• Ex­ec­u­tive Chef • Pa­trick cal­larec

Exquisite Taste - - Up Close & Personal - By Amanda Lux­ford

: I’ve read that you started your culi­nary ed­u­ca­tion aged 13 in Men­ton. Were you con­vinced of your ca­reer at such a young age? Pa­trick: My pas­sion for cook­ing started with my grandma. She had a farm in the mid­dle of France and I loved that she raised her own chickens, rab­bits, pi­geons; she had her own veg­etable gar­den, ev­ery­thing came from her gar­den. That is still my ideal. At home, my dad used to cook for us ev­ery day. So fam­ily is pretty much where I found my love for cook­ing.

I re­ally didn't en­joy school, so when I was 13, I joined a com­mu­nity col­lege in the south of France and got my di­ploma at 15. When I grad­u­ated, I had to have spe­cial per­mis­sion from the mayor of the city to go to work be­cause I was un­der­age.

: Many young chefs head to France to re­fine their skills. What made you de­cide to leave France for North Amer­ica?

P: I started cook­ing at 13, by the time I was 19, I was ready. I love to travel; I've never been the type of per­son to stay in one place for a long time. Ex­cept for Hawaii... I had my restau­rant, Chez Paul, for 10 years, so with that and fam­ily com­mit­ments, I stayed for over 20 years. In many ways I com­pare it to Bali. I en­joy be­ing here too; the peo­ple are friendly, kind, gen­tle.

: As ex­ec­u­tive chef at AYANA Re­sort & Spa BALI and RIMBA Jim­baran Bali, do you still get to cook, or is it mostly man­age­ment?

P: I love to cook, so I do two Chef's Ta­bles ev­ery month and cook a three-course meal and let the GM in­vite any­one he wants. It forces me to put my brain to work and come up with new ideas, to cre­ate new menus, then – the best part – I choose a kitchen and work around the chefs. It's im­por­tant for the kitchen staff to see that I can ac­tu­ally cook! I've been do­ing this for a long time and I don't want to lose that pas­sion and just be a pa­per pusher.

: You’ve worked in many big ho­tels and had your own 55-seat restau­rant, Chez Paul, in Hawaii. For a chef, how do they dif­fer and which do you pre­fer?

P: I had Chez Paul for 10 years; that was fun, too. It was one of the highlights of my ca­reer. It re­quired a lot of ded­i­ca­tion. In many ways it's harder than work­ing in a ho­tel be­cause you're pretty much work­ing 24 hours a day. When you are a ho­tel chef, you have ac­count­ing, en­gi­neer­ing, mar­ket­ing, main­te­nance... When you work on your own, you have to do it all your­self. If the toi­let is blocked, you have to re­pair it your­self, it's too ex­pen­sive to call some­one in; you have to do your own fi­nance, you have to spend a lot of time on pub­lic re­la­tions.

I think that made me a bet­ter per­son, a bet­ter leader. When I be­came a ho­tel chef again, I be­lieve I was a bet­ter chef be­cause I was more hum­ble. When you have your own place, if you lose your dish washer then you have to do the dishes your­self. You don't have the lux­ury of hav­ing peo­ple avail­able to re­place them. It was a good ex­pe­ri­ence, but so chal­leng­ing.

: In your trav­els, what new in­gre­di­ents have you dis­cov­ered that you love to use to­day?

P: I used to use Cape goose­berry a lot in Hawaii, it has a sour­ness, while still be­ing sweet – it goes very well with veni­son, among many other things. I'm still try­ing to find it here; I've been told I will be able to get it, but it hasn't hap­pened yet.

: What is your favourite cook­ing style? P: French, of course, it's what I learned in the be­gin­ning. I still use some of the same recipes I learned 25 years ago. I love to work with game. To me it's some of the best food in the world. I want to put os­trich and wood pi­geon on the menu, but they're not avail­able here and can't be im­ported.

: Where is the most un­usual/in­ter­est­ing place you have been asked to serve a din­ner?

P: There is a huge vol­cano in Hawaii called Haleakalā that peo­ple visit at night to wait for the sun­rise; it gets very, very cold there. One guest had just got en­gaged and he wanted us to cook a fancy din­ner for him and his fi­ancée on top of the moun­tain. There is noth­ing up there, no elec­tric­ity; all you can see are the stars. He pro­vided a tent as a kitchen and ar­ranged all the equip­ment and they ate their din­ner in an­other re­ally fancy tent. I went there with three of my guys and cooked all day, served the meal and slept in the tent be­cause it was dark and we couldn't see to get back! It was very ec­cen­tric, but they loved it.

: With your ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence, what do you think is the se­cret to ex­celling as a chef?

P: Work with peo­ple who are bet­ter than you, who know more than you. Then you can learn from them – not just about cook­ing, ev­ery­thing. Hire the best peo­ple you can find.

Lob­ster and Steak

Tuna Tar­tar

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Indonesia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.