It is never easy to interview a chef, much less an award winning one without them immediately setting some ground rules. Nevertheless, our meeting with Serge Gouloumès allowed us to learn more about the man behind the curtain as he told us of his journey.
It takes memories to make recipes, and those of every good cook oft en begin in a large kitchen with a cake in the oven and a mom’s devotion to mastering that room of the house.
Such was the boyhood of Serge, who not only dreamed about the stars, but eventually became one.
Born in the Southwest of France (a gastronomic center of excellence) the passionate book of Chef Gouloumès began at the ripe old age of 10.
All chefs will tell you this: You are not born a great chef; rather you become one through experiences that shape your thinking and spark your imagination on a continuing basis. Th e great ones never stop learning.
The world of cooking is more like a buffet than a restaurant. You need to get up and serve yourself.
And when you decide to devote your time on this earth to the art of cuisine, you must be able to meet the demand without flinching or second guessing.
This is not an option.
But Serge loves the game and he hates to lose. And all the great artists of all time have known the demands are high and the road is long. Four corners of the earth to be exact.
His gourmet standards guaranteeing a “French touch” have brought him international recognition.
From the palaces of France, Switzerland, and Luxembourg to the neon lights of New York and high-class chic of Los Angeles, Serge’s travel anecdotes are both tasty and spicy.
Attention to presentation, the “visual aspect” is a hallmark of Chef Gouloumès’ work. The eyes are initially flattered, but the taste buds soon take over for a cornucopia of sensory delights.
Serge describes his journey as exquisite sketches, colored with the bright paint of experiences and brought into the gallery one plate at a time.
When all these works come into play in his mind, he reaches new revelations and ideas spring forth like a new canvas waiting for the artist to begin again. It is in those moments when he feels the magic happen.
You can see the passion in his eyes when he describes the process of starting with a simple idea and watching it flourish into something much more than he ever imagined it would be.
The man epitomizes a true gourmet, with the presentation of his work to the charm he exudes towards his audience when he describes the genesis of a culinary creation (especially Foie Gras Tarte Tatin with Armagnac, his signature dish).
Everything revolves around sharing his love for cooking.
As modest as he is talented, Serge readily acknowledges the work of his team and is happy to share the spotlight with them.
In his opinion, their individual contributions to a night of dining excellence are just as important as what goes on the plate.
The work can be repetitive, laborious, and even perilous at times but Chef Gouloumès’ dedication to maintaining this well-oiled machine makes for a delightful experience for both his coworkers and customers.
Although a relatively ephemeral experience, the diner’s memories live on as an impeccable epicurean adventure.
Thank you Chef for awakening our appetites, senses, and spirits!