Bassel Zebib is the culinary mastermind behind Mezzencore. As co-founder of the renowned restaurant, he shares his experiences and how his concept is one of the most sough-after spots in Paris.
How did you come up with Mezzencore?
Mezzencore emerged in response to the growing demand for Lebanese cuisine in Paris. Initially, a sub-brand under “Al Dar express” in 2013, we evolved into Mezzencore in 2016, and our first branch was located in the 17th neighborhood.
So, coming from a restaurant family, my cousin Wael Zebib and I co-founded Mezzencore in 2016, blending our passion and heritage.
Up against the challenges of 2020, we witnessed a surge in food delivery needs and quickly adapted, becoming the go-to choice for authentic Lebanese flavors at home. Furthermore, to address high demand, we expanded with Encore burger and cakes at the end of the same year. Moreover, we proudly introduced a second Mezzencore on the Grands Boulevards in 2021.
I believe that our success derives from a commitment to quality and the fusion of tradition with modern convenience. Beyond being a restaurant, Mezzencore symbolizes resilience and dedication, with deep roots in a rich family legacy. Furthermore, we seek to redefine the dining experience, delivering the warmth of Lebanese hospitality directly to our patrons’ doorsteps.
How have you created a brand that resonates with Parisian customers?
We have created a brand that resonates with Parisian customers thanks to our focus on clean and delivery-friendly packaging. Moreover, we offer healthy and balanced cuisine. Our unique mezze recipes define our identity and set us apart in the market. For instance, our modernized chicken shawarma is made with chicken breast, a secret blend of spices and is cooked in the oven. Additionally, we prioritize efficient, quality service. We also strive for consistency in production. Notably, all preparation occurs in our central Bezon kitchen, guided by executive chef Muhanad Tleiss. It is then distributed daily to our three restaurants.
We offer a great value proposition, with high-quality, fresh raw materials sourced daily. Furthermore, our recipes cater to various tastes, emphasizing consistency in sandwiches. Moreover, tribute sandwiches, like the Ivory shawarma, showcase fraternity between communities. Also, our adaptation to dietary preferences, including vegan options, adds to our broad appeal.
Consequently, Mezzencore ranked on Deliveroo, naming it the world’s number 1 among 150,000 restaurants in 2022 and among Paris’s 8 best in 2023.
How did your collaboration with a pastry chef influence the overall dining experience for Mezzencore’s clientele?
We collaborated with pastry chef Jana to redefine Lebanese desserts beyond clichés. Moreover, our international pastry range, featuring the pistachio halva tart and the lemon and orange blossom tart, imparts a contemporary twist to traditional offerings.
Furthermore, our efforts are directed toward diversifying our pastry selection, thereby differentiating us from other Lebanese restaurants in Paris. This strategy aims to attract customers specifically for our special dessert offerings.
Do you have any expansion plans for Mezzencore?
We are actively working on establishing a franchise model, initially targeting the European market (the rest of France and the United Kingdom). Moreover, our expansion plans also include exploring opportunities in the UAE and KSA. Notably, our primary objective remains unchanged — sharing the richness of Lebanese cuisine with diverse audiences worldwide.