DAMIEN GERMANIER

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"I am an unconditional fan of traditional cooking. It is the basis and the roots of burgher cuisine. "

Fotografía de INTERVIEWS WITH OUR CHEFS

 

What made you want to become a head chef?

A passion for flavours, good produce and good food.  Also, an interest in playing with flavours and textures.

 

What is the first dish you can remember which moved you?

Childhood memories: recently-picked chanterelles, sealed simply with butter in the wood-fired oven in the cottage.   It's amazing to see the power of a fresh product prepared in such a simple way. 

 

Who has influenced you in your cooking style or philosophy?

Some great chefs, like Gérard Rabaey a former three star who trained me, for example.

 

Who inspires you? Where does your inspiration come from?

In life, inspiration comes from encounters, trips, the moment... all of which can be conveyed in and through cuisine.

 

What is your favourite cooking method?

I am an unconditional fan of traditional cooking. It is the basis and the roots of burgher cuisine. 

 

 What is your favourite ingredient?

Citruses. For me acidity is important: it provides balance and freshness to a dish.

 

What is your favourite cooking utensil?

The knife, of course. Without it, we are nothing.

 

What materials do you prefer for your pans and saucepans?

I love die-cast, I find the rustic side enchanting. 

 

What would you like to change about the cooking schools? What advice would you give young chefs?

Nothing. Training is important, perhaps too intellectual. My advice is to practise, practise, practise!

 

What do you look for when you hire someone for your restaurant?

I look for young people with the passion and desire to move forward with and for the company where they work.

 

How do you motivate your team?

I try to give them a lot of freedom, let them be creative, push them onwards.

 

What would you like to change in the catering world?

The opinion of customers, perhaps. Cooking has been trivialised by these ever more pervasive television programmes and few customers realise the work involved in being a restaurateur. 

 

How do you react to difficult or rude customers?

I try to do my best by every diner. Discourtesy is still there, I feel, but not on a personal level.

 

What is your favourite place to relax?

The countryside. I like to go running in the country to clear my mind. 

 

What stimulates your ambition?

The pleasure of doing something well, a love for a good product. Cooking is my driving force, just that. 

 

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?

None. My dishes are a part of my life, each dish is important in its moment. 

 

What is your favourite restaurant?

Any that surprise me, that impress me. The one where I like the tale told by the chef.   

 

Which current chef do you admire and why?

I absolutely love Yannick Alleno, his career and his rigour.  Alain Passard also interests me because of his charisma and love for vegetables.

 

If you could create your ideal cooking team, who would you choose? 

I would like to have a united team, with strong components helping out the weaker ones, capable of transmitting knowledge and passion!