Mohamed El Imam Aidara is the head chef of restaurant La Fourchette in Dresden. The 35-year-old native of Senegal received his training in France after getting a taste for cooking from his grandmother, who taught him how to cook Senegalese dishes. By the age of 16, he helped his cousin in the local café and started exploring the world of food. In France he developed his French cuisine and settled down in Germany where he also learned in various kitchens. He says of his cooking: “I have learned the culinary arts in Dakar, refined them in Paris and applied them in Dresden.”
Fulfilling his dream of owning a restaurant, he opened La Fourchette in 2008. Speaking five languages, German, French, Wolof, English and Arabic, it has always been his dream to get a Michelin star for Africa and his Senegalese cuisine. And it might not be long before it will happen... The Michelin inspectors talk about the restaurant’s “simple and modern atmosphere with friendly and warm yellows, where a young team serves French-Caribbean-inspired food”.
Describe your culinary philosophy in 5 words...
French-Caribbean, exotic, light, wholesome, flavourful.
What is your greatest inspiration?
The convergence of two worlds: Senegalese and European cuisine.
If you could take plane ride to any restaurant in the world, just for one meal, where would you go?
I would go to Monaco and eat at Le Louis XV by Alain Ducasse.
What three things would you take to a desert island?
Water, olives and dates.
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