ERIC JAMBON

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"I do this work through atavism, as my grandfather was a chef, my uncle was chef at a starred restaurant, my cousin is a chef. My mother was a typical Lyon housewife who got up every Sunday at five in the morning to prepare lunch for the whole family. In s"

Fotografía de INTERVIEWS WITH OUR CHEFS

What made you want to become a head chef?

I came to the kitchen through atavism: I do this work through atavism, as my grandfather was a chef, my uncle was chef at a starred restaurant, my cousin is a chef. My mother was a typical Lyon housewife who got up every Sunday at five in the morning to prepare lunch for the whole family. In short, I was born for this... 

What is the first dish that struck a chord with you?
Truffle soup by Paul Bocuse

Who has influenced you in your cooking style or philosophy?
All the modern chefs who work in my type of modernist cuisine.
   
Who inspires you? Where does your inspiration come from?
The produce, universal works of art like those of Kandinsky, Miro,
Pierre Soulages and the studios of architects like Michael Johnson or Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. 
 
What is your favourite cooking method?
Each product has its best method: low temperature, quick marking, analysis, and, on occasion, the oven. 

What is your favourite ingredient?
Everything and nothing in particular. It's like asking which of your children you prefer. 

What is your favourite cooking utensil?
All of them, they are complementary. The extractor for the technique, the knife because it is universal, pans as they can contain, raise the temperature, mark, etc.
 
What materials do you prefer for your pans and saucepans?
All of them. Non-stick for fish; stainless steel for meat and vegetables; copper and stainless steel for sauces. 
   
What would you like to change about the cooking schools? What advice would you give to young chefs?
I would like the youngsters to learn more about the products, the way they are; there should be mandatory sessions on a farm to understand the origin of what they work with and the real need to retain quality and source locally.
I have 3 pieces of advice: 
Study
Study
Study

What do you look for when you hire someone for your restaurant?
People who are open, intelligent, calm and demanding.
   
How do you motivate your team?
Establishing a stress-free cooking atmosphere with no shouting, making them work with top quality products and training them using modernist methods, but at the same time with more original styles: how to work on intention, self-denial, love for the job, as all produce has a memory which is what the customer sees.
 
What would you like to change in the catering world?
Old-style management which is now obsolete and discourages the most engaged young cooks.
 
How do you react to difficult or rude customers?
Mostly by remaining courteous; when they go beyond the line, then I ask them to leave. 

What is your favourite place to relax?
The mountains. 

What drives your ambition?
A constant search for excellence and the grail that is obtaining the next star.
 
Which of your dishes are you most proud of?
Of all of them: they are like children, there are no preferences. If I no longer like a dish, I remove it from my menus.
 
What is your favourite restaurant?
There are many, but in particular AM in Marseilles and Massimo Bottura in Modena.

Which current chef do you admire and why?
It is difficult to say you admire this person or that one. Everyone has their own strengths or weaknesses, but the person with the most human qualities is undoubtedly Paul Bocuse.
 
If you could create your ideal cooking team, who would you choose? 
Passionate youngsters who know how to listen.