"My current goal is to provide each hotel with the level of gastronomy that it deserves."
Alex Demard is a highly talented and experienced chef originally from France, who has made a name for himself across Asia. With years of experience and an undeniable passion for his craft, he has become a highly sought-after chef in the hospitality industry. He has been living in Thailand for several years, and in that time, he has taken on the role of Group Executive Chef for Tolani Hotels & Resorts. In this article, we'll take a closer look at Alex's life and career, including his creative process, how he keeps up with the latest cooking techniques and trends, and what advice he has for aspiring chefs.
What is a day in the life of Group Executive Chef at Tolani Like? What are the most interesting things about your Job?
Tolani can be found throughout Thailand, and the potential of each location is very intriguing. This provides me with ample opportunities to create a unique atmosphere in each establishment while staying true to our brand. No two days are alike in my job. Some days are dedicated to reorganizing kitchen equipment and designing new spaces for our restaurants to maximize efficiency. I work with our teams by going to the restaurants to provide assistance and training, which allows me to connect with people and share my knowledge, ultimately leaving a lasting legacy.
Other days are focused on creating new dishes for the restaurant menus or special events that take place at our establishments. These days bring me back to my passion for being in the kitchen and allowing my creativity to flourish.
Additionally, I am responsible for the financial aspects of the company's food costs for all of our restaurants. I help with purchasing and networking to obtain the best products available for our establishments.
Can you explain your creative process for developing new dishes? How did you acquire your creativity skills?
For me, creating a new dish begins by using my senses. As a former pastry chef, I have always placed a lot of importance on the appearance of my tarts, cakes, and desserts, aiming for the perfect balance and harmony between sweetness and other flavors. My creative process typically begins when I smell, taste, or see something that inspires me, and then I work to translate it onto a plate. It's almost like a picture in my mind, and I experiment and test until I achieve the desired outcome.
How do you keep up with the latest cooking techniques and trends?
As someone who is passionate about their work, staying current with the latest techniques and trends is one of the best aspects of the job. Learning, experimenting, and discovering new cooking techniques and trends keeps me engaged and excited. It provides the thrill that is necessary to keep challenging myself.
What is your goal as a Group Exclusive Chef for Tolani?
Initially, my objective was to bring consistency to all of our restaurants by training the chefs and creating a unique atmosphere in each location. As time has passed, I have come to appreciate the potential of each property and the beauty of Tolani's hotels. My current goal is to provide each hotel with the level of gastronomy that it deserves. It is important for me to offer guests an exceptional culinary experience, which enhances their overall high-quality stay.
What advice do you have for aspiring chefs?
My best advice for aspiring chefs is to be honest with yourself. Being a chef is a vocation, something that is in your blood. The desire to pursue the job has to be a true passion; it's the most crucial aspect if you want to succeed. It takes long hours of hard work and continuous learning of new techniques and recipes while working with a variety of different chefs. It's a long-term learning process, and when you've done all of this, and the passion is still there, and you're confident about yourself and what you want, that's when you'll find your own unique style of cooking, and become the chef that you deserve to be.
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