A recent winner of ‘Iron Chef’ Thailand, Alexandre Demard is a chef at ‘Oxygen Dining Room’ at X2 Chiangmai Riverside(pronounced 'Cross two'), known for his finely honed cooking techniques and elaborate plating, and had been specialized in french cuisine for over 15 years.
Chef Alex joined X2 Chiang Mai Riverside Resort as part of the opening team in 2017, managing the contemporary Oxygen Dining Room in conjunction with another Michelin-starred chef, Nicolas Isnard. The stylish venue, right on the banks of Chiang Mai’s Mae Ping River has quickly made a name for itself fusing traditional Thai flavours with international culinary standards.
What are the top three go-to ingredients that you always have in your home kitchen?
"Lime, Cacao and extra Virgin Olive Oil."
How does your cooking differ from others'? How do you define your cuisine? (E.g. Western with an Asian twist, Asian twist with Western technique, Fusion?)
"Asian cuisine applying French cooking techniques. Keeping all the flavour and spice but reducing the chilli."
What are some misconceptions that people might have about a Michelin starred chef / restaurant?
"People always believe that to dine at a Michelin restaurant is going to be an expensive evening. In fact, Michelin can apply to any food no matter what the cost is. It is not about price but rather about quality, taste and creative food design."
What would you like to see on the Chiang Mai food scene?
"Chiang Mai is the garden of Thailand with respect to the abundance of fresh produce. I would love to see more local and less import."
Do you incorporate any CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) in your cooking?
"Yes, we have our own vegetable garden on our property so vegetables go from garden to kitchen to plate on the same day. We also locally source produce such as crayfish, chicken and sturgeon fish thus reducing our carbon footprint. We have also stopped using plastic straws in our resort."
What are your kitchen's rules?
"Cook with your heart, with passion, don't be scared to be creative and teamwork is EVERYTHING!"
How has your experience been participating in and having won the Iron Chef challenge?
"My experience was awesome. I met such creative and wonderful people on the show and who really understood my style and I learned from them too. When I was announced as the winner it was one of the most important moments in my life."
What's your advice for those who aspire to be successful as a chef?
"Advice to a young aspiring chef would be not to be afraid to start at low position, even as a commis chef if necessary. Work every role you can in the kitchen as it all adds to experience, and know everything about the kitchen and be passionate and creative."