“I want to open my first restaurant soon. And that will be in the United States!”

Three years ago, in Top Chef on M6, cooking enthusiasts discovered an earthy and bubbly girl, determined to break culinary codes. She ? It is Alexia Duchêne, 26 Springs who decided today to put her art at the service of Canal+ and a documentary series –Alexia cooks France– in four parts in his image: modern, spicy, gastronomic and unrestrained. The young Franco-British woman carries with her good humor and know-how and above all introduces us to local producers with whom she composes delicious dishes. For Télé Loisirs, Alexia has agreed to lift the veil a bit on her personality.

Télé Loisirs How did you get into the kitchen?

Alexia. At home my parents cooked a lot and that has always interested me. But I didn’t want to make it my job. And then, around the age of 13-14, because my parents worked a lot, I found myself grocery shopping and preparing meals. I was soon introduced to the Poncelet Market (Paris 17th arrondissement) right next to my house. By force I knew all the producers and I will always see them. Since I was not very good at school, I suggested to my parents to go to a hotel school. They were skeptical, but let me. I didn’t like it that much the first year, on the other hand the second 360° spin. I met great teachers. It was thanks to them that I was then trained as a pastry chef, that I was able to travel… in short, that I started!

TL. Very early on you learned on the job in different countries…

HAS. Yes, I went to London, Copenhagen, New York, San Francisco. I learned autonomy, accept others, adapt, tolerate other management, get out of my comfort zone. It developed my curious side touches everything…

TL And that necessarily made you grow faster?

HAS† It is true that I have grown up. Normal because from the age of 15 I could work until 11pm or midnight. But I don’t regret anything, I had found my way.

TL What is the dish from your childhood?

HAS. My mother’s breaded chicken. Since she lived in Egypt, she cooks it with vermicelli rice. A pleasure. I’ll never do it again. On the other hand, as soon as I go to her house, I ask her to make it up for me.

TL Which dish do you like to make again?

HAS. Roasted chicken with lemon and tarragon. I like the friendly side of this dish. During the week when I’m alone, I like to make a bowl of rice and vegetables.

TL Who’s giving you trouble?

HAS. It hallucinates my love but I miss the mayonnaise regularly. It’s like the Pavlova (cake made of Swiss meringue, topped with whipped cream and topped with fresh fruit, editors note), I can’t. It’s always the cat with the meringue!

TL You are quite talented and you have worked with the best chefs. Why have you not opened your own branch yet?

HAS. I love the jack-of-all-trades of my mobile kitchen and still want to push the cursor further every day. But in two or three years I would really like to settle in the United States and open a restaurant. This country fascinates me because it promotes entrepreneurship. There I feel understood and accepted in this role of a strong woman who knows what she wants. In France we like craftsmanship and maybe a little less entrepreneurship…

TL. Do you have a role model in your profession?

HAS. It’s not my style to have a mentor or a role model, but I admit I admire Dominique Crenn’s journey. This Frenchwoman arrived in San Francisco without knowing the language. She is now the first chef in the United States to be awarded 3 Michelin stars. She has a gourmet restaurant, a bistro, she is a judge on a show, she always has a billion projects. His success story inspires me.

TL What’s so French about you?

HAS. I am very attached to sauces in my kitchen! And I love crockery.

TL And very British?

HAS. I’m a tea time and scones crazy! And of course I love Queen Elizabeth II!

TL What would you cook for him on the occasion of his platinum anniversary starting today?

HAS† I make him a Pithiviers with potatoes and smoked eel with beetroot ketchup. It is a dish that combines my two nationalities.

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