Chef Christophe Pacheco, un des meilleurs ouvrier de France

2011 winner of the title “Meilleur Ouvrier de France” (MOF) in gourmet cuisine, Christophe Pacheco excels in his field ! Since 2015, he has breathed new life into the catering of the islands, working in a global and coherent way : overhaul of the offer, selection of producers and partners, recruitment and training of teams…
Anxious to bring the best to our clients in terms of cuisine, he takes to heart to share his knowledge, his passion and his excellency with his collaborators and mostly to the new generation.


Léo CARILLO, “Meilleur Apprenti de France” 2021, section Cuisine Froide

Friday the 8th of October took place the national final of the contest « Un des Meilleurs Apprentis de France Cuisine Froide » (best french apprentice in cold kitchen). True revealer of talents, this contest brings every year more than 200 candidates from all around France. The best of them were first selected during departmental and regionales selections. Therefore, 17 finalists were chosen to be judge by an exceptional panel of judges, presided by Jean-François GIRARDIN (MOF 1993 Cuisine Gastronomie et Président de la Société nationale des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France).

Among them, Léa CARILLO, 18 years old, first year student baccalaureate of cooking in Lycée Professionnel Golf-Hôtel de Hyères and doing his apprenticeship in our kitchen with the Chef Christophe Pacheco. With only 2 years of cooking behind him and after very intense past few weeks in training with Christophe and Laurent FERRY, Léo won the title of MAF along side with 4 others candidates.

Concours meilleur apprenti de france 2021
Léo Carillo, on the right of the picture

Hermela BAULLAH, departmental winner, then regional « MAF 2020 »

Last year, it was Hermela who went against those tests. Only 17 years old, she managed her way all the way to the final, along 15 others candidates.

In 2019, she won the 4th édition of concours « Terroir et pêche durables », chaired by our Chef Christophe Pacheco. This contest aims to bring awareness to the student about ressources preservation. In order to have those futurs profesionnals exercing in the respect of nature.

To this day, Hermela still delights the tastebuds of our clients in our restaurant SARTI.

Killian ROSINI, one of the six Gold Medal of 2019 « MAF » promotion

Before them, Killian, also coached by Christophe, won the title of Meilleur Apprenti de France in 2019. He had worked in the kitchens of the various establishments of the île des Embiez.

Christophe Pacheco well-known for his implication in the transmission of his knowledge

So, last September on the 28th, Christophe received the badge of Chevalier dans l’ordre des Palmes Académiques. This reward salutes his work in training and mentoring of the new generation for several years now.

The domain of Les Embiez

Being the only winery of Six-Fours-Les-Plages, the domain of Les Embiez is composed of about 29 parcels spread across 10 hectares.
The first grape vines were planted between 1580 and 1600 by the LOMBARD family, then owners of the island*. In 1922, they produced a renowned wine among locals which was carried in barrels to the shore. They were then abandoned during World War 2 and then restored in 1947. Paul Ricard acquired the Ile des Embiez in 1958 and decided to continue and improve the wine production of the domain.

Today, the domain of Les Embiez is maintained and run entirely by Société Paul Ricard employees, and produces around 30 000 bottles on average each year out of which:
– The red wine and rosé
– The rosé and white wine as A.O.P. Côte de Provence.

Many formats are available for different needs and budgets: standard bottle (75 Cl), Magnum (1.5 l) and the rosé as Jeroboam (3 l). Rosé is available in the form of a bag in box of 3 liters as well for any aperitif, barbecue, meal on a terrace, on the deck of a boat or picnics at the beach.

Our wines are on sale all year long at the Harbourmaster’s office of the Saint Pierre harbor of Les Embiez, and on high season in our wine cellar and bar. Wine dégustation can be organized all year round on demand for groups.

Our wine is also available a la carte in the islands’ restaurants of course, but also in many shops, cellar masters and restaurants of Six-Fours, Bandol, Sanary-sur-Mer, Toulon, Marseille, Arles and up to Lyon, in which many establishments give us the honor of having our production on their wine menus.

More information and reservations:
Daniel Tarpi: +33 (0)6 09 11 69 55

*For more information, please read our article on The History of the Island of Les Embiez

The history of the island of Les Embiez

Embiez Ancien

The name “Embiez” comes from the Latin word “ambo” which means both. This is explained by the archipelago of the two islands: Ile des Embiez and île de la Tour Fondue. The name changed spelling numerous times as time passed: Embers, Ambias, Embiers, Ambies, Ambiers, and finally Embiez.

The oldest ruins found on the island which are proof of human presence date back to the 5th century BC, probably left by fishermen of navigators. It is true that the Iles des Embiez has been the refuge of sea lovers and professionals. It also withstood pirate invasions.

