Meet the French cook Alexis Gabriel Aïnouz

As an online star and Jamie Oliver discovery, Alexis Gabriel Aïnouz represents the non-formal route into French cuisine, one focused on fun and a passion for trying new things. Connexion spoke to him about his influences, preferences... and the perfect omelette

Where were you born and where do you live?

Born and raised in Paris, where I still live today. I do travel a lot for work though, and honestly I enjoy fast-paced cities like NYC or London very much, from a business point of view at least. On the weekends, however, I am always looking for something a bit more chilled, which usually includes a sunny terrasse at a café, a glass of red wine and endless discussions about the meaning of life. Can’t beat Paris for that.

 

What is your earliest food memory?

At my grandparents’, I would have the the most traditional French meals you could think of. Lighting was low, the table was crowded and my “Mamie” would not stop bringing fragrant dishes and shiny sauces to the table. Beef bourguignon, Blanquette, Sauerkraut...

Looking back, I realize she taught me to love all my classics. She also taught me the value of a meal doesn’t sit on the plate itself; the whole experience is highly social and cultural.

 

What first got you interested in cooking?

I loved food very early but started cooking very late. At 25, I moved in with my girlfriend and when we split the housework in half, I got shopping and cooking. What a bargain, I know!

I started with very simple dishes, then bought a few second hand cookbooks and slowly fell in love with the process itself. I especially enjoyed – and I still do today – discovering new dishes from different cuisines. In fact, I remember I would dedicate whole periods to ...

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