How long have you been cooking professionally?
I’ve been working in the kitchen for about 30 years. I started to cook when I was 13 years old.
Where did you train to cook?
I always love to cook. My family owned a Restaurant and I always was involved in the gastronomic world. While other kids were playing soccer I was in the kitchen helping with the dishes or learning how to make ice cream. At the age of 12 I decided to join a culinary school. I studied there for 5 years, then half year of working and after join the navy where my chef career started to develop.
How would you describe your style of cooking?
I have a mix of styles. I have been working through Europe. I took something from every country and I melted together. Lately my General Manager call my cooking style as “Swiss Fusion”. I don’t like to cook boring dishes, I always look to put my own name on it.
Is there a secret for a successful restaurant?
It is very important to offer the best food possible together with a great service and location. Mix of things. And of course have a great Chef in the kitchen like me [laughs].
Do you have a "signature dish" or favorite dish you enjoy cooking?
I love to cook using the smoker - great ribs! I’m passionate about cooking Seafood.
Do you have a favorite ingredient?
I love smoked salt. Actually it’s very difficult for me to find it in Zurich.
Which restaurant do you most enjoy eating at on your night off?
All depends of my mood: I could be in a Chinese place or end up eating a burger.
Is there another chef that you most admire?
Yes, it is Gerard Goldstein. He is such an inspiration for me, hard work and a real example how a good chef supposed to be.
Any advice you would give to someone wanting to become a chef?
Work hard and try to be different. Try to be unique! In nowadays we can do so much with food, just be creative and you will be the best Chef. Look around - the world is big, just don’t stay in one place.
If you could cook for and dine with someone, who would that be?
I would love to cook for the King and Queen of Holland.
Any final thoughts you'd like to share, e.g. future plans or new developments at the restaurant?
Very excited plans for the hotel I am working for. We are renovating the restaurant, create new menus and have further plans along the way. I’m a chef who loves challenges.
About Antoine Alessie
At the age of 12 Antoine started his journey as a talented chef. Starting as a dishwasher in a local restaurant Antoine was soon making starters and desserts. The Culinary school went very well, he even won an award as most promising young kitchen talent at the age of 17 with a dish of grilled fish. After finishing school he joined the Royal Dutch Navy for over a year where he got most of his certificates. Afterwards, Antoine worked in several hotels and restaurants in Europe and in the Netherlands. From 2004 to 2005 Antoine was a culinary teacher at the University of Eindhoven. 2005 he moved to Switzerland and in several restaurants and hotels.