Dishes, fishes and a fireman

Dishes, fishes and a fireman

Food diaries

Dishes, fishes and a fireman

It is said that people who love to eat are the best people. Then one can imagine what the world feels about the ones who cook. Alexandre Seince falls under the latter category.

The Kitchen Executive chef at Café Noir restaurants has worked in restaurants and luxury hotels around the world and this experience and expertise is reflected in the many dishes he so deftly makes. On the sidelines of a cookout conducted in Alliance Francaise, he tells Rajitha Menon the story of how a young boy who wanted to become a fireman finally embarked on a culinary journey.

How did you get interested in this field?

Contrary to what people usually say, I have not been interested in cooking from the start. I wanted to be a fireman when I was a child. It was my grandfather who introduced me to the art of cooking. I used to visit him during my holidays and he would always do all the cooking himself. We used to go fishing in the river and poach the fish we caught and add potatoes and all. We have also gone out into the sea for fresh fish and clams. I was enamoured by these trips and maybe that translated into a love for cooking.

What are your favourite dishes?

I love to make dishes with different types of fish. In my restaurant, we make a lot of delicacies with fish. I like to cook some traditional food too but I want to revisit that traditional food with special and modern techniques.

Your thoughts about Indian food.

I have tasted some Indian cuisine and I have tried my hand at making it too. You have some interesting food. I have a friend who used to work in a famous restaurant in Chennai. Last time he showed me some different dish ( I am not very sure about the name) which I thought was amazing. I want to find the time to learn how to make it. You put a lot of spice in your food which makes for a different taste.

What all foods have you tried here?

I have had biryani, masala dosa, chicken butter, roti kebab (which was amazing), dal and some dishes with paneer.

Thoughts about Bengaluru?

If you didn’t have the traffic problem, it would be the best city in India. The traffic is horrible. But seriously, this place is nice. You can get everything here. I have gone from the small vegetable markets to the high-end wine shops to source my things.The weather is somewhat hot but its nice too.

Three things you love to use in your dishes.

Butter for one. Then tomatoes — I love working with tomatoes. Here people in India only know 1-2 types of tomatoes. But in France we have 12 different types of tomatoes — sweet, bitter, green, yellow, pink, black and so on. And the third would be fish.

Your favourite cuisine

I don’t like a particular cuisine as such. If I can choose, it would be a mix of Mediterranean and Asian food. In that dish, I would take soya sauce and some vegetables from Japan or China and mix these with Mediterranean food. Also, I like the summer food in France. We have two types of food in France; summer food, which is lighter and made with a lot of vegetables and fish and winter food, which is made with potatoes, sauce, cream and is quite heavy.

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