Interview with Julien. The Julien Trilogy: III

After having spent a few wonderful days in France (so do expect a few France related posts), I can now sit down to transcribe my interview with Julien. As I mentioned here, the interview was conducted 90% in French, so I’ll translate it with the most faithful meaning possible. In my first post about Julien, I described him as the most Frenchest French man I have met.

I have known Julien for a few years now. He is a wonderful man with very deep thoughts though with a mischievous smile at the same time. Julien is an artist at heart. One of the ways to enjoy his spare time is with music. Have a peak here into his YouTube channel to enjoy his music. His music is just as miserable as mine, in the poetic sense, but completely different in a modern way. Julien is a big seducer, though I suspect he doesn’t even try to be so…

This interview is about his vision on food and cooking. Julien makes very traditional gourmet French cooking, always with some delightful twist. The presentation of the food is of utmost importance. The attention to detail brings great pleasure. For example, Mr. H. and I have spent the last few New Years Eve dinners with him. Julien cooked of course. He would print out, for each of us, a copy of the menu for that night and set it on the table by each plate. Naturally he wrote them using the most beautiful fonts. Needless to say, his food is delicious.

Enough. Let’s get started.

When did you begin to cook?

I began to cook very young, between the age of 5 – 6. I cooked with Madame Peltier (my mother), who doesn’t really know how to cook. I also cooked with both of my grandmothers.

Who were your biggest inspirations in the kitchen?

Both of my grandmothers inspired me. They cooked tremendously well. I made lots of observations on how they would do things and I understood the mechanism of cooking, such as how to make a mayonnaise, omellete, coq au vin and many other traditional foods. I adore eating. I am a big gourmet. I am intransigent and very demanding on the coordination of flavours.

Another mayor inspiration comes from Joël Robuchon, the greatest chef in the world. He wrote about the food from Tuscany and also about French cuisine.

Cuisine is everything, it’s about the people, the table, the decoration…

How would you define your style of cooking?

Intuitive. I have a problem: I’m very creative, very inspired, very sensitive, and just like a perfumer, I believe that the smell is the organ of the senses. I create techniques for the precise moment and I am incapable of recreating them like I did the first time.

What is your favourite smell?

Basil.

What is your favourite flavour?

For me the most refined flavour is that of white truffles.

As you know, fusion food is an important aspect of my blog. France is very important in your style of cuisine, but what other countries influence your style? At this point Julien argues that his cuisine is not too French. Mr. H. and I argue back that it is definitely of the most refined and creative French style. Hmm.

On top of my French cuisine I like to explore with different herbs to give it other flavours and styles that may bring reminiscences of food from other countries, such as with the use of coriander or tarragon.

A few days afterwards he did make us a gorgeously smooth chicken curry…

The presentation of your food is always superb. What tips can you give us to create each dish and set the table?

If I had a restaurant, I would want a different plate depending on each dish. The colour is also very important. I think that (too much) red colour should be prohibited in cuisine because it is too strong and indisposes. Red needs to be contrasted, it must be contrasted with another colour such as green.

My tip would be to think like an artist, like a painter that paints a scenery, with natural colours that appear in nature and with contrasts. Think in each detail.

When I truly want to cook something the best I can do, I design my plate like I would plan a map. Before cooking I think about it as part of the preparation. An example of what goes on in my head would be something like this:

Thus he draws it in my notebook:

Julien imagines food

If you suddenly met the woman of your dreams tomorrow, what would you cook for her as the first romantic meal you were to have together to ensure she will be under your spell?

Something light, floral and full of flavour. I would work, especially, on creating an analogy with love. A cuisine with strong spices with contrast with vegetables and flowers. Something sensual and something that is duality on the plate.

For example I would make a salad with violets with a vinagrette of pepper from Espelette (in French piment d’Espellette, a village in the French Basque Country) and with pepper from Myanmar. Afterwards I would make venison, a wild meat with a musky taste, always with duality, so it will be combined with celery gravy. Everything would be about duality.

The cuisine would need to fill the senses and be profound.

