Kitchen catch-up with Jocelyn Herland
We caught up with Jocelyn Herland, our executive chef at Le Meurice in Paris, to find out a little more about the man in the chef’s whites. Here’s what he had to say…
What’s your favourite childhood dish?
I have wonderful memories of watching my grandmother cooking and sharing delicious dishes together. In particular I remember her rice salad and roast tomatoes stuffed with veal.
What are your favourite ingredients and why?
That’s a tricky question but I’m a big fan of potatoes because there are so many different varieties and so many different ways to cook them. Mustard is another favourite for adding an extra boost of flavour to sauces and condiments. I love radishes for their fresh crunch and the simplicity of eating one raw with just a little salt and butter. Last but not least cheese, I think it’s the perfect way to finish a meal but since I work with the pastry chef Cedric Grolet I’m developing a sweet tooth!
What made you want to be chef?
I can clearly remember being around ten years old and preparing a very simple salad for my family. Their eyes lit up and they really enjoyed it and I could appreciate even then the power that food has to make people happy. I think from that moment on the idea of becoming a chef was always there.
What’s your favourite kitchen gadget?
That’s an easy choice – my Food processor. It does a huge range of jobs from weighing and chopping to blending, steaming, kneading and cooking. I wouldn’t want to be without mine.
What’s inspires you?
I think inspiration comes in many forms. Every single aspect of life has the potential to spark ideas be it cinema, books, music, a museum or street market. I think it’s about being open to new ideas.
Is it a challenge to create new dishes?
Today it’s more about using modern techniques or new flavour combinations to give a fresh approach or a natural evolution to more classic dishes.
What’s your guilty pleasure food?
It has to be crisps!
What’s the thing you don’t like cooking with?
I’m not ready to cook with insects yet.
Do you have any advice to young chefs starting out?
Be patient, open your eyes and listen, the knowledge you need is everywhere from a kitchen porter and an apprentice, not just the most experienced chefs.
What are you most proud of at your hotel?
Without a doubt it has to be my superb team in the kitchen, good teamwork makes all the difference.
How do you like to spend your time off?
I really enjoy chilling out with my wife and son. Spending relaxed time with my family gives me a great work life balance.
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