The Chefs Connection: What was your first job in food?
Christian Delouvrier: After Hotel School in Toulouse, I went to Paris as a commis at the Café de la Paix for 2 years. My chef de partie was my mentor and he taught me all the basics. He got me involved in perfecting my skills and more importantly he gave me the desire and the passion for my craft until today. His name was Charles Lejay, Chef Saucier
TCC: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
CD: I always wanted to be a Cuisinier. My mother and grandmothers developed my palate and the love of good food. Sunday dinners were very important in that stage of my life.
TCC: What’s your favorite thing about being a chef?
CD: Cooking of course and using and respecting beautiful ingredients. I love the challenge of always trying to perfect a technique and to get the right taste and temperature.
TCC: Did you have an “aha” moment when you knew you wanted to be a chef?
CD: In Hotel School when I was the top of my class, I said to myself, “I can do this!”
TCC: Best advice you ever got?
CD: “Don’t lose the love of what you do.” Charles Lejay.
TCC: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
CD: Bat and Snake when I was traveling in Taiwan and Escamoles (sautéed Ant spawn) in Mexico
TCC: Your favorite ingredient.
CD: Foie Gras, Porcini Mushrooms, Game, Truffles
TCC: The ingredient that turns you off the most?
TCC: Your favorite tool.
CD: My Japanese Knives and the Rotisserie
TCC: What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not cooking.
CD: Reading Cooking Books, Travelling, Reading about History and Gardening
TCC: What would you like to do before you get too old to do it.
CD: Travel more, Go to the market in France, Visit farms and farmers and drink warm milk from a cow.
TCC: Tell us a deep dark secret (doesn’t have to be food related).
CD: I fear forgetting how to cook
TCC: How do you deal with the stress?
CD: Exercise, Read, and Anticipate future problems
TCC: Who would you like to meet?
CD: Fernand Point
TCC: Who would you like to cook for?
CD: My kids
TCC: What was the hardest thing for you to learn? Or is there something you just can’t get right?
TCC: Is there some little something you do for your family to make up for the time you’re not with them?
CD: We always enjoyed Sunday dinners together.
TCC: How did becoming a chef change your life? Your direction.
CD: My career moved me from France to the US where I met my wife, started a family and I have enjoyed a wonderfully successful career. I have worked with many talented chefs and have made many friends throughout the industry.