Upcoming Culinary Star: Maxime Rodrigue, Scholar on the Paul Bocuse Institute, Lyon

We sat down with the gifted Maxime Rodrigue, pupil on the prestigious Paul Bocuse Institute and aspiring chef, and talked about his expertise as a culinary arts college pupil and his aspirations.

1. Please inform us a bit about your self and your ardour for meals. 

I reside in Lyon, France. I’m 21 years outdated and I’m doing my research at Paul Bocuse Institut. 

My ardour for meals got here later than for my colleagues. Truly I understood that I wished to turn into a cook dinner on the age of 17, after I understood that cooks weren’t solely cooks anymore. Now they struggle for issues exterior of the kitchen, like atmosphere, social issues and so forth… And I actually recognize that! 

Now I’m nonetheless studying and I actually take pleasure in it! Discovering new methods, new merchandise and making an attempt some creations. 

2. Why did you select the Paul Bocuse Institute and what line in fact are you attending? 

I used to be born in Lyon, like Paul Bocuse. He’s definitely essentially the most well-known particular person from my metropolis. To me and my household, this college was top-of-the-line on this planet but in addition due to his identify: Paul Bocuse. That’s why I select the Institute. 

We study totally different courses: administration, accounting, advertising, F&B administration, well being and security… Numerous issues {that a} chef wants to grasp and bear in mind. 

Paul Bocuse Institute
Paul Bocuse Institute; Picture credit score: https://www.whispersofstyle.com/

We even have apply courses: studying the classics of French delicacies, methods and merchandise. 

3. What was your standards for selecting a culinary college? 

I utilized to 2 faculties. I wanted to make sure that I might study the bases of delicacies, rigor, excellence. And the very last thing I wished (and I nonetheless need) was to find the world, and the identify of Paul Bocuse would open a number of doorways to assist me try this. 

4. What was your cooking expertise earlier than coming into this system? 

I solely did 2 weeks internship in a small “Bouchon Lyonnais,” a typical restaurant right here in Lyon with conventional lyonnaise meals. 

5. What are among the belongings you want you had recognized earlier than attending the culinary college? 

Truly, all of the issues I used to be anticipating occurred, studying the fundamentals at school and discovering different cultures throughout my internships. I’m actually not disillusioned by my expectations. 


6. How has your been expertise to date? 

I had a 4-month internship at “La Passagère”, a one star Michelin restaurant on the French Riviera, the place I discovered Mediterranean delicacies. Then I participated within the Sirha 2019, the well-known delicacies pageant, serving VIPs and celebrities with among the greatest French cooks resembling Emmanuel Renaud. 

Then I went to Amsterdam for 4 months to work on the “Bar Alt”, the place I discovered a number of issues regarding “being a chef.” I had a very good relation with the chef and all the worker.

Chef Thomas Kooijman allowed me to be artistic and it’s woke up one thing in me. 

In 3 weeks, I’ll take the airplane to Copenhagen, the place I’ll begin my final internship at Geranium for six months. I’m actually wanting ahead to beginning over there! 

Maxime Rodrigue
Maxime Rodrigue

7. How would you fee the working ambiance on a scale of 1, extremely aggravating, to 10, relaxed and enjoyable? 

I might say that at school, the ambiance is 4, as a result of they educate us what stress is and comprise and react to it. For my first internship I might say 2, the chef was actually strict however it forges our spirit. 

They educate [students] what stress is and comprise and react to it.

In my final internship, I positively say 9, that was part of the values that the chef wished to share with the workforce, having fun with cooking with out stress. I understood that you are able to do higher work whenever you’re not careworn. 

8. What’s essentially the most shocking factor you’ve discovered to date? 

I believe that I used to be actually stunned after I understood that we will bake some issues chilly. I imply liquid nitrogen. Baking one thing at 195 levels taught me that there’s a number of methods of baking. 

9. Inform us a bit about your profession objectives and aspirations. 

My aim is to proceed to work exhausting at 3-star eating places or earn stars in smaller eating places. I wish to study as many issues as doable, then open my very own restaurant with a contemporary delicacies, an excellent workforce, good merchandise, and good ambiance. 

I wish to study as many issues as doable, then open my very own restaurant with a contemporary delicacies, an excellent workforce, good merchandise, and good ambiance


10. Who’s your favourite chef? 

I actually just like the work of individuals resembling Massimo Bottura, René Redzepi, Rasmus Kofoed as a result of, as I mentioned earlier than, these days cooks should be within the kitchen but in addition they should struggle for some causes: atmosphere, well being causes, working circumstances, and so forth… These cooks encourage me rather a lot. 

11. What’s the greatest meal you’ve ever had? 

I had the luck to eat in Enigma restaurant in Barcelona. That have was superb. Once you enter the restaurant, you enter one other world from partitions to ceiling. Then 40 dishes come to you with influences from Spain and Japan. The dish that I most popular was a Duck liver marinated like a gravlax in an anchovy salt. 

12. What’s your favourite ingredient? 

My favourite ingredient is pigeon. The feel of the flesh is superb! I actually like cooking it. 

13. What are your high 3 dishes that you’re most pleased with to date? 

I’m very pleased with my first creation, an amuse bouche that I created in Bar Alt restaurant, a carrot rolled in a wakame sea weed, an orange/sichuan/honey juice and sesam seeds. That was the primary time that company had been consuming one thing that I created. 

Carrot rolled in a wakame sea weed, and orange/sichuan/honey juice and sesam seeds
Carrot rolled in a wakame sea weed, and orange/sichuan/honey juice and sesam seeds; Picture credit score: Maxime Rodrigue

Then in the course of the lockdown, I had time to cook dinner and I made some dishes like a inexperienced monochrome with cucumber, miso, tarragon, and a cumbava granité. I’m actually proud as a result of the dish was actually advanced in style however there was an excellent concord. 

Green monochrome with cucumber, miso, tarragon and a cumbava granité
Inexperienced monochrome with cucumber, miso, tarragon and a cumbava granité; Picture credit score: Maxime Rodrigue

I made one dish for my grandparents that they actually loved. It was beef, corn, miso and meat juices. I used to be actually proud as a result of that was the primary time that I created one thing for them so there was a number of strain! 

Beef, corn, miso and meat Jus.
Beef, corn, miso and meat juices; Picture credit score: Maxime Rodrigue

14. What delicacies, moreover French, would you actually wish to grasp and why? 

I actually impressed by the Nordic delicacies, their method of working, conserving merchandise, their imaginative and prescient regarding the atmosphere and their proximity with nature. Then I want to study Japanese methods resembling making my very own miso, studying the easiest way to chop a fish, and many others.

Truly, I want to uncover a number of world cultures and cuisines. I heard that Georgia could be very wealthy regarding meals, additionally Lebanese delicacies, Mexican, Peruvian.