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July_Aug UK Chef

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garden, because of clients dining in the restaurant. Father ate lunch in 5 minutes and headed straight back into the kitchen. My version of a kids birthday party was eating pastries in the restaurant! My parents were absorbed by their work. Morning noon and night, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day. Even on their days off, they worked, on the accounts. They ended up giving me a dog to keep me company!” Surely this was enough to put anyone off the life of a Chef, I infer. “It’s true, my parents didn’t enter the world, the world came to them! I saw first hand the enormous workload. But in effect, it also showed me how much satisfaction they derived from their work. It gave me positive image of work, a strong appreciation of the value of hard work. And I thank them for that gift! As as well as hard work it taught me joy: from my childhood bedroom I saw the shining lights, heard the animated chatter in the dining room, the clatter of cutlery, the uplifting laughter - I witnessed the joy the restaurant can give! It is the same feeling that motivates me to this day: to read in people’s eyes (some close to tears) the emotions roused and the craft to render them happy. To transmit emotions, to touch the senses and hearts of people, and who I work with in the kitchens also, that’s my role. It’s a beautiful job. Thanks to my parents, and my father who was magic!”. “It was my father who trained my palate: savoury, vanilla, odours, every day at the family table we would taste together what the apprentice chefs would prepare. Daily meals were simple but this taught me nuances.” But the supportive father-daughter relationship was cruelly cut short when just three months after Anne-Sophie’s return to her paternal kitchens, Jacques suffered a fatal heart attack at just 59 years old. Anne-Sophie was left to pick up the pieces of her intense grief and professional development. “It was a devastating blow that became a make or break battle for me.” With the support of her 20-year long husband, business partner and moral rock, Davide Sinapain (himself a revered culinary figure as President du Grand Table du Monde, with whom Chef Anne-Sophie is very much a working team to this day) the great Chef’s daughter herself met the challenges and succeeded to her role as Matriarch. I ask her about this transformation from daughter to foremost female Chef. Formidable Female Chef “My father didn’t imagine I would be a Chef. In my fathers era the kitchen was a masculine environment.” Today, in her own kitchens she is changing that perception, “On open view of the kitchens opens up the dynamics. One mustn’t veil one’s face. It’s a predominately male profession and can be very ‘macho’. I too at the start abided by the notion that you had to shout to be heard! To be aggressive and dominating. Some Chefs can’t handle the heat and take it out on others and that’s intolerable. That’s just not my style. Now in my open kitchens we are showing a different regard; being watched induced a different composure, a respect, a certain fastidiousness. I surround myself with calm people and my Chefs never shout. I have struggled for many years to change this perception of a Chefs role as necessarily macho and aggressive.” The Chef continues: “As a male Chef, it was my brother ten years my senior who was the natural successor. But after I left my work at Moët & Chandon in 1992 and decided to return to the family nest I can’t deny there was a tension in the restaurant as my brother was perceived as the sole male heir in the kitchen. My father never dreamed I would return back to the kitchen. He knew life could be complicated and challenging there for a 25