Alexandre Couillon is the Chef and owner of La Marine, located just across the harbour in the fisherman’s town of L’Herbaudiere on Noirmoutier Island. Alexandre, a former student of Guerard and Thierr y Marx, has been recently awarded the “Hope Trophee”, a distinction among young chefs who should best serve French gastronomy’s future in the world.
What does your knife mean to you?
Time saving! A good, sharp knife means greater efficiency, a clean and easier job. My knives are also beautiful objects. My Deba from Masamoto and all my Glestain knives are very attractive to me. Efficient, time-saving and beautiful objects, that’s what they are.
What made you want to be a chef?
Like any kid, I loved putting my hands in dough. My mother was also a wonderful cook. I’ve always tried to do my best in everything I did. I love beautiful things and I love good food products. Cooking is an art that enables me to strive for perfection. Japanese knives are the best tools to help me reach this goal. Then, I believe in lucky meetings. Important encounters with those special persons who will help you go on with that path that you chose for yourself. The Japanese trainees I met during my career are very important to my work philosophy today.The job cannot be well done without rigor and discipline.
What is your advice for young chefs?
Be respectful of your position, of your jobs, of your colleagues, be honest and transparent, it makes things easier and time-saving. It will make other people want to help you. Well educated young persons will find it easy to work in a kitchen.