Interviewed April 2011
Alexandre is the chef/patron of Sa Qua Na in Honfleur, which gained a Michelin star within months of opening, then a second star the following year. He is one of the most talented cooks in France.
Q – How long have you been cooking professionally?
Q – Where did you train to cook?
With my grandmother and my mother at the beginning and afterwards at cuisine school, and to finish many 2 and 3 stars Michelin restaurants.
Q – How would you describe your style of cooking?
I don’t like the word “style” for my cuisine, I think if you talk of style you lock yourself in something and I think is little bit haughty to have a style. The cuisine is for me the freedom and it is just my way to express my feeling. My cuisine is always in movement and it evolves every day like my life.
Q – Is there a secret for a successful restaurant?
Respect and fairness.
Q – Do you have a “signature dish” or favourite dish you enjoy cooking?
Not really, except all the fish and seafood that I will cook Thursday morning from each week's opening.
Q – Do you have a favourite ingredient?
All of them except the bad!
Which restaurant do you most enjoy eating at on your night off?
It depends. I have many traditional and small places but the last famous good restaurant that I did is “Sant Pau”
What is your most interesting or fun experience from your time in restaurants?
Good food, many good wines and good friends.
What would be your “last request” dish?
Sorry I don’t know in English but in French “Plateau de charcuterie”, with red wine and nice bread.
Is there another chef that you most admire?
Many many chefs but at this moment one is Pascal Barbot.
Any advice you would give to someone wanting to become a chef?
To listen to his heart, to be cool and to express by cooking what it feels. No rules: just one way - the pleasure!
Any final thoughts you’d like to add?
Good food, many good wines and good friends and to continue cooking, quietly and with a lot of pleasure.
Sa Qua Na