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Philippe Joannes: culinary orchestrator

 
 

As President of the Southern Region of the “Meilleurs Ouvriers de France” (MOF) and with quite an exceptional career, it makes complete sense that Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer is now entrusting Philippe Joannes with the management of the Group’s culinary events. In charge of the opening and supervision of a centralized bakery-patisserie, the expansion of the catering service and supervision of the Sporting kitchen and the Coya, Buddha Bar and Hirondelle restaurants, there is no doubt that this great project will benefit from his know-how and talent.

 

     

What does your appointment as President of the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France for Alpes-Maritimes and the South of France in January 2018 mean to you?

I first obtained the wonderful distinction of Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 2000, compelling me to throw myself into passing on my know-how. I thus became very involved in the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France organization in order to train young people. As the catering industry is highly publicized, my priority as President is to showcase trades that are less well-known such as stonemasons and dental prosthetists, for example.   

 

If you weren’t a Chef, what would you be doing instead?

My parents ran a hostel in the Champagne region and spent a lot of time working there. In order to spend time with them, I began to lend a hand at a very young age, so this profession has always been a foregone conclusion! I would have also liked to have been part of the Paris Fire Brigade to experience one of my passions: scuba diving.   

 

How do you feel about joining the Group? And what does the SBM represent for you?

When you’re lucky enough to become a Chef, there are two dream work locations: Paris and Monaco. From the outside, the SBM is a vast world that covers a whole host of professions. When I was young, H.S.H. Prince Rainier owned a property not far from my parents’ hostel and used to come from time to time to try our dishes. I never would have imagined at that time that I would one day be working in the Principality of Monaco!   

 

Do you have “a signature dish”? What is your favorite ingredient to cook with?

I love cooking with vegetables or fish. I particularly love eating red mullet pissaladière tarts or John Dory bouillabaisses, so I enjoy cooking these dishes. In the south, I learnt to cook produce in a simple way, while doing my best to showcase it.   

 

Any guilty pleasures? Do you prefer sweet or savory?

A Tarte Tropézienne or a lemon tart !    

 

Are there any culinary trends that you don’t like or that don’t appeal to you?

A few years ago, Chefs considered vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and other such cuisines to be an imposition. Now, it is part of our daily lives as when we are creating a menu, we have to think about accommodating all requests. I’m not criticizing it but one of the cuisines that I’ve never really been a big fan of is molecular gastronomy. It’s not really in my DNA.   

 

As part of your duties, what do you think you can bring to the Group’s banquet/catering line?

Above all, my role is to work with all the teams – the Chefs, waiters, pastry kitchen, sommeliers, logistics and marketing teams – and to give our catering range a real identity. It is important to be consistent with all the Group’s other catering options, regardless of the location or scope of the service. My motto is: “Use the talent pool to bring together different strengths.”    

 

Any advice for the next generation of young talented Chefs?

Young people who are starting in the kitchen must be curious and persistent, but above all, they should enjoy themselves!

 

 

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