Discover the interview with our Chef Alexandre Fourquet at Les Tables Vatel.
“I am Alexandre Fourquet, I have been the executive chef of Vatel Bordeaux for 2 years and 3 months.”
“In three words, could you describe your cooking?”
“French, original, and creative.”
“What is your specialty?”
“I have several specialties, but I would say duck and fish.”
“What is your favourite dish?”
“I don’t have a favourite dish, but if I had to choose, I would say a duck breast with well caramelized and pink skin, a blue cheese sauce, and candied pomegranate potatoes.”
“Have you always wanted to be a chef?”
“No. I wanted to do this job from the moment I started. I started 12 years ago washing dishes, but before that, I never thought I’d make a career in cooking, and even less become a chef. The passion started once I took my first steps in cooking at the age of 18.”
“What do you like most about your job?”
“Simply to please people.”
“What is the most beautiful gastronomy in the world according to you?”
“French gastronomy, of course!”
“What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?”
“The weirdest thing I have eaten is scorpion! I also ate crocodile meat and snake. I ate that in Asia; for them it is normal; it is nothing out of the ordinary. It is not part of our culture, which is why it is strange for me.”
“What is the food you have never liked to eat?”
“If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, which one would you choose?”
“Come up with a menu for this summer!”
“As a starter, I suggest a ceviche of dolphin fish with black lemon from Iran, corn cream, popcorn with fish oil.
For the dish, a fillet of duck with a tangy strawberry chutney, some fresh magnum strawberries, duck juice and a small polenta siphon.
And finally, for dessert, a yuzu pudding with salted butter caramel and Espelette pepper to bring out the duality of acidity and sweetness.”
“Who would you most like to cook for?”
“If I had to cook for a chef, it would be either Pierre Gagnaire or Kei Kobayashi. I would love to be a mix of these two chefs.
Kei Kobayashi is one of my favourite chefs and among those who influence me the most.
He was the first Japanese chef to win 3 stars from the Michelin Guides in France. His cooking is surgical, his dishes are like engravings, and he brings his own culture to the table with local produce. Everything is meticulous.”
“Which country has the best food according to you?”
“I think that now we eat the best every day in Asia. In France, I think that eating well is still reserved for people with minimum purchasing power. Of course, we eat very well in France; it is one of the best-eating countries in the world, but junk food and street food are omnipresent. Quality, local produce, and know-how have become almost a luxury, even in France. So, for me, the best countries to eat in are Vietnam, Thailand, and South America, which offer good, local, popular cuisine.”
“Can you tell us about the Master Classes?”
“The Master Classes will start in September at Vatel Bordeaux. It is a 2-hour course that we integrate into the modules. The students concerned are the French and International M1s, the preparatory courses and the CFA. In my opinion, this course is essential before taking your first steps in the kitchen or in the field. It is a theoretical course where we cover the basics: safety rules, health standards, the attitude to have and the first reflexes to have. We mustn’t forget that this is a dangerous environment. You’re working with high temperatures, knives, and ice, with people around. There’s a whole vocabulary, rules, and you can’t just turn up in the kitchen without having been informed about a whole range of things to ensure that production and service run smoothly, but also to ensure everyone’s safety. Everything can happen very quickly in the kitchen.”