Chef Olivier Mourelon started his apprentice training near Auxerre in France, before he started work with Pascal Jarry, a master chocolatier, in a luxury chocolate and pastry shop. In 2002, Chef Olivier was Chef de partie at the 5-star hotel and Michelin-star restaurant Les Clos in Chablis. He achieved his first Head Pastry Chef position at the Michelin-star Chapter One restaurant in Dulbin.
In 2007, his career took him to London with work at Charlton House luxury contract catering, The Stafford 5-star hotel, and Michelin-starred restaurant Club Gascon and in 2011, as Head Pastry Chef for the iconic Skylon restaurant. Chef Olivier joined Le Cordon Bleu London's team of Pâtisserie Teaching Chefs in 2014.
What made you want to be a chef?
I’ve wanted to be a chef for as long as I can remember. I have really fond memories of spending summers helping my grandparents run their restaurant in Corsica. By the age of 15 I began my training as an apprentice working in pastry, chocolate and bakery shops in my home town of Auxerre, whilst gaining my professional qualifications
Why did you choose to teach at Le Cordon Bleu and what makes it so unique to you?
Well it’s the best culinary school in the world! Working in the London school is great as our students are a real representation of the city. London is a mix of all countries, so it helps students to understand lots of different cultures and their cuisines
What is your earliest food memory?
Spaghetti Bolognaise! My grandparents used to fight over who was the best at making it. My grandfather would be persistent that it should be made with white wine and my grandma with red wine. I can picture them both in the kitchen now, so this dish holds a special memory to me.
"Well it's the best culinary school in the world!"
What is your favourite ingredient?
I don’t really have one; I change just like the seasons! I’ll be intrigued by one style of cooking for six months, and I create everything possible with this technique and then I’ll move onto something else, so I use a variety of different ingredients. But I do like chocolate, it’s very expressive.
Can you explain what an ‘average’ day is like for a Head Pastry Chef at a Michelin Starred restaurant is like?
Every day is different - but to survive in that environment you will need to be a good manager, enjoy working together in a team and be able to acknowledge the skills within your team. You’ll also need to be very creative and be able to adapt your menu with the trends, otherwise your team will get bored and so will your customers – so try to be as innovative as possible.
Do you have a favourite kitchen gadget?
Probably my dehydrator – by taking out the water content you’ll give your food more flavour and completely change the texture.
Do you have a cook book that has been particularly influential to you?
I can think of one, Harold McGee ‘on Food and Cooking’, this is a great book and provides a reference to the scientific understanding and preparation of food by focusing on ingredients and structure.