Venezuela’s calling: new Taera restaurant opens at the Hôtel de Paris

taera hotel de paris

One of Monaco’s favourite chefs, Victoria Vallenilla, has “broken the mould” with her new restaurant concept Taera, a resolutely Instagrammable and deliciously charming Venezuelan pop-up in the Hôtel de Paris.

When Victoria Vallenilla was approached by Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer to suggest a new pop-up restaurant concept for the Hôtel de Paris, she was asked for something “from her heart”, an eatery that would breathe life into the beautifully elegant, yet staunchly traditional, courtyard.

It was an opportunity for the South American native to realise a concept that had been circulating in her head for years; a restaurant that relayed the resounding happiness of the people of Venezuela, even in the face of constant turmoil and unrest; a place that embraced her love of colour, positivity and passion for family cooking.

“I said, ‘If we are going to do it, let’s do something different, let’s break the mould and go from Z-A, do everything in reverse’,” Victoria Vallenilla tells Monaco Life.

taera hotel de paris
Taera explodes with colour and attitude. Photo source: Monte-Carlo SBM

Taera has therefore been “built on memories”, says the chef. The artwork, which delivers an explosion of colour, was created by South American artist Viviana Grondona and will be seen in many Instagram posts to come. The produce, the plants, the flowers, the animals on the walls… It all showcases Venezuela. Even the uniforms, inspired by folklore and dancing, were designed by childhood friend Stephanie Vargas.

“I want people to feel like they are on vacation,” says Victoria, who was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and grew up on the Caribbean island of Margarita.

Drawing on family recipes

Victoria’s love of food comes from her grandmother, so the menu features dishes that Nanna used to make, including a vanilla-laden caramel flan served tableside.

The arepas – a cornbread eaten daily in Venezuela – is inspired by her mother and features heavily on the menu.

Victoria describes her food as “simple”, because she wants people “to feel at home”.

Crispy cheese sticks with spicy “gusacaca” sauce and a Taera cocktail. Photo source: Monte-Carlo SBM

Comfort food like crispy cheese sticks with spicy “gusacaca” sauce and marinated seafood are therefore among the starters; cornbread arepas topped with spicey salmon tartare, blackbeans, or pulled chicken and avocado are fun to follow; the pulled beef with blackbeans and plantains is a welcome reminder of everything we love about South American cuisine.

But the chef, who worked under the likes of Joël Garault and Alain Ducasse and quickly rose through the ranks to become head chef of Coya, has also refined her dishes for a discerning clientele, adding some luxurious additions like Wagyu beef and Kristal caviar, and finishing the plates with the creative gastronomic flair that one would expect from the Hôtel de Paris.

Taera’s sardines with pickled vegetables. Photo source: Monte-Carlo SBM

“When you work at SBM, at this high standard, with Michelin star restaurants everywhere, what you want to do is create an experience, and that’s what makes the whole difference,” says Victoria. “We want people to remember this place, and we do this with the food, but also with the décor and ambience.”

The ultimate long lunch

Taera is open every day from midday to 7pm, so the best way to experience this restaurant is to set aside a few hours, invite some friends and family, order a variety of dishes – and cocktails – from the menu, and indulge in Victoria Vallenilla’s precious culinary heritage.

Seating is available inside and outside in the Hôtel de Paris courtyard.

In addition to the carte, set menus are available for €75 and €115 per person.

Guests can sit at the bar and watch the chefs finish the plates. Photo source: Monte-Carlo SBM

See more in our Instagram video below…

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Main photo of Victoria Vallenilla by Monaco Life