As mentioned earlier this week, I have so much respect and admiration for all those who choose to cook for their living. The pressure, perfection and skill required to be a success is just so high these days. I am so happy that S. Pellegrino is supporting student chefs through their Almost Famous Chef Competition. I had a chance to interview Alexandre Dufresne-Latendresse from the Institut de tourisme d’hôtellerie du Québec about his dreams and aspirations.
Oh yeah, and I have a $200 giveaway! See below for details!
What or who inspires you to cook?
The chef who inspires me the most is Thomas Keller (from The French Laundry in Napa Valley) because of his culinary philosophy, which evolves around the idea of working with the customer’s memories in order to bring back childhood souvenirs.
What type of dishes do you typically like to prepare?
I don’t have a favourite meal to prepare. So far, I’ve never been confronted to an ingredient that I didn’t like. I’ve got in mind that everything can be cooked and be, as a matter of fact, good. The secret lies within the art of knowing your product and how to be creative with it.
How did you prepare for this competition?
Since November, I have the chance to be coached by chef Daniel Côté once a week. Together, we created an inspiring dish that I’ve been practicing since then so that it can be perfect for the “San Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition” on February 24-25th.
What do you feel are your biggest strengths?
My biggest strength is definitively my passion for the art of cooking. It’s what drives me for making that extra effort, paying attention to details and always trying to renew my techniques. As a matter of fact, I simply do not see the hours pass in the kitchen. Also, my constant desire to learn as well as my optimism facing challenges would have to be considered as strengths.
Where would you like to work or what would you like to do after graduation?
My work experience in France this summer gave me the will to travel and learn from the best chefs. I am sure that working in different environments, different places, and cultures would make me grow up as a chef, but also as a person. Then, in a few years, once I would be more experienced from all my travels and work, I would love to open my own gastronomic restaurant!
We wish Alexandre the best of luck in the competition this February and can’t wait to see what lies in his future!
Remember that you can find out tips and tricks from the competitors along with some of their delicious recipes in their free e-book. The recipes really do look amazing, and creative (oh, and delicious!).
As mentioned, S. Pellegrino have kindly offered a dinner for two worth $200 to Rosalie here in Montreal. Please leave a comment on my previous post along with your favourite recipe from the e-book. I’ll announce the contest winner February 26th after the winner of the Almost Famous Canadian Regionals is announced!
Follow the Almost Famous Chef Competition and support our aspiring chefs!