Tristan Jones – consultant to help people open new restaurants
Tristan Jones is a consultant to help people open new restaurants. Read the exciting article here.
How would you describe your cooking style and the philosophy behind it? Do you have a motto?
If I did have a motto, and I don’t really, it would be have fun. The world is full of serious people doing serious things, and they come to our restaurants to get away from that serious mentality. When creating food, make it show that you as the chef are having a good time, and I think it translates to the customer.
Have you established any amazing cooking techniques? Are there awards?
I don’t think there is too much out there to invent anymore. After the molecular gastronomy revolution, we have fallen into a void when it comes to innovation. You can say something like ‘I invented sphereified black currant juice inside a cube of duck.’ But did you really? Yes it might be a new dish, I just thought about it writing this question, but did I invent it? I would say no, I’m still standing on the shoulders of those before me, who have done similar things with similar ingredients, albeit with different techniques.
Which easy recipes could you outline for us (ingredients, preparation) that represent your work that you think we should try?
Well easy is subjective, so I’ll pass on that one.
Which of your latest creations would you like to share with us?
I have been playing with the classic dauphinoise potato, but I’m still working on it.
Which culinary trends do you see going on in the world today?
I see a return to simplicity, and I’m happy about that. The molecular gastronomy revolution changed the industry forever, but it seems many chefs are returning to their roots.
How much do trends influence you or inspire you?
Not too much, I like to make things that make people happy, regardless of what my neighbor might be doing.
What would you do as a chef if money was not an issue for a year?
More travel, my goal is still to hold a chef position on every continent, maybe not Antarctica, but I haven’t gotten there yet. I got offered a sous chef in Australia a few years ago, but with no help getting a visa, I couldn’t afford it. I had an offer in Zanzibar as well, but I had already had an obligation in a kitchen in Europe, so I had to pass.
If you were to write a cookbook, what would it be about?
I would say simplifying haute cuisine. So many recipes are extremely simple, yet most cooks don’t try them because of the perceived difficulty. I would like to help change that perception.
You currently work as consultant. How did start out as a chef, which culinary school did you attend?
I currently work as a consultant, helping a group of people open a new restaurant, the money is good, but I would like to get back in the kitchen. As for culinary school, I started when I was seventeen, and I attended Le Cordon Bleu.
What brought you to cooking as a profession?
My childhood. I grew up killing, cleaning, and cooking my food.
What will you never forget from your first year as a chef?
Feeling enamored with the industry as a whole, the attitudes, the camaraderie, everything about it.
Many careers begin with hard times where some think about giving up. Was there also such a moment in your career and how did you overcome that? What would you do differently today?
Oh yeah I’ve ended up homeless, I’ve had no money in places where I couldn’t even ask for a glass of water because I didn’t speak the language. I wouldn’t change a thing. Maybe taking that job in Zanzibar, but then I would not have met my wife so….
Which situation helped you in your development as a chef the most?
I would say working at my first fine dining restaurant. I had done some nice places before, but to be surrounded by peers with the same passion as yourself is priceless.
What is the best and worst aspects of working as a professional chef?
The best is the satisfaction of helping others in the same position you were in. To be able to give them a career they might not have otherwise had. The worst, would be dealing with owners that don’t know what they are doing.
How does the job change people?
It makes you despise the lazy, that’s for sure.
Does a chef ever learn if its a curse or a blessing?
It’s always both.
What are the most misunderstood aspects about the job of a chef?
It’s hard to say, it depends on where you work and your position. You can’t say it’s all perfect white coats, but you can’t say it’s always being covered in grease and sweating. Again, it depends on the establishment.
What does your work mean to you and could you give some insight to the younger generation asking themselves if becoming a chef is for them?
I would say run away. Don’t become a chef.
Tristan Jones about his book:
I wrote this book for cooks. For the younger crowd just starting in the industry you can learn some valuable lessons from my experience. For the older folks that have been in this stress riddled drug soaked mad house for a while, I think you’ll get a few laughs. The first half is an abbreviated version of my story followed by some assorted thoughts on our industry and modern F&B culture. I have made a lot of mistakes and done numerous things that many will call questionable, but I didn’t sugar coat it. This isn’t me trying to tell you what I have done is right. This rant contains both the good and the bad. I have held chef positions on three continents and I have built up more than my fair share of opinions along the way. Travel, drugs, danger, foul language, and all levels of cuisine permeate the pages of my story in hospitality. Restaurant kitchens will always be my home. If you feel the same or are trying to figure out whether they should be yours as well, I think you might enjoy this.Topics like things to look for as a chef hired to start a new restaurant, how to deal with the modern customer, regulations, foodies, the next generation of cooks, and more are covered in my own, abrasive style.