Former Bordeaux rugby player, Franck Labbé, has enjoyed success in his second career as a restaurateur with Jamon Jamon and his tribute to the food and wine of Spain, which he ran as a pop up restaurant at Vinexpo.
What is the background to Jamon Jamon?
Jamon Jamon was the first restaurant I opened in 2012. Before then I was a professional rugby player. I moved into the restaurant scene thanks to my Spanish mother. When I was growing up I just loved the country and its food and wine and Iberico ham. When we rst started out it was simply to offer my friends somewhere in Bordeaux where they could go to enjoy good Spanish ham and food. We also only served Spanish wine – which was quite brave in Bordeaux! It slowly started to build a reputation and grew in popularity. It was good that we were able to create a Spanish atmosphere in a Bordeaux restaurant. I even created my own Jamon Jamon Spanish wine brand.
THIS IS THE FOURTH TIME WE HAVE HAD THIS PARTNERSHIP WITH VINEXPO. WE HAVE CREATED A COLLABORATION BETWEEN FRENCH AND SPANISH CUISINE
You have now closed the restaurant side of the business to concentrate on events. Why is that?
The idea was to open up a small network of similar restaurants and we ended up with two restaurants in Paris. But it was a challenge to keep them all going, so last year we decided to close the restaurants and only do special events and what you might call pop up restaurants like the one at Vinexpo. We still have our original place in Bordeaux which we use to help promote the business and sell some Spanish food and wine.
Tell us about the Jamon Jamon restaurant at Vinexpo?
This is the fourth time we have had this partnership with Vinexpo. We have created a collaboration between French and Spanish cuisine. So there are the classics like côte de boeuf, but using Galician beef rib, and more Basque dishes like a plate of jamon 100% Iberian jamon, that has been aged for 40 months, scallops with jamon bellota or cod cooked Ajoarriero style. The wines are a selection of international wines all available at Vinexpo, including French, Californian, Spanish and Argentinian, chosen by sommelier Omar Barbosa and Valande & Transandine. We have been selling the wine both by bottle and by the glass. It’s been a great success. We have been busy all the time.
Photo: Franck Labbé Owner, Jamon Jamon