in his work. And despite a limited need for words, he confirms what I knew all along.
“To sustain life itself, you can’t just take anything you want. I obtain as much food as
“My job is my life. That is my enjoyment.”