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Each month, Chef Philippe will host a show of Les Rencontres du Chef, along with a prestigious Chef.
Born in a family of hotel and restaurant owners, trained at the Hospitality School in Biarritz, Chef Philippe loves sharing his recipes and culinary techniques. Philippe is the co-manager of MeilleurduChef.com since its creation in 2000.
Where does your passion for cooking come from?
CP: I was born in a family of hotel and restaurant owners, so I spent my childhood in the kitchen! When I was 8, I remember making strawberry tarts with my mother for customers. What I love about cooking is that you can constantly go from sweet to savoury creations. It's an endless source of inspiration. My passion was definitely sparked by my childhood and my mother (who also happens to be a good cook). Yet my love for good food would have probably lead me to cooking anyway!
Speaking about good food, what is your soft spot?
CP: I have a real sweet tooth! Desserts are one of the things that really inspired me to become a chef. My sweetest memory is my mum's hot caramel. I love rediscovering French classic recipes while bringing new flavours.
How did the MeilleurduChef.com adventure start?
CP: MeilleurduChef.com is a chance meeting, but also a project that happened at just the right moment. I was really eager to share my know-how, while Loïc had matured a new e-commerce project. This exciting opportunity allowed me to work in my element: cooking and gastronomy obviously, but kitchen equipment as well. I used to love going to speciality kitchenware shops with my mother to select the next utensils I was going to experiment with!
Your recipes have become a true reference on the Internet. Do have a personal favourite?
CP: Yes! My Signature Apple Cake, definitely. (This one is dedicated to my colleague Romain, who is a great fan and keeps pleading for this cake almost every day!) I love starting from a French classic, then think of different flavours and textures. For this apple tart that resembles rather a cake, I used a base of rich shortcrust pastry, topped with a layer of stewed apple compote. Then I thought of covering the apples with a Calvados-flavoured crème chiboust, then caramelize the surface like a crème brûlée.
That sounds absolutely delicious! So tell us about what is a typical day for you? 200% in the kitchen?
CP: Well, yes and no. Most of my day is spent cooking in the kitchen, but this is not everything I do. I also dedicate a lot of time typing the method and taking photos for each recipe. Then I need to publish it on the website, and I make sure to reserve some time every day to reply to customers' questions or feedback. This is essential for me. I love the relationship I have with our Internet followers and it is important for me to answer their questions.
If you had to cook with only one utensil, which one would you choose?
CP: I would like to say all of them! But if there had to be only one, it would be the KitchenAid beater. I use it all the time and it is perfect for the size of my kitchen. I am also completely addicted to the Alligator vegetable chopper.
One last question Philippe: what is your biggest satisfaction?
CP: That's a tough one... To be completely honest, I think my main satisfaction is the feedback I receive from our followers. I am always delighted to read emails saying 'Your génoise sponge recipe is great, this time I managed to make it fluffy, thank you so much!'
Thank you Philippe!