Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 25th 2015 Contents Guardian columnist and Cré Olé restaurant
guide editor, BC PIRES, chats with Table
Talk Awards Chef of the Year, Pierre Le Bihan,
proprietor chef of Zazou Bistro Moderne,
about the importance of plating, the impos-
sibility of sacrificing quality, and the Clash.
How'd you end up in Trinidad?
I left France 25 years ago, a fully trained
chef, and moved to the UK, to stay a couple
of years to improve my English. Ten years
later, I was still there. English food was bad
but that changed drastically in the mid-90s
by great English chefs like Marco Pierre White,
Gordon Ramsay. I think that s what kept me
so long in England, not the weather. A head-
hunter in London called me in Bangkok. Cara
Suites Hotel in Claxton Bay were looking for
an executive chef. My wife, Zanifar, was the
banqueting co-ordinator. Trini women dan-
gerous! It s going to be ten years we re married
How did you discover food?
My parents were always in the kitchen,
cooking. I was always with them, putting my
fingers in everything. I realised I had a talent
for it. I went to catering college when I was
17. I was lucky to work with many great chefs
in France. Especially in the first few years as
a young chef, you need mentoring. You won t
do it by yourself. People think cooking is easy:
I just have to put on the cooking channel.
Food channels you take with a pinch of salt!
Food channels make chef s work glamorous.
There is no glamour in the kitchen. It s a full-
of-testosterone, hot place.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I m an old school rock-and-roller! I was
born just after punk and that was my youth,
man. First time I heard the Clash, I was hooked
Do you listen to music in the kitchen?
Ah, no! Before or after, yes, but during
kitchen time I need to think of what I m doing.
The melody of the music distracts me very
How do you approach your kitchen?
First, it s very important to greet your staff.
I m fortunate to have good [people] and I m
very careful of them. Unfortunately, a kitchen
is not a democracy---but I try to get a good
status quo. I tell them they should do the best
job they can for themselves, not to please me.
Never forget the customer. I m not a cheap
restaurant. When you dress a plate, picture
yourself as a customer: Somebody going to
put that in front of you and you re going to
pay X amount of money for it...what you going
to say? "Oh, wow!" Or, "No, that s a piss-
What's the approach to the menu?
It s a bit like giving birth. You tend always
to turn around the same cut [and] type of
meat and vegetables, because only that s avail-
able. So it is a good challenge. You have to
really think hard. I ve been very influenced
by proper Japanese cooking, though not at all
by sushi. It has influenced my touch all the
How did you find Trinidad when you re-
turned in 2012?
You have a much more obvious middle class,
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
Rock and roll, not sushi roll
Dallas-born actor Owen Wilson says
that while his father having Alzheimer's
disease is "a rough thing," he also knows
that there are things to be grateful for,
including that his father is being cared
for at home and has people around who
"It is a rough thing," Wilson told the
Dallas Morning News in his first public
comment about his 74-year-old father's
illness. "It's one of those things where if
somebody had said ten years ago, when
my dad and I were joking around, having
a putting match, that this is the position
your dad's going to be in, where he
basically needs 24-hour care, you'd think,
'Gosh, I won't be able to handle that.
That's just not possible,'" Wilson said.
The actor, who grew up in Dallas,
added: "You just have to do your best to
deal with it. You've got no choice but to
accept it. And then, you sort of still look
for the things to be grateful for."
His father, Robert A "Bob" Wilson, is a
longtime Dallas executive. He took
charge of Dallas' public television
affiliate, KERA, in 1967. He hired Jim
Lehrer from the Dallas Times Herald and
put him in charge of public affairs
That led to the creation of a local news
program with Lehrer as host that was
the forerunner of a national staple, The
News Hour With Jim Lehrer. (AP)
Owen Wilson says his father suffers from Alzheimer's
Zazou won the Best Dessert at the Table Talk Awards and Pierre La Bihan was keen to ensure that his talented, young pastry chef Justine
Garcia, left, was honoured as well. Also in the photo are Table Talk judge Simone Hill, third from left, and Scotiabank managing director Anya
Schnoor, representing major sponsor Scotiabank. PHOTO: ANDRE ALEXANDER
One of Zazou's prize-winning desserts is the Classic Mille Feuille. PHOTO: MARIE CLARK
I always said I'm a bad businessman: I won't budge from quality;
I'd rather stop than start bastardising my cuisine because we
need to make money. I can't put garbage on the plate, man! And
people responded well. It paid this year, with our winning three
Table Talk awards.
Continues on Page B2
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