Gregoire Berger: “I would like to build a food charity concept”

The young chef representing Africa and Middle East talks to us in this interview exclusive ahead of the Grand Finale.

Gregoire Berger was named the best young chef in Africa and Middle East region during the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2016 regional heat and he will now put his passion for cooking to the test at the Grand Finale in Milan under the guidance of mentor chef Chantel Dartnall.

We spoke to him about his preparations on how he turned a passion into a profession.

My dish is unique because…
My dish is very unique because it has been created for this occasion, it is a token of gratitude to all my chefs that I use to work with, each component of this dish is a signature technic of product that I learned from them during all my carrier.

What are the main influences in your signature dish?
All my mentors, my chefs who teach me everything, and also "a walk on the hood" I love this ambience...

How are you collaborating with your S.Pellegrino Young Chef mentor in order to perfect your dish for the final?
We are communicating by Skype to share on here advises, our different vision and what we can improve, also we should meet very soon to organize an other testing to finalize those points.

What led you to choosing a career in the kitchen?
My grandmother, caper tart and the destiny :)

Who has been a mentor to you throughout your career?
I would say my first chef Fernand Corfmat, he gave me the passion and the vision to be a good chef and leader.

What are your professional ambitions?
To be MOF in France and 3 Michelin starred on the guide and why not in the 50 best next year, I also want to teach young generation about environement and respect of products.

What’s the best dish you ever tasted? Where did you eat it and who cooked it?
The couscous of my wife, she his Moroccan and we eat it at home during a family dinner because eating well suppose to be relax and with peoples that you love.

It is prepared with the very traditional way, with the best products from Africa.

What is the most exciting/challenging element of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition for you?
To be part of the best in the world to challenge myself and the pressure that it give during the preparation, for example in Cape Town I didn’t have some products what was very challenging. I like also to organize with my mentor from different locations in the world. And what exiting me the most, why not… to win !

What will you do if you win the competition?
I would like use this opportunity to train with the best S.Pellegrino's chefs to improve my knowledges and to create my own fine dining concept. I would like also to build a food charity concept, kind of charity street food/truck. I would like to open pop pop restaurant all around the world during using this notoriety.

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