This is the seventh article of a ten-part series featuring interviews with chefs competing in the S.Pellegrino Cooking Cup 2014.
If Thomas Troupin wasn't a chef he would be a kangaroo breeder in Australia. Good thing he chose a culinary career, as Troupin will be competing for the S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna Young Chef of the Year Award in just a few days.
The Belgian chef will face off with nine international chefs in the upcomingS.Pellegrino Cooking Cup 2014, taking place June 13th to 15th. The special regatta is an opportunity for competing chefs to prepare a signature dish while sailing across the Venetian lagoon.
Their dishes will be evaluated by a 10-person jury composed of Peruvian chef Gaston Acurio, Brazilian chef Helena Rizzo and reigning Cooking Cup champ Paul Qui, among others.
The 10 chefs will also be competing for the People's Choice Award and the first-ever Critic's Choice Award, both sponsored by Acqua Panna.
In anticipation of the great race, FDL caught up with Troupin about his cooking philosophy. Here's what he had to say:
Describe yourself in three keywords.
Young, generous, passionate
How would you define your cooking style?
We are using local products in a contemporary way.
Which is your signature dish? Can you briefly describe it?
We still don’t have a signature dish. Our carte [menu] is changing every month.
Who or what is your main source of inspiration? Why?
We are looking around us. We are nature lovers. We are discussing a lot with our vegetable producers.
Tradition and innovation: which is the relationship with these words in your cuisine?
It’s our leitmotiv. This is our philosophy.
What is fine dining for you? How do you think the new generations are changing this idea and making it evolve?
Fine dining is sharing a moment with others that you will remember and think about. For us, the new generations are changing the tradition. We are not waiting so much classic, we are concerning ourselves in good product, bio [organic] and regional products. We prefer working with local producers.
Next big trends related to food and conviviality?
We think the Korean is already well known with lactic acid fermentation, we love the techniques they are using. Otherwise South America with insects… We still don’t know what we have to think about…
The food you’d happily die eating.
Favadas asturianas (only the ones my grandmother makes)
If you weren’t a chef, what would you be?
Kangaroo breeder in Australia
S.Pellegrino and Food for Soul, the non-profit organisation founded by Lara Gilmore and chef Massimo Bottura, form a new global partnership to drive social and environmental change and promote a sustainable food culture.