The countdown has started: in a few days, the Venice lagoon will host the 2012 S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup, a competition that blends two passions - sailing and fine dining - all in a perfect Italian style.
While waiting for the behind-the-scenes scoop and exclusive video from Fine Dining Lovers, we’d like to introduce you to some of the young talented chefs who will take part in the competition and cook aboard the sailing boats.
Today we meet Joël Schaeffer, from Luxembourg: six years ago, at the age of 32, he opened his own Restaurant at Merterthe.
Here’s what he revealed about himself and his food world.
You decided to become a chef because...
I decided to be a chef because when I was a child, I always watched my mother when she was cooking an I liked to taste all the things she prepared. When I was 4 years old, I decided to be a cook and I dressed myself as a cook for “Carneval”.
Your food philosophy is...
Cooking and prepairing dishes with good basic product as simple as possible to keep the original taste of it. Use the ingredients that you will find around you and as most as possible local products.
For your career your dream is...
To cook all my life the things I like and continue to make people happy with my food.
For your personal life your dream is…
To have children one day and that they will follow my way and get cooks too.
Was there an experience or a person that contributed to your decision to become a chef?
First, there is my mother. She always cooked at home for us and she’s also a good baker. Second, my grandmother. In the days she was dying, she always said to the people at he hospital that they had to be careful with the food they give her, because one day her grandson will be a famous chef.
What is your favourite dish and why?
My favourite dish is “Effiloché de Raie aux Tomates confites et Pain toasté” because it’s a fresh, light an tasty dish that you can also have as an appetizer on a terrasse with a nice glass of Luxemburgish wine. What would you like the judges to know about you? I’m cooking because I love this job, the people I meet and because you never finish learning.
Did you meet any difficulty or obstacle to get where you are today?
Sometimes it wasn’t easy here in Luxemburg to get where I am because I started my restaurant when I was 26. Everywhere I went together with other chefs or restaurantowners, I always been the youngest and everybody knows that it is difficult to give your ideas and your opinions when the others see you ass a little puppy.
Update: with the ingredients from the Mistery Basket the young chef from Luxembourg prepared 'Le Maquereau en trois façons', beautiful!