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Canada - Bruno Marti

Bailliage of Canada
Delta (British Colombia), July 5, 2024

Thoughts on the culinary profession and advice for young professionals
" Bruno shares with us the benefit of his expertise accrued since starting as a Commis Chef in the Sixties "

A senior "statesman" of the culinary world Grand Officer Maître Rôtisseur Honoraire Bruno Marti, in a career that has spanned six decades, has competed in - and won - several international competitions, been a team coach and a competition judge training and inspiring hundreds of young chefs.

His famous restaurant, La Belle Auberge, which he closed on his retirement in 2012, served exquisite food with exemplary service for over 30 years from a kitchen that nurtured many excellent chefs and cooks.

In this article, Bruno shares with us the benefit of his expertise accrued since starting as a Commis Chef in the Sixties.

A man who has inspired many young chefs, Bruno explained that his own inspiration comes from competitions, and he is grateful he was able to start competing at a young age.

“You get a chance to see some of the best young cooks in the world experimenting with the latest innovations, and not just in our classical cuisine,” he explained. “You learn from other cultures. If you can adapt and overlap all of this with our cuisine, surprisingly you often come up with something extraordinary and new.”

He continued, “Those discoveries add to your enthusiasm and are a great motivator for any chef that strives to provide something new and interesting for his guests. It is no less important to demonstrate these tools and implant that desire in the young chefs around you.”

It goes without saying that Bruno has witnessed plenty of change in gastronomy throughout his career. Looking back to his time as an apprentice cook in the Sixties he remembers that it was seen as arrogant to try to create anything of your own, but this all changed with Chef Paul Bocuse and his ‘nouvelle cuisine’ in the early Seventies.

He observed, “All of a sudden new concepts outside of the then known classical recipes were not only born but encouraged by a growing tidal wave of chefs. The pace of innovation accelerated and other chefs started to experiment with new concepts.”

Bruno recalled that the whole air of change gave opportunities to young cooks and chefs to be creative without fear of being scolded. Soon the descriptions on menus became understandable to customers, who never got used to classical terms to begin with!

Asked about the biggest trends and challenges in gastronomy today, Bruno immediately replied, “Sustainability! As the world gets more populated, is it more important to cook only the best, or should the question really be, are we making the best use of the product as a whole? Possibly less is better. Respect all food, waste not, want not. Make sure it is used somewhere else.”

Reflecting further, he said, “A new trend - or better, the new difficulty in gastronomy - is motivating the next generation to enter the profession. Despite the great hike in restaurant food prices, pay is still too low to attract young cooks, or staff in general, especially when the hours do not lend themselves for a social life. Today’s generation demands a life after work. COVID of course did not help.”

And finally, Bruno’s advice to any of today’s young, aspiring chefs is: “If you want to be seen, stand up! In my kitchens that meant giving 110 per cent every day. If you want to be heard, read food stuff, dream food stuff, compete. That is your source of strength and innovation. Gastronomy is a life-long commitment. If you take it seriously you will be rewarded with respect - and sometimes even some tangibles.”

He added, “Make your work your hobby. That will turn into your passion, once you become good at it. I guarantee it! Be proud of what you do, love what you do, it will show in your output and you will be rewarded, if by no-one, you will be rewarded by feeling good about yourself. Making others happy gives you a great satisfaction. If any of the above do not work for you, you probably need to find another way of making a living.

Prepared by a Chaîne News Online Staff Writer from material provided by Bruno Marti, to whom we express our deep appreciation. E&OE

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