RENÉ MATHIEU

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"Cooking arises freely in me from the mysterious and constant interweaving of the magic of aromas, my memories and my emotions in every passing moment. "

Fotografía de INTERVIEWS WITH OUR CHEFS

 

 

What made you want to become a head chef?

I have a sweet tooth and this is a job in which you can express and open your heart up to the imagination and a profession to share with others and help them enjoy themselves.

 

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

A dish my grandmother made: Roast pheasant cooked over a birch fire. My nose and taste buds continue to remember it even today. 

 

Who has influenced you in your cooking style or philosophy?

Mother Nature and my grandparents.

 

Who inspires you? Where does your inspiration come from?  

Nature, my environment, my limits: for me the key sign of intelligence in any human being. Cooking arises freely in me from the mysterious and constant interweaving of the magic of aromas, my memories and my emotions in every passing moment. Every day is a chance to share and commune with people who are concerned about where they are from or where they belong. 

 

What is your favourite cooking method?

Firstly, choosing a product / cut / cooking method and what makes it even better:  a jus, a seasoning with herbs, some citruses, etc. A situation, a mood.

 

What is your favourite ingredient?

More and more, everything that is vegetables.

 

What is your favourite cooking utensil?  

The frying pan and my knives.

 

What materials do you prefer for your pans and saucepans?

Stainless steel, and a ceramic coating for my frying pans.

 

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

Learn the new techniques without ever forgetting the values passed on to them and, above all, what they have been told and had explained about our profession. Particularly, do not leapfrog stages in their career.

 

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

That they are brave, they have good basic techniques and, in particular, are motivated in their goals, their time frames and reason why they want to work in our restaurant.

 

How do you motivate your team?

Don't forget to thank and congratulate them every day, as they will come back the following day with even greater strength. My motto is the more your congratulate, the less you rebuke. 

 

What would you like to change in the catering world?

Junk food, processed food. Recover the human side a little more and the respect for the working man. That it is a place to relax and not to encounter judgements. That this profession is for the professional.

 

What is your favourite place to relax?

The woods.

 

What stimulates your ambition?

My customers and the people around me.

 

Which of your dishes are you most proud of?

None of them because tomorrow they will be even better.

 

What is your favourite restaurant?

L'Air du Temps Belgique.

 

Which current chef do you admire and why?

San-Hoon Degeimbre: for me he is the personification of the ideal chef both as a person and as a professional. I feel he is the person I would have wanted to be like in another lifetime.

 

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

David Toutain, San-Hoon Degeimbre, Sergio Herman, Kobe Desrameau, Albert Adría, Peter Gossens, Pierre Resimont,  Daniel Baratier, David Martin and two women: Anne Sophie Pic and Arabelle Mierland.