Bertrand Valegeas is cluster Executive Chef – his exciting story
Bertrand Valegeas is cluster executive chef in Sentosa and Singapore. Read here more in this interview about his exciting story.What drove you to become a chef?
The passion for the food , as I always like to eat , to discover new flavour , my grandfather add a farm so we always have seasonal fruits and vegetables , poultry , pork etc…. was really cool.
Where did you learn to become chef?
In a small restaurant in south of France next to a big river …..was doing very traditional food , the fisherman was bringing us the fish in the morning , eels , wild salmon from L adour …just magic !!!
Your time a the French cooking school: was the education very traditional?
Yes very traditional , I learn all the technic etc….. because now you learn how to do a emulsion but you don’t know how to do the base !!!
Your job at as chef de cuisine at the Pentelikon in Athens (Greece) with the 1 Michelin Star: What is your opinion about the Michelin Star: put it too much pressure on a chef, or does this pressure helps/ pushes some chefs to be more successful?
Both …lot of pressure but same time it help you to give the best for your guests …what is the most important!!!
Back in Greece as chef de cuisine at the hotel Grande Bretagne: what was your specialisation here; and did the kitchen focuse on local specialities?
Yes of course Local food , Mediterranean …..heathy …fish etc… very yummi
Your time as Executive sous chef in Athens: could you combine Greek and international dishes? What impressed you most at the Greek kitchen/ what was new for you?
Yes always I try to combine local and French flavour , everywhere around the world where I’m working …same now in Singapore!!!
Back in Dubai as Executive Sous Chef of the One&Only Royal Mirage: you have been in charge of 160 chefs. Was this more an organisational job than still being a chef?
Yes and no , you need to be really organised but same time we are spending a lot of time in kitchen , developing the new menu, concept , training the staff so at the end of the day we are never to far from the kitchen !
Singapore: You work as a cluster Executive chef of two hotels: how does it work to be in charge for two hotels: is it mainly management or do you still have time to cook?
Same as Dubai … organisation , management and principally to have the right person around you, so you can be successful !
Do you personally enjoy (if you have time) the street food in Singapore?
Yes almost every weekend we are eating out …on the small restaurant on the street …very cheap , tasting with a cold beer!!!
You have a wide international experience; if you would have a 4-week possibility to learn in any kitchen in the world; where would it be?
If you would open your own restaurant; where would it be and with which specialisation?
A small bistrot with some traditional French dishes in Sydney or a fish restaurant on a Cyclades Island in Greece with my own vegetables and the fish from the small fisherman around us.
Some chefs change late to become a chef teacher: would this be of your interest?
Not at all the moment.
In your current position as Cluster Executive Chef: do you still have time to cook by yourselves in the kitchen?
Yes we need and I take the time to do it.
Lots of young European chefs are interested in an international way/ career: What would be your recommendation: should they start in a special country and better in a big international house or in a local restaurant?
Travel and discover when you are young …try to learn as much as you can different language , different kind of food , technic etc…..
Thank you for your time Bertrand Valegeas.