How do you incorporate you style of cuisine with your daily life?

This is a huge frustration…

I have to cook everyday but my tiny kitchen limits me. The truth is I most love to cook for my friends and family. My parents used to get me to cook for their dinner parties.

Is there anything else you wish to add?

Cuisiner ça me rend heureux – cooking makes me happy.

Julien

The photos were taken one afternoon in Sitges.

Thank you Julien!

15 Comments

  1. completelydisappear 2013-08-24 at 01:23

    It’s great to be able to read the thoughts of someone who has strong passion on something.

    Thank 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2013-08-26 at 11:45

      Yes, and he also speaks with great passion!

      Reply
  2. apartmentwife 2013-08-24 at 16:51

    i love your question about cooking for a woman you love, and his answer makes me want to hand my husband a spatula and a cookbook. we’ve been together for 3 1/2 years, but he’s never cooked me a meal…

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2013-08-26 at 11:46

      Oh you must try it! He might even be surprised and discover that its fun xx

      Reply
  3. Guillermina Bósquez Stover 2013-08-24 at 19:01

    Ah, the French are so romantic…and by that I mean so enamored of life and the pursuit of happiness…and with how food is essential to LIFE…je t’aime,Julien!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2013-08-26 at 11:47

      Oh yes, oui… I’m glad you liked Julien 🙂

      Reply
  4. Kiss & Make-up 2013-08-25 at 16:39

    The Frenched French man you ever met, hehe, I loved that part 🙂 Great interview.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2013-08-26 at 11:47

      Ah merci, I enjoyed doing it 🙂

      Reply
  5. Julien Peltier 2013-08-25 at 23:13

    Nice job Dear Sofia!I hope we will share our passion with all your followers and your worldwide friends!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2013-08-26 at 12:00

      Merci a toi Julien. J’adore beaucoup ta cuisine et c’était un plaisir de avoir ton visite et de faire l’interview. (Et je écris mal en française…).

      Reply
  6. Pauline 2013-08-30 at 03:55

    I’m so proud that Julien is my cousin. I love this description of himself. When we were young I remembered he was the only one eating salty things at breakfast, like pâté and cheese (so not common in France!), and no one understood why 😉 He’d always had this incredible and strong sense, feeling and taste for food and music. I agree: he’s a poet, a seducer, a “grand sentimental” and at the same time quite a big clown ;), he used to make my sisters, his sister and me laugh so much!…. I’m sure he’s learned a lot from our grandmother, mamie Josette, she is still a great traditionnal French “cook”, Julien, do you remembered when she was making her mermelades? her lapin aux pruneaux? her blanquette de veau? and the best of all the tartines grillées avec du beurre fermier :), you used to make her laugh a lot too 😉
    I remembered the last time we saw each other in France, like three years ago, and he talked to me about wine with great passion…
    I’m really sad we are so far from each other and I really hope soon he’ll visit me in Mexico where he’ll surely experience awsome exotic flavours and hear marvellous sounds.
    By the way I was told a few weeks ago that Mexican food was the best worldwide and stole the 1st place from France… 😉
    Congratulations for what you’ve done and for who you are.
    Love you…

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2013-09-02 at 21:27

      Bonjour Pauline! Its true, he’s a poet and seducer and still a happy clown 🙂 I hope he will be able to visit you in Mexico and learn Mexican food, now that it has become the best food 😉 Bisous!

      Reply
  7. Julien Peltier 2013-09-02 at 20:01

    Ma chère cousine, je suis très touché par tes doux mots nostalgiques! nous avons une chance extraordinaire de vivre et de grandir ensemble dans cette belle petite famille toute simple et pleine de “coeur”.
    Tu me manque beaucoup!

    A très vite autour d’un coq au vin:), je t’embrasse très fort!

    Reply
  8. Sue 2014-08-26 at 04:17

    Such an enjoyable read, truly

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2014-08-26 at 14:52

      Yes, Julien is very poetic and romantic in real life. I actually wanted to interview him, but bet me at asking 🙂

      Reply

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