The chef of Brasserie "Most" and the brand-chef of the bar "Strelka" Regis Trigel took part in the project of the Marie Claire Parfumerie-Gastronomie magazine. Inspired by the aromas of LCollection Privee, Dior, he created gourmet dishes before our very eyes, using some of the ingredients from perfume compositions in them. And of course, Regis answered our questions.
How do men become cooks? How did it all begin with you?
I realized that I wanted to be a cook quite early: at the age of twelve. But the first experience of cooking happened even earlier. We were living in Paris then, and my parents had just divorced. Since my mother worked hard, taking care of my sister became partly my responsibility. They showed me how to turn on the stove and taught me how to warm up lunch. So while the other kids were playing cars, I was making custard - and I loved it!
Is it true that in France food culture is brought up from childhood?
Yes it is. We have a tradition to "cultivate" taste sensations from an early age, to be able to understand them, to talk about them. Each kindergarten has lessons where they teach you how to evaluate a dish or product. Do not give an assessment of "good or bad", namely, to feel salty, bitter, sweet and sour … Once a year, schools always hold the so-called "Taste Day": the chefs bring various dishes and after tasting, in the classrooms there are discussions about what and how it is all prepared. This is a serious question. What would you like! It's not for nothing that food is considered a part of culture in France.
Childhood hobby is one thing, but how did cooking become your profession?
At the age of 15, overcoming the resistance of my family, I entered the cooking institute in Paris. My first thought was to become a pastry chef. But then I decided that first it would be better to learn to be a cook, and then, if I wanted to, I could choose a specialization. Of course, the training was more difficult, but it only benefited. In addition, I chose a very complex scheme: I worked for two weeks and went to college for one week. And you know, this is what helped me to become a professional: then I did not have disappointments, disappointed hopes. I knew exactly what was happening in the kitchen and how. I had a very strict chef who had worked at Maxim's for many years. And he taught me not only the secrets of mastery, but also discipline.
After graduation, I started working in the restaurant of the PlazAthenee Paris hotel, then worked in the restaurant of Alain Ducasse (this is a completely different cuisine, different technology …), and finally, for a long time settled in the restaurant of the Hotel De Crillon, which became practically my second home.
What has changed globally in gastronomy since your studies?
A lot has changed. And first of all, the attitude towards the process itself. You see, everything has incredibly accelerated and simplified (and not always in favor of the result). For example, today we buy a chicken that is ready to be put in the oven. We no longer work with the product the way it was before: when we put our energy into literally every stage of work. The French school of culinary is primarily a school of gesture, mastery of performance. And I personally do not want to simplify anything and reduce it to pure mechanics. By the way, at the institute we were taught that if we want to become real professionals, then for the first five years we need to change our place of work every year in order to see how each chef works during all four seasons with different products. This is the approach.
How did you end up in Russia? Was it a dream?
No, to be honest, it was an accident, but as you can see, it was quite successful. So there were personal circumstances that I wanted to change. Interestingly, one of the wishes of my agent was to find a place not far from France and always where it is "not cold". That's how I ended up in … Moscow, in Barvikha. And it was winter. In addition, I came to Russia with a full set of stereotypes in my head: bears, vodka … And at first it was really difficult: it was difficult to find normal products, no one on my team even spoke English, and every time I had to look for a translation on my phone. In a word, I wanted to go back. But then spring came, followed by summer. The streets were filled with beautiful girls, the nightlife began to boil, Russian language lessons began - everything gradually improved and I decided to stay. And on April 1, 2010, my work began here - in the Most brasserie.
What is a brasserie? Why not the more familiar word "restaurant"?
Brasserie is an establishment between a restaurant and a cafe. The atmosphere, tablecloths, dishes are taken from the restaurant life, and the kitchen is from the culture of the cafe. Our concept is traditional French cuisine. We try to show dishes from different regions. And we make them absolutely authentic. For example, we have a Basque minced Achoa steak on the menu, and our guests say that it is no different from what is prepared in their homeland. And the Nicoise salad! Many people come here for him. I read somewhere that people become addicted to him. This is a joke, of course, but we tried very hard to convey the taste of the real Nicoise.
You know, I repeat, today a lot has become easier. There is a tendency to tear everything up with your hands, throw it randomly on a plate, do it in a simple way. So for me such sloppiness is simply unacceptable. It seems to me that there is an elementary disrespect for the client behind this. Our style is different - this is a classic adapted to modernity. People have always sought to buy quality, style, that which exists outside of time. They return not to places where they are interested in seeing, but to places where they are tasty and well served.
How do famous chefs live today? Do you feel like a star?
You rightly noticed that the position of chefs in society has changed a lot lately. Today they give master classes, participate in talk shows, and publish books. I was driving here and listening to the radio, and there the girl enthusiastically told me that now marrying a cook is much "cooler" than marrying a football player. Yes! And many of my colleagues have beautiful model wives and friends. The reason for this success is quite obvious - restaurant chefs have become public, well provided for, and in demand in different parts of the world. I do not know how long it will last, but I am convinced that if you do something with love and complete dedication, then success will definitely come.
Photo source: Roman Suslov