The appeal of the Duck Foie Gras produced by Maison Alain FRANÇOIS stretches far beyond the borders of France: interview with Chef Cédric Maton, based in Thailand.
Cédric MATON: a childhood nurtured by the simple joys of gastronomy.
« It doesn’t sound very original, but my passion for cooking grew out of memories of my childhood. I remember spending Sundays in the garden and my mother and grandmother preparing fruit and vegetables in the most remarkable way. I learned from a very young age how to eat well, depending on the seasons and what nature had to offer. When I was 14 a classmate took me to his father’s restaurant. My first steps inside a professional kitchen made something click inside me. I think this was when I realised that I was destined for this profession and this one only. »
« It wasn’t long before I was travelling all over France to work in different establishments: the Château de Fère in Fère-en-Tardenois, Le Fouquet’s, Fauchon and the Hôtel de Vendôme in Paris. It was in Paris that I was lucky enough to work in one of the first French-Japanese restaurants of the time: Le Shozan. In the meantime, I decided to go to university to study Japanese language and civilisation, with the idea of going off travelling to discover new horizons. In 2004 I began my teaching career at the Cordon Bleu school in Tokyo, followed by the one in Bangkok and finally the Kobé School. Today I work as a culinary consultant in Thailand.»
His watchword: cooking according to ingredients, seasons and cultures
« My cuisine is based on respect for ingredients, seasons and customs, because that’s what all cookery professionals are asked to teach. Traditional societies developed ways of combining ingredients and cooking techniques for good reasons to do with produce and cultures, and so on. All too often we see chefs performing culinary massacres because they do not respect their ingredients. In the end, I would say that while I am all for sharing cultures, right through to cooking, it must be done with respect and mutual understanding. »
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