French American chef Alix Lacloche’s varied career includes time spent cooking at a number of acclaimed restaurants, from San Francisco’s Boulettes Larder to stalwart dining institution Alain Ducasse. A champion of Carlo Petrini’s Slow Food movement, Lacloche’s work investigates eco-gastronomy and alternative forms of consumption. In 2012, the chef decided it was time to launch her own catering business in Paris, exploring the experience of dining as a form of performance art. From crystallised rose petals, sugar-coated and glistening, to potato towers overflowing with greens, and pink mayonnaise topped boiled eggs, Lacloche’s mesmerising setups appear like something between a Dr. Seuss banquet and a Dutch still life painting. Garnering an eminent fan base for her imaginative food and eclectic presentation, Lacloche’s client list today includes the likes of Louis Vuitton, Christophe Lemaire, Chanel, Jacquemus, Isabel Marant and Maryam Nassir Zadeh, to name a few. To learn more about the chef, what she’s working on and how she’s handling the pandemic, Something Curated spoke with Lacloche.
Something Curated: Can you tell us about your background and how you got into the industry?
Alix Lacloche: I grew up in Paris. I am 35 years old. My mother was American; she was obsessed with eating super healthy – cod liver oil and pollen for breakfast, almond butter instead of butter, homemade tempura on Sunday nights and free nitrate ham from a town just outside of Paris. She passed away when I was 14, and I have cooked for myself since then. It became a job right after high school thanks to amazing people in the industry whom I met with the help of my dad.
SC: How would you describe your approach to food; is there an overarching ethos you abide by?
AL: It must be good, delicious, spontaneous, simple and elegant. I am not a fan of restaurants or going out. I prefer making a simple dish of pasta at home. And I love greasy joints that are not famous that serve easy authentic food.
SC: What are you currently working on and how has the pandemic affected the way you operate?
AL: It’s all pretty slow, if not completely on pause for the meantime; I am