Bruno Le Gac is our Corporate Executive Chef at Constance Hotels Experience.
Bruno’s passion for his work stems from a great love of food, and his career has taken him around the globe.
1. Why did you decide to become a chef?
Like many people, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do when I was a teenager. But I knew I wanted to be independent, earn my own money and enjoy freedom. I also loved to eat and go to restaurants with my parents.
One summer, I spent a month in a restaurant to earn a bit of cash. I was cleaning dishes, peeling vegetables, all that nice stuff…
One day during service time, the kitchen brigade was in such a rush that the chef called me. He put a kitchen hat on my head, tied an apron around my waist and showed me how to place the garnish on the plates.
Strangely enough, at the end of this particular day I knew what I wanted to do in life. I guess I was love struck by the job. I dropped conventional studies and started an apprenticeship. And I’ve never regretted my decision.
2. How did your career get going in the early days?
I started travelling at quite a young age, and I was only 20 when I got my first job abroad, in California. I chose not to come back to France, and instead decided to discover different countries and cultures.
3. What 5 things have influenced your success?
A combination of factors have been key to the development of my career.
1. I’m lucky to have a fantastic wife. She’s always been very supportive, patient and she has also been able to put me back on track when needed.
2. Lots of work and dedication. A true passion for the job.
3. Self motivation. It’s important to wake up every morning and strive to do better than the day before.
4. I believe I’ve made the right career choices at the right time. One has to provoke his destiny and not wait for things to happen.
5. I’ve been lucky to meet and work with incredible people, who gave me their trust and support.
My current job is completely different from what I was doing before. But I love it even more – it opens so many doors. I’m having a blast!
4. What qualities do you think an aspiring chef needs to make it in the business?
I’d say self motivation and a willingness to work hard, as well as a genuine passion for what you’re doing.
When I started you needed to get ready the first couple of years to wake up very early in the morning, work long hours, do more cleaning than cooking, cut your fingers, burn your arms, stink when you get back home and never say no to your chef.
Work, learn, remember, apply. Think fast, act fast. Then you’ll know if you’re made for the job or not.
Once all of these things are no longer a problem to you, you’ll start really enjoying what your job is and you’ll be on the right track.
After that, it’s all about finding your own style and ways of doing things.
Fortunately things are now very different and the working conditions in the kitchen are getting better and better. It will always remain a fascinating but fairly hard job.
5. How do you see food trends developing in the luxury hotel market?
There’s a move to create more healthy options on the menu, more ‘custom made’ menus, lighter portions, luxury snacking for lunch. And more than ever: lighter, purer plates made out of quality products. High class modern pastry is also a big draw right now.
We’re going to see even more personality in the food. So called ‘hotel food’ is disappearing and this is good news. And there’ll be even more symbiosis between food, service and wine. Guests are looking for a global experience.
The mix of clientele is also changing. We need to anticipate and propose things that will surprise and delight our European guests but also Asian and Middle Eastern to name two.
6. What and where was the best meal you’ve ever had?
If I say ‘my Mum’s food’ it will sound very conventional! Let me think… I don’t have one best meal that stands out. Instead, I like to remember dozens of great food experiences that vary with the context, the place, the people I was with.
Here’s a window on some of the best food experiences I’ve had:
- A ‘vuelve la vida’ seafood cocktail in Mercado 28 in Cancun, Mexico.
- A salad of fresh heart of palmtree in Constance Belle Mare Plage,Mauritius.
- A splendid and surprising langoustine and raw wagyu beef in a delicate broth at Relais Bernard Loiseau this summer.
- A perfect spaghetti al pesto at La Merenda, a small restaurant in Nice.
- A giant chili crab in a street food shack inSingapore.
- A plate of freshly picked organic tomatoes from my mother-in-law’s garden, with lots of olive oil from Baux de Provence and sprinkled with salt flower.
- A tray of Oysters in Cancale,Brittany.
- And so many many more…
My memory is full of incredible food souvenirs. I think you got it by now… I love food!
Favourite recipes from Constance
Want to create some of our chefs’ amazing dishes yourself at home? Every Friday, we post some of the most amazing, delicious and popular recipes online. You’ll find them in our culinary section.