Interview de Jacques Pourcel pour Food Evasion

Uploaded by feuilledechoux on 04.10.2012

Jacques Pourcel. The first question is, where does your love of cooking come from?
Well my love for cooking in fact comes from, with my brother because I'm speaking for both of us
because we had a food education from a very young age, which revolved around good produce
with a mother and a grandmother who were very good cooks and who, you might say pampered us,
and we always had great dishes in the house.
Our taste for good produce also came from our grandparents, who grew a lot of their own vegetables
my mother who used to go and get fresh fish when the fishing boats came in
so I think that's where it comes from.
A question of family then?
Yes a question of family. A question of taste too,
because basically from a young age we developed a passion for baking for making cakes
pancakes, and at home we were always cooking something.
So while the other kids were off riding bikes, we were at home cooking and baking.
You're very well-known outside France. You must like travelling. What was it that made you want to for instance travel in Asia?
Foreign travel was a big discovery, because we were quite strongly rooted in our region, in our family,
We hadn't really moved around much, and then we discovered Asia. We started in Japan and then Thailand, China and elsewhere
And that's how we started to travel and to establish ourselves in different countries,
and then travelling became one of our passions.
It made us live, and really the great thing about travelling is discovering new worlds, new cuisines and new cultures.
Is travelling important for you from a point of view of personal development.
Travelling is important because it's something that allows you to feed yourself.
Not to feed the stomach but to feed the spirit,
and then at the same time we're like sponges: we learn things as we go.
And then afterwards that comes out in our own creativity, in our own development.
You also own quite a few hotels and restaurants overseas. In France too. What's your next project?
We've got several restaurants overseas, and we often get offers of new contracts and ventures, which we try to look at to see what start-ups we might try to do.
But very often it's not pre-planned. It's based on chance encounters and gut instinct.
We could have a great contract offer from someone and if we don't have a good feeling about the partner
partner about it we won't set up in that particular country
So at the moment we've got projects: a new development overseas, but also two big projects in Montpellier
because we're still strongly involved in that region, which we love,
so we've got these two big projects, including a 120 room hotel.
In Montpellier? How are you getting on with it?
Yes, in Montpellier. The idea is to create an urban resort.
A hotel like ones you now find in other countries where there are lifestyle places.
Not necessarily in the town centre. Maybe as you enter the city.
Where you can work, enjoy yourself, go shopping and also sleep there.
So somewhere where there are lots of different things in one place.
Is it a new partner that's given you a good feeling about this project? Because you had already built up quite a big empire!
Yes. Let's say we've always gone with our gut, without necessarily considering economic development.
It's about the desire to do something. The desire to share.
We're going to continue like that, and basically in Montpellier
these two big projects with our partners are about the desire to create different products and bring different vibes to our customers.
In your opinion, is the key to success, to your success perhaps, to be a "normal" chef or a chef who specialises?
I'm thinking about something you wrote recently on your blog about "normal" chefs, which was very interesting.
For me normality is not necessarily one of the criteria for creativity.
So for me I prefer not to be normal.
For me what's important is relationships with other people, respecting other people
and how we can share with other people.
So when we're building something, on our own we're not much, the Pourcel brothers.
There are only two of us, although since there are two of us that perhaps gives us a bit more energy.
But the important thing is that when we're with our teams, with our collaborators,
with our partners, I think it's then that we're better.
We think that on our own we're nothing, and that we build with the people around us, and in particular in our teams.
Everyone is important.
From the person who peels the carrots, to the person who overseas the whole thing
and the person who's the boss.
So a team is a family, and it's on that base that we can build and develop.
Thanks. Thanks very much Jacques Pourcel.
My pleasure.