Interview. Philippe Etchebest (Chef & The Gang): “We hope there will be a lot of spectators”

The famous chef Philippe Etchebest plays drums with the group Chef & The Gang. (©J. Dupeyron)

This one Saturday 28 May 2022the Chef & The Gang will take place at the‘AgoraBee Equeurdreville-Hainneville (delegated municipality of Cherbourg-en-Cotentin, Manche). Before the performance, Philippe EtchebestChef and drummer within the band, answered a few questions.

News: Because of your profession, your image is naturally associated with the cooking world. However, you have another passion: music. How was she born?

Philippe Etchebest: From an early age I was cradled by music. My parents loved to sing and listen to a lot of music. That’s where it comes from. The first artists I listened to were Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Renaud… I then turned to hard rock, with AC/DC, Black Sabbath, David Bowie, Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd, Trust… It remains a repertoire of varied music, with a more pronounced rock tendency.

Philippe Etchebest, a chef turned star

Philippe Etchebest has been an indispensable media figure for several years, partly through his participation in the television programs Cauchemar en cuisine and Top Chef on M6.

From a Basque father and an Ardennes mother, he was born on December 2, 1966 in Soissons, in the Aisne. His parents, whose father is a chef, take over a Basque restaurant in Bordeaux. After school, young Philippe helps his father in the kitchen, while his mother and sister take care of the service in the dining room. This sounds his beginning in the restoration.

In 2000, Philippe Etchebest joined the prestigious circle of Meilleurs Ouvriers de France. The following year, he took on a new challenge, namely the management of an establishment, more specifically the Château des Reynats, in the Dordogne. He stayed there for more than two years and won his first star in the Michelin Guide. He got a second in 2008 at the Hostellerie de Plaisance. In 2015, he opened the Quatrième Mur, in Bordeaux, where the guest table played in 2018.

Besides listening to music, you play an instrument yourself…

PE: Yes, I started with the piano. I was about ten years old when my mother enrolled me in music theory. It wasn’t something that kicked me more than that. It was even a bit boring (laughs). In total I had to stay there for two years. Nevertheless, I do not regret this experience as it allowed me to learn music theory. I use it a lot these days. When you play drums, you need measures, notes… As for the drums, I really got into it in 2017.

“Organize concerts, among friends”

You are part of Chef & The Gang. Can you tell us a bit about its history?

PE: During the filming I had to deal with entertainment staff, many of whom make music. One day the idea arose to organize a concert with friends at the entrance of my restaurant Le Quatrième Mur, place de la Comédie, in Bordeaux, on the occasion of the Fête de la Musique on June 21. Here’s how to start the delirium by covering very well-known pieces. Finally, in 2017, 2018 and 2019, we organized the Fête de la Musique. Why not go further and offer concerts in an associative setting? We want to play well, but also have fun.

A concert for a good cause

All Chef & The Gang concerts are held for charity. The profit will be donated to the Association of Solidarity Firefighters, of which Philippe Etchebest has been the sponsor for 9 years.

“When I started with television, I was approached by many associations. That of Solidarity’s firefighters caught my attention, especially because it was freshly made and therefore did not have many resources, reports the chef, elected Meilleur Ouvrier de France. The condition for me to be a sponsor was to participate in their missions, to go out in the field with them and see what they were doing. †

Philippe Etchebest therefore left for Togo, Nepal and will soon fly to Cambodia, together with his wife, who is also active in the Solidarity Firefighters. “As soon as the opportunity presents itself, I try to raise money to help them, talk about their actions and give them the tools to intervene around the world. †

This summer you will participate in festivals, including Hellfest. Did you expect such results?

PE: Not at all (laughs)! When I asked my friends one Saturday afternoon what they were doing on June 16 and I told them we were opening Hellfest, there was a blank. They looked at me wide-eyed. It’s something unlikely! We will do everything we can to honor our presence at this mythical festival, one of the largest in Europe and today in the world. All the largest groups in the world will be present.

“Cherburg? A nice city “

You will play in the Agora next Saturday, May 28, 2022. Can you give our readers a taste of the show?

PE: We cover great classics: AC/DC, Aerosmith, David Bowie, Muse, Pink Floyd, Queen, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Sex Pistols, Trust… The songs of these artists evoke memories in the audience, and so is the music ! We hope that many spectators will come.

Videos: currently on Actu

Have you ever been to La Manche, in Cherbourg?

PE: Yes, I came to Cherbourg for one of the first recordings of Cauchemar en cuisine. I remember it very well because I hired a waitress, Marine, at the restaurant featured in the show. She wanted to study wine. A year after my visit, she had come to work as a sommelier in the restaurant Le Quatrième Mur. Cherbourg? I hadn’t had time to visit it, but it gave me the impression of a beautiful city.

This Saturday, May 28, 2022, concert by the group Chef & The Gang at the Agora in Équeurdreville-Hainneville (9 p.m., doors open at 7 p.m.). Price: €20. Information: 06 85 50 38 92 or president.vp2s@gmail.com. Refreshment bar and food trucks on site.

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