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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW


with the biggest chefs invited including French chef Daniel Boulud. I made some contacts and a year later, when I was visiting New York, I was offered the job at his restaurant in Manhattan. I came to NY with the intention of staying here for two years. But things have been working out well.


TELL US ABOUT LE BERNARDIN AND YOUR CURRENT POSITION.


Le Bernardin serves French cuisine in a mixture of modern and classic ways. It’s not avant-garde but it’s not traditional either. Te restaurant itself is regarded as one of the best in the world and has been winning awards and Michelin stars since it opened in 1986 in Manhattan, New York. It’s my first head pastry chef position. Having my own kitchen and my own team and being able to develop my own style is the part I enjoy the most. Tere’s a lot of collaboration at Le Bernardin and it almost feels like a family here.


WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE AN INTERNATIONALLY SUCCESSFUL CHEF?


I don’t consider myself there yet. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. And competitiveness. You have to be competitive with your colleagues but most importantly competitive with yourself.


WHAT DOES YOUR TYPICAL WORKING DAY LOOK LIKE?


My working days are not hugely glamorous. “


I don’t consider myself there yet. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. And competitiveness.


I get up, pick up a coffee on the way to the restaurant, work 12-14 hours, head home and have a glass of wine with my girlfriend.


DO YOU THINK YOU WILL STAY IN NY FOR A WHILE?


Yes, I really feel completely at home here. New York is a great place to live. I get to eat out in great restaurants and I enjoy the city’s vibrant energy.


DO YOU GO BACK TO NORTHAMPTON TO VISIT?


It is something I’d like to do more often. My parents still live there. In America you don’t get as many holidays as in the UK and so far I’ve been using my annual leave to explore the States. In the last few years I’ve only been to Northampton once.


DID YOU EAT OUT ON THAT OCCASION?


I did, actually. We went to a nearby village


pub. I came for my best friend’s wedding but only stayed a few days.


I HEAR THAT YOU STILL FOUND THE TIME TO VISIT NORTHAMPTON COLLEGE…


Yes, but it was a rushed visit. Te redevelopment [Booth Lane new campus] wasn’t finished yet and I don’t think I saw the new catering department. But I met with my tutors. I had a nice chat with Mike Coppock and Richard Curtis and some of the other teachers.


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO ANYONE DREAMING OF A CAREER LIKE YOURS?


Never give up and always strive to be doing better. Get the most out of college and don’t be afraid to work very long hours!


www.r-magazine.co.uk 95





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