What are your earliest memories of being interested in food?
Growing up, I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with my Grandmother, Odette. Some of my earliest childhood memories are tied to tarts and pastries that she would make. From prune tarts and blueberry tarts to cheese tarts, there was always a tart for every season.
What, or who, would you say has inspired your cooking the most?
As one of my early mentors, Chef Michel Bras has had a great influence on my journey as a chef. His belief in allowing vegetables to take equal footing on a plate with the proteins, has instilled in me a deep respect for the integrity and purity of each ingredient in every dish.
Describe your culinary style…
My cooking style is very much produce-driven. It is guided by the best available produce and is continuously evolving. I also try to stay grounded to the values I learnt as a young chef, which are to respect the taste, terroir and integrity of ingredients. At Odette, every ingredient has its place and purpose, and is treated with the utmost care to highlight its purest flavours. The core ofEssential Cuisineis to offer honest cooking that makes remarkable ingredients shine.
What would you say is the main focus/concept for your menu at the award-winning, Odette restaurant?
Produce-driven Modern French cuisine that showcases the best seasonal ingredients from around the world in their purest form and flavour.
What do you think makes a restaurant or menu sosuccessful?
An incredible team.I believe that Human Beings are the heart of Odette and it is important that we put them at the centre of the creative process. It is the people who create the restaurant experience. I hence believe that it is important to give as much attention to the team as we do to the food we serve.
What are your most indispensable ingredients?
Fleur de sel de Guerande, Citrus in general and Cheese.
What kind of experience do you aim to give guests when you cook for them?
We hope to offer diners an honest and welcoming experience, where every ingredient has its place, where we celebrate the people who grow our produce, the people who cook our food, the people who serve and the people who allow us to serve them. We hope that guests are able to feel the heart that goes into sourcing our ingredients, preparing our dishes and delivering our service.
What would you say has been the most memorable moment in your culinary career so far?
Building the restaurant fromwith the wonderful team, suppliers and collaborators, who have worked tirelessly to present theexperience has been extremely rewarding. It is wonderful to know that the fruits of our labour are being enjoyed and celebrated.It has been an incredible experience building a career out of what I love most. I’ve been gifted with many opportunities to travel and discover the world, and meet the most extraordinary people with an incredible passion for their craft.
Being awarded two Michelin stars 9-months into our opening has also been a dream come true.
If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your younger self, starting out a career in the world of food?
The people you meet along the way are vital to your growth. Never stop learning from your peers, partners, suppliers, collaborators and fellow creators. It is important to continuously broaden your worldviews and expose yourself to differing perspectives. Creating a dining experience is also a collective effort. Recognise, value and respect everyone who comes your way for their individual contributions and qualities.If you’re not 100% sure you are willing to make the sacrifices you will need to make to succeed, give up now. Otherwise, it is the most rewarding job in the world.
What’s next for you/ What projects do you have lined up?
As such a young restaurant that is still growing and evolving, we are still working to establish ourselves. We are committed to continue improving and refining all that we do. This is the simplest and purest way to make our guests happy. Our journey has only just begun.
What is your guilty pleasure?
ALL kinds of cheese and saucisson.
What restaurant is currently at the top of your list to dine at?
La Marine byAlexandre Couillon
For more information about Chef Royer click here…