Chef Eddy Leroux – Daniel, New York
Eddy Leroux was born in Douai, France, where he began to exchange lunchboxes with his classmates, and drawing inspiration from the various culinary traditions of his friends at a young age. His formal culinary training began at the age of 14, and by 23 he was working under chef Alain Senderens at the Michelin 3-star restaurant, Lucas Carton in Paris. After a four month assignment in working as the Chef de Cuisine of Le Normandie in the Oriental Hotel in Bangkok, Leroux was eager to explore Asian cuisine, visiting South Korea and Myanmar before relocating to New York where he is now the Chef de Cuisine at Daniel.
What made you want to be a chef?
I started very early on because I always had this passion. I went to culinary school when I was 14 years old and I was probably inspired by my aunties. My grandfather used to rent a space in the city around Christmas time to bring the family together. Everyone used to pitch in and bring one dish. I remember always being with my aunties in the kitchen and watching what they were doing. I was a gourmet at the time and I loved to eat, so it was only natural that I became a chef.
What is your goal for your career?
My goal is to maintain this restaurant’s status as one of the best in the world and to work with the finest ingredients that you can find in the market.
What is your philosophy towards hospitality?
You can not please everyone when it is a matter of color and taste, so it is challenging on the nightly service. But try to be constant to make the customers traveling on their culinary journey to achieve their expectations. Remember that dining out is an investment you make for a few hours, it is entertainment like visiting the opera. It is a group of talented people coordinating together to bring entertainment to the customer with wine, cuisine, and service.
Do you have any advice for chefs who are thinking about buying their first Japanese knives?
Japanese knives tend to be associated with a higher price, but you can find a knife for every budget. For a young chef, you can start with the Misono knives, which have a reasonable price. It’s simple to sharpen and maintain. You can start with a lower line Misono and work your way up to a UX10. It’s a little pricier, but it comes with added benefits to your skills. When you begin to make a little more money, you can switch again. My favorite knife is the Masamoto knife I’m using right now. I am absolutely in love with it. You have a sense of confidence when you work with a knife that won’t deceive you when you’re cutting. Of course you need to maintain them and I’m not saying I’m sharpening them every night like I should, because I know thats tradition for Japanese chefs. I’ll be frank, I sharpen mine on a weekly basis, but even then the grip, the edge and the precision of the cut stays amazing.
What is your advice for aspiring chefs?
You need to be aware that it is a long day and even on the holidays. You need to have the passion, because if you don’t you’re not going to last. Also meet different chefs and find a mentor. When you’re young it is not that important to stay in one place. Move around every few years to follow different chefs and find other inspirations to build your own character.