Flying for Flavour1 Sep 2012
French native, Jerome Carrouee’s fervor for food and travel has served him well since the day he first slapped on his chef hat and apron. That was almost three decades ago and he hasn’t looked back since. Accustomed to just about any condition, whether hot, cold, sweet or sour, he has had the opportunity of tantalising many a taste bud throughout his career, building an impressive reputation for himself over the years.
The cooking enthusiast comes from a long line of pastry chefs and charcutiers. Therefore, it was only natural that he followed in his old man’s footsteps. Even back then, his father owned several pastry shops. Drawing inspiration from him, Chef Jerome decided to venture further into the industry.
“I wanted to see the world and cultivate my passion for food and travel while earning a living,” he readily shares. It was the same burning desire for wanderlust that took him on a culinary journey to altogether 11 countries before finally deciding on settling down in Malaysia.
On a more serious note, culinary expert opens up on how he has had to encounter many challenges across the last 26 years, all of which had to be endured as part and parcel of the job. However, despite the roller coaster ride it has been, it is the adrenaline rush which keeps him coming back for more.
From storming up a last minute meal due to a delayed British Airways flight to hosting Bahrain royalty to cooking for VIP Jainism devotees from India, there hasn’t been a dull moment in his cooking history. His French heritage aside, Chef Jerome has a particular interest in Mediterranean food.
According to him it is a style of food which focuses on the natural qualities of each ingredient, its freshness, aroma and authenticity. The attention to detail and respect for traditions is what makes the food from that region special.
“I was working for the Shangri-la group in Taipei and after three years there, they transferred me to their KL property. It ended up being the right place for me, as I love everything about Malaysia; the people, the food, the weather and the many interesting places to visit. Did I mention I met my wife here in KL?” he says nostalgically.
Meanwhile, a father of five roving kids and Executive Chef at The Saujana Hotel Kuala Lumpur, his passion stretches beyond the boundaries of the kitchen and onto the field. In his leisure, the gourmet master turns to rugby as his sport of choice. If nothing else, it is quite clear that he has absolutely no qualms about getting his hands dirty! EL