Chef Boudot joined Le Cordon Bleu Paris team of Chef Instructors in 2013. We wanted to find out a bit more about him.
Chef Olivier Boudot interview
Where did your passion for pastry, and your desire to make a career out of it, come from?
When I was young, I often used to help one of my uncles, who owned a bakery/pastry boutique, and I knew almost immediately that this was what I wanted to do for a living. I went on to study pastry and took my pastry “Certificat d’Aptitude Professionnelle (CAP)” when I was 15 years old. However, during my apprenticeship I also had to focus on boulangerie. This proved to be a revelation, allowing me to discover my passion for this trade. Following my apprenticeship, I was chosen as one of the best apprentices in the Auvergne region, which gave me the opportunity to take part in the “Meilleur Apprenti de France” competition.
Is there a chef who inspired you during your career?
A number of chefs have inspired me throughout my career. I have been extremely fortunate and worked with exceptional chefs, a number of whom have been awarded the title of One of the Best Craftsmen in France (Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France - MOF) including Jacques Souilhat and Louis Sauvestre. These two chefs helped me to progress and evolve. These two Chefs, who helped me to progress and evolve, still follow me to this day.
I left the Auvergne when I started working and joined the team at the first Eric Kayser bakery in Paris. My time there proved to be a real turning point: It was a fast-paced working environment and I progressed at lightning speed, becoming Adjoint-chef after just 8 months and chef after 18 months, remaining for 5 years in total. Working for Eric Kayser also gave me the opportunity to travel and give demonstrations to promote “Fermentolevain”, a product which is based on a fermentation technique for producing liquid leaven. This experience also introduced me to the media world and gave me the opportunity to work on 100% pain, a book which won “gastronomique européen” 1st prize. I briefly returned to the Auvergne where I worked with chef Amandio Pimenta MOF, who trained me in the art of rye and nutritional bread.
You have traveled during your career; to Korea, Switzerland, and Miami… Can you tell us how beneficial this was to you?
I spent a year working in research and development for SPC Paris Croissant in Seoul, and another year in the same role with Maillard et Gourmandises in Switzerland, during which time I returned to France to take part in the European boulangerie championships. Traveling was extremely culturally enriching. I was taken out of my comfort zone and this enabled me to learn to adapt more easily to new situations and to be at ease with others. It also taught me a great deal about myself and how to successfully channel my energy.
What are the main qualities needed in order to become a good chef?
To be a good chef, you must love your job but that alone is not enough… You must be a good teacher, listener and have good people skills. It is also essential to keep your feet firmly on the ground!
What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking of becoming a chef?
Try to remain passionate about what you are doing and don’t shirk your responsibilities. Personally speaking, traveling and working in International companies has helped me to keep a cool head and not to forget my roots. The key to being able to pass your knowledge on to others is keeping your feet firmly on the ground and listening.
Why did a Boulangerie chef join Le Cordon Bleu Paris institute teaching team?
I arrived in 2013, with the aim of creating the Boulangerie Diploma. I was given all the tools for the job. Classes began in 2015. 2 years later, I am delighted with the way in which things have developed. I created the Diploma, built a team of 4 boulangerie Chefs, equipped the school’s laboratory and trained individuals who went on to become excellent bakers.
I am also extremely proud of the recognition of the Chefs with whom I work and to whom I provide support. They regularly thank me for helping them to develop. This is extremely important to me; you can achieve so much when you are not alone!
Thank you for taking the time to give us this interview chef!
Discover the Boulangerie Diploma at Le Cordon Bleu Paris institute :