With eyes sparkling with inspiration, a straight posture, and a mess of hair, our Executive Chef introduces himself to us. Occasionally some Canadian expressions slipped his mind, his country of residence for some years. In front of him a dish, a work of art that looks like a flowery painting. Meeting with a craftsman who loves to share his passion…
You arrived in Moorea very recently. What does the island inspire you?
The island inspires me to live in perfect harmony with nature in its wild state, it is a wonderful game area. We are cooking in heaven! What also like is to discover the local culture and share experiences.
What are your desires for Pure and K restaurants?
I want each entity to have a distinct culinary signature. For the Pure, a casual, bistronomic cuisine, highlighting the treasures of local products with gourmet meals.
For the gastronomic restaurant, I would like to bring a beautiful touch of freshness and continue to make K the gastronomic reference in French Polynesia.
Where did your passion for cooking and your desire to make a career out of it come from?
I was born into a family of delicatessen makers in the heart of the Jura, like many chefs I grew up in pots.
Tell us your story?
At 14 I left the family cocoon for an apprenticeship in delicatessen in Pontarlier with Georges Bonnet. Then I went to the hotel school in Poligny for five years. During this time, I did internships with prestigious chefs such as Marc Veyrat, Jean Paul Jeunet. And I was part of the French team at the Olympiades des Métiers. Then I left for the Swiss Valais in the heart of the Alps to work with Didier De Courten’s brigade. That was beautiful! After that I went to Lyon, to the Relais Château la Villa Florentine with Davy Tissot, best worker in France.
Then I crossed the Atlantic to meet the kitchens of the prestigious Fairmont: Queen Elizabeth, with Chef Alain Pignard, who was teaching me how to make volume while being top gastronomy. This also gave me the chance to collaborate with one of the catering masters, Mr. Armando Arruda, who taught me with all his madness and dynamism how to organize prestigious events in Canada.
And now I’m in Moorea!
You have travelled throughout your career, Quebec, France, Tahiti… What has it brought you?
Already a personal enrichment, you discover, you learn, you blossom. On the professional side there are a lot of encounters that are created, with different people and different visions. You learn to work the products according to different techniques, cooking, materials…
How do you defines your cooking?
People say my plates are very feminine, with delicacy, flavour and texture. My cooking always respects the product by putting it forward. Because no matter how you turn things around, it’s the product that’s king.
Your most beautiful gastronomic meeting to date?
It’s my meal at Paul Bocuse’s, it was so magical, a whole pilgrimage, it puts you back on the right track. But there are so many others… Just like my brother Jean-Philippe Lintanf who makes me travel every time I taste his delicatessen!
The recipe or creation you are most proud of?
The professional achievement I am most proud of is being the Chief Signature for the prestigious Daffodil Ball, which is a charity event in support of the Canadian Cancer Society. This allowed me to win with the whole team the title of Best catering event in the world. And also to have joined the circle of Escoffier’s disciples with Mr Sébastien Giannini.
What is your favourite style of cooking?
I like to experience new kitchens. I don’t have a favorite when it’s the best.
Of course we wonder what your favourite dish is?
I’ll just say a Morteau sausage with yellow wine cancoillotte and steamed apples!
Your best culinary childhood memory?
Going to my grandma Lintanf’s for lunch on Saturday was quite a buffet. I remember when she made her roast chicken and it smelled all over the house!!
Sweeter or saltier?
Salty but very sweet.
Your favorite dessert?
Strawberries tagada (laughs)
What advice should future cooks give when they embark on their studies?
We must be aware that TV programs, as attractive and enriching as they are, are not the reality of the backstage of the work! I believe it is important to go to school to get technical and general education. This makes it possible to understand first of all what they are asked to do and especially why they do it. And then, you have to travel as much as possible to learn new techniques and languages to communicate with teams and clients. But above all, keep a cool head like any good craftsman should. As Alain Ducasse would say there are three fundamental steps: Know-how, make it happen, and make it known!
For you, what are the most essential qualities to become a good Chef?
First of all, be passionate because it’s not just a job, it’s a whole lifestyle!
A final word?
Come and see us at Moorea Sofitel, it will be my pleasure to welcome you.