Interview: Jacques Decoret

Award winning-chef, Jacques Decoret, is one of our Michelin star chefs competing at this week’s Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau 2012.

Jacques Decoret

Jacques Decoret

Maison Decoret, Vichy, France

  • Meilleur Ouvrier de France

What is your principal trait of character?
Thoughtful and tenacious.

What is your greatest quality?
Enthusiastic and particular.

What are the qualities you look for most in other people?
Forthrightness.

What is your biggest weakness?
Shy and something of a loner.

What is your favourite tipple?
Vichy-Fraise.

What is your favourite dish – and your least favourite? Why?
I like everything because I’m quite greedy, especially when it comes to pastries.

What has been your best experience professionally?
The building up with my wife of our own restaurant and all the preparation and commitment involved in obtaining the title of One of the best Ouvrier de France in 1996, and of course all the wonderful establishments we’ve worked in.

Who are the most important people to you in your professional life?
My wife and colleagues, who’ve stayed with me for years, as well as all the suppliers, growers and breeders for their great produce.

What, for you, is happiness?
Daily life: to be able to get up in the morning, walk, speak, love and be loved.

What is your most important personal possession?
My fingers, my hands, a book of recipes and my knives.

With what talent would you like to have been gifted?
I would have liked to have the gift of healing/magnetic healing so as to be able to relieve people who are suffering.

If you had not done this profession, what else would you have liked to do professionally?
Sculptor in wood, working in the art field.

What does the word ‘creativity’ mean to you?
A place, a journey, a product, a memory, a moment in life.

What do you think best translates the wish to pass things on?
It’s feeling a sense of responsibility for the staff you take on – apprentices and trainees – as if they’re your own children, so that they can progress professionally.

How do you get away from it all?
It’s eating food you’ve not previously tasted, finding fresh horizons.

What inspiration do you get from Mauritius?
The sun, the beaches, Mauritian men and women, their produce, travelling around and the change of scenery.

What do you do when you need to recharge your batteries?
Doing odd jobs around the house, gardening and just being on my own.

What’s the best compliment someone can pay you?
You’re a trailblazer!

Which type of cuisine is currently the best in the world in your opinion?
Each cuisine has its own identity, regions, country, but I would certainly be inclined to single out what is called French cuisine, which has attained a global dimension. But there are some remarkable dishes in China, India and Japan. However, it’s the quality of produce and savoir-faire above all that determine the success of a dish.

The 6 teams are drawn for the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau

Bruno Le Gac, our Corporate Executive Chef, reveals what happened today, Monday, at the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau.

Infinity pool at Constance Belle Mare Plage

Infinity pool at Constance Belle Mare Plage

This morning the 6 teams were drawn. Communication is flowing well among the different chefs, and the ambiance is great. They went to Port Louis market to discover the products of Mauritius and came back with plenty of ideas.

Tonight at dinner time, we had booked 6 tables (one for each team) for the team mates to get to know each other better and break the ice. I had the great pleasure to witness that they all chose to make a long table and share the dinner all together instead. This is the true spirit of the festival… It makes my day!

So, here are the teams for the 7th edition of the Culinary Festival Bernard Loiseau:

Team 1

  • Kamlesh Doorjean – Constance Le Prince Maurice
  • Angela Hartnett – Michelin* chef, UK

Team 2

  • Nuwan Hettiarachchi – Constance Halaveli Resort
  • Patrick Bittner – Michelin* chef, Germany

Team 3

  • Hildy Sinon – Constance Lemuria Resort
  • Jacques Decoret – Michelin* chef, France

Team 4

  • Ankur Daru – Constance Ephelia Resort
  • David Johansen – Michelin* chef, Denmark

Team 5

  • Ravish Mukri – Constance Moofushi Resort
  • Fabrice Biasiolo – Michelin* chef, France

Team 6

  • Jayram Seenanum – Constance Belle Mare Plage
  • Dominique Gauthier – Michelin* chef, Switzerland

Catch up with what’s happened so far at the festival