In France, food is more than simply something to eat; it’s a lifestyle and an art that French chefs have spent years excelling in, and Tefal Brand Ambassador Guillaume Brahimi is testament to this. Known for his meticulous and delicious food at his Sydney, Melbourne and Perth restaurants and bistros, Guillaume is currently celebrating French Food Month here in Australia and took some time out to have a chat with us about his love for his motherland and how he feels about receiving a knighthood.
Myer: To start with, how does it feel to be receiving a Knighthood and did you ever expect to receive such an honour?
Guillaume Brahimi: I am extremely proud to be French and I cherish France and her strong symbol of Liberté, Egalité and Fraternite. Growing up and even as an adult, I never dreamed of receiving this kind of award. When I was advised that I would be bestowed this decoration, I cannot even describe how happy and honoured I was.
M: Tell us a little about your history and experience as a chef and what you think it is that’s allowed you such success?
GB: I started my apprenticeship when I was fifteen years old and was fortunate to be able train under one of the best chefs in the world, Joel Robuchon, before moving to Australia. I have always been fortunate to be surrounded by great mentors, always.
M: As a classically trained French Chef, what is your favourite meal to cook in your restaurants and then also at home?
GB: I love cooking fine dining for the discipline and the artistic side, but also love Bistro style cooking. What I cook in my Bistros in Melbourne and Perth is generally what I will cook at home. My family love a Roast Chicken. Everyone should master this classic dish.
M: If we were to ask your staff in your restaurants, how would they describe you?
GB: I think most of them (most of the time) would describe me as driven, exacting and understanding. A lot of my staff have been with me for a long time- some 10 or more years and we have a mutual loyalty and respect within the team.
M: What is your number one tip for kitchen organisation?
GB: Always exhibit finesse, be it in your work ethic, produce you use, staff, equipment- right down to the dish you plate.
M: If you could only have 3 pieces of equipment or cookware in your kitchen, what would they be?
GB: I would want a Tefal Heritage Pot Roast pan, a set of good sharp knives and a Tefal Cuisine Companion – all essentials and all helpful in the cooking process.
M: Tell us a little about why you love the Tefal range?
GB: I’ve grown up using Tefal cookware – for me it is a household name. Featuring seven layers of revolutionary Titanium Pro non-stick coating, the new Heritage Non Stick & Triply ranges offers Tefal’s most resilient coating yet. All of Tefal, including my favourite Heritage range feature the patented Thermospot and the pieces can also be placed in the oven up to 260 degrees. I am proud to be associated with a brand that makes cooking easy, pleasurable and that ensures the food is cooked evenly. Tefal is a brand you can trust.
M: When you go out for dinner, what’s your favourite cuisine to eat other than French?
GB: I love eating sushi & sashimi. Monday night is sushi night in our household – everyone is happy!
To help celebrate French Food Month in your home, Guillaume has kindly shared one of his favourite traditional French recipes with us so we can all bring a little taste of France into our own kitchens!
poached salmon with dill & crème fraiche emulsion
4 x 180 gm salmon portions (pin boned)
2 litres of fish stock
1 teaspoon of white pepper corns
Dill and Crème fraiche sauce
100 ml of white wine
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
200 grams of Crème fraiche
1 bunch of dill (chopped)
6 heads baby fennel (cut in quarters)
Place fish stock, eshallot and White peppercorns into a triply roasting pot, place on high heat and boil. Add fennel quarters, reduce to a simmer and cover with lid and cook for 20 minutes or until just soft, then remove and leave in a warm place. Turn the heat off and add in the Salmon, then cover with lid. Leave for 5 minutes then check if ready.
Whilst fennel is cooking place a Tefal saucepan on heat, add eshallots and sweat, then add white wine and white wine vinegar. Reduce by a third, add crème fraiche to finish, bring to the boil before turning off. Add dill. Sauce the salmon with the Crème fraiche emulsion and serve.
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