We all know the zodiac is divided into four elements: earth, air, water and fire but vitally, its all about the compatibility between these elements that creates magic.
These zodiac are so relevant to professional kitchens. Jean-Philippe Blondet is Executive Chef at the 3 Michelin starred Alain Ducasse at The Dorchester where he interprets Alain Ducasse’s artistry in London. Their balanced earth-water like dynamic means that Alain’s water nourishes Jean-Philippe’s earth and promotes creativity. Earth also loves water’s abundant energy.
Mystical balances aside, we met Jean-Philippe to find out a little more about him and how these incredibly high standards are achieved.
Does your zodiac sign describe you accurately?
As a Libra, yes, my zodiac sign describes me well. I am a creative person and I pay a lot of attention to detail and enjoy being in the company of others.
What is your dream job apart from being a Chef?
I have always known that I wanted to be a Chef. But if I had to do something else, I would be an architect or interior designer – keeping a creative flair.
Do you ever dream about cooking?
Yes, a lot. I sometimes find myself dreaming about new recipes and I get up to write them down before going back to bed.
What do you think about Michelin? It’s still amazing that it is all about the plate of food and nothing else. This year the public will also have the chance to come to the Michelin announcements in Camden. Is Michelin changing?
The Michelin Guide is becoming more and more digital and modern lately. That is great to be part of this evolution. I always dreamed to have 3 stars in this guide, so what more could I ask for? The Michelin Guide is an institution and will remain so for a very long time.
What makes 3 Michelin star dish a 3 Michelin star dish?
Great local produce, a very strong team, and a lot a creativity and personality.
Talking of modern and digital, tell us about your Instagram masterclass series
I will be creating at home recipes every Thursday on our Instagram: @alainducasseatthedorchester. I will be showcasing how to get the most out of your ingredients to create seasonal dishes in the comfort of your home. Follow us and check it out!
You’ve worked with Alain Ducasse since 2004 but what is the best thing he has taught you?
All the chefs working with Alain Ducasse are inspired by his vision and philosophy. The most important thing I have learned from him is to be respectful of the produce and the planet. So when I create a dish, it is all about the local resources. I ask myself: What can I find locally? Where am I? What are the influences around me? Then, I apply the techniques and DNA of French cuisine to my dishes.
What is your most precious kitchen utensil?
The first ever knife that my parents bought me for hospitality school holds many memories. I still have it and it is so precious to me.
What is your favourite ingredient to cook with?
Olive oil for sure, because it is my roots. I am from Nice in South of France where you will find the best olive oil. I always cook with olive oil, I love it!
What staff meals do you prepare with your brigade?
We are lucky to work at The Dorchester Hotel and to have a staff restaurant led by the lovely Michey Chan. Also every Saturday, we organise a big brunch with our front and back of house teams. Everyone takes turns preparing a dish from their country of origin which is a lot of fun.
Who is your greatest critic of your cooking at home?
In London, my wife always has a lot to say about my food but when I come back in France, my mum is my biggest critic. She doesn’t hold back!
What do you like to cook at home?
I love to cook a riz au lait. It is the most easy-going traditional French recipe I know. Everyone has rice and sugar at home and it reminds me of my childhood too.
Is French food really the best in the world?
I do not know if French food is the best in the world, but it has a lot of influence within other countries. We have strong culinary roots in France but culinary creativity and talent are everywhere to be seen, especially in the UK.
What’s the next big thing in food?
We are already in the middle of it and it is all about the planet and sustainability. Even a 3 Michelin star restaurant has to embrace this and we do wholeheartedly. I recently created a zero waste dish of cauliflower with aged comté and black truffle which received great feedback. We need to take care of the planet’s resources and eat differently so the earth can keep giving us these amazing ingredients.
To discover more about Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, visit:
By Mark Captain
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