Starting from 1068, monks from the Saint Victor Abbey started to exploit the salt marshes on the island, which then ran from the Coucousa tip to the Tour Fondue tip. At the time, salt was an expensive and precious delicacy, primordial to conserve food. It even had the nickname of “white gold”. To collect to salt, they built low walls made out of dry stone and crystallization pans in shallow waters. This was also when the apartments “Les Douanes” were built and named in remembrance of this part of the island’s history (today they have been renovated in 8 premium accommodations of the Hôtel Hélios.) The salt was then taxed by the state, the “gabelle” and it was in these apartments that in was collected, by the “gabelous”.

Les Salins

Following that, the island was acquired by the LOMBARD family in 1520, a local from Six Fours. Bathélémy LOMBARD took over the busyness of the salt marshes and received the request from Henry 4th that his domain be transformed as an « arrière-fief »: his family was able thanks to this occasion, obtain the title of “Saint Cécile”. This is where the name of the chapel which is on the island nowadays comes from. The LOMBARD family was also the one who planted all the grapevines between 1580-1600. They then began the construction of a castle in 1602, which is today private property of the RICARD family.

Chateau Embiez

After that, in 1862 began the construction of the Saint Pierre fort. A plaque is still there to this day, at the entrance, which commemorates the date on which the construction ended: in 1867. The Fort nowadays is home to the aquarium and museum of the Institut Oeanographique Paul Ricard (founded by Paul Ricard in 1966 but named so in 1991).

Fort Saint Pierre

After multiple successions, the island was bought back by Michel SABRAN (famous Provencal family) in 1720. During the French Revolution, in 1789, the island is declared as “national property”.

The beginning of the 19th century was a darker era for the island, due to being used for sodium sulfate production (also known as sulfate of soda). Sea salt was decomposed with sulfuric acid to produce sodium sulfate, but this procedure caused hydrochloric acid waste which needed to be meticulously cleared because of their toxicity. The Sodium sulfate was then processed with coal and chalk in order to obtain precious sodium carbonate (used to produce soap in Marseille).

Unfortunately, after changing ownership three years later, hydrochloric acid clearage wasn’t executed correctly anymore and damaged the surrounding vegetation and health of the people close by. The sodium sulfate production factory was therefore shut down in June 1847.

The island eventually changed ownership many times, each exploiting the three and a half hectares of salt marshes up until it couldn’t compete anymore against other marshes such as the ones in Aigues-Mortes or in Salin-de-Giraud. As the maintenance and management of this small area became less and less profitable, the salt production on the Ile des Embiez ended in 1938.

Illustration Embiez

From that point on, the Ile des Embiez became a haven for diving enthusiasts such as Frédéric Dumas, Phillipe Tailliez and Jacques-Yves Cousteau (“Les 3 Mousquemer”). Together, they created the first French underwater movie in 1942 on Les Embiez “Par Dix-huit mètres de fond”.


When Paul Ricard buys Les Embiez in 1958, he is confident about finding what nature has best to offer in order to dream and escape from your everyday life. The only things remaining on this island are an abandoned fort and a tower in ruins, on top of which many generations of lookouts have watched out for pirates… His only wish it to preserve this natural paradise and to transform it into a destination for all who wish “to unwind and to find themselves, far from crowds and pollution of the mainland.”* Onwards from the 60s, Paul Ricard, as a visionary, already perceives the “leisure civilization” as something obvious. He wants to turn the island into “a high ranked international touristic area, an ideal stay to lay back and for vacation, with everything necessary to be happy: silence, relaxation, absence of car traffic, the joys of the sea, strolls on bike or by foot (…)”*.  His intentions are clear: “We will convert this island in order to fulfill the happiness of Mankind. We will build on it with art and love, we will plant on it trees, grow flowers, erect statues…”*.

In 1960, Paul Ricard begins the construction of the harbour of Les Embiez, literally enclaved in the north of the island (where the salt marshes used to be), in order for it to be able to shelter boats regardless of the meteorological conditions. It was opened in 1963 and expanded to the east in the 70s (between the pine forest of Le Canoubié and the Pétanque grounds). Accessible by all weather conditions, it now has 750 rings and up to 150 places are available for stopovers.

The vineyards: exploited since 1922, they produced a renowned wine among locals which was carried in barrels to the shore. They were then abandoned during World War 2 and then restored in 1947, and now by the employees of Les Embiez. Nowadays, Les Embiez has almost 11 hectares spread across 29 parcels and produces 3 colors of wine:  red wine, white wine, and rosé as I.G.P. Var and rosé as A.O.P. Côte de Provence as well. It is the only domain of Six-Fours-Les-Plages, and the whole process is realized on the island from start to finish.

The wine is on sale all year round in the harbour master’s office of Les Embiez’s harbour and at the island’s cellar every weekend on high season, as well as every day (except for Thursdays) in July/August.


Still, to this day, the Ile des Embiez is as Paul Ricard wanted it to be, and wears the brand of a man who fought for the well-being of mankind, preserve the sea and protect nature since the 60s.

*Pulled from the book “La passion de créer” written by Monsieur Paul Ricard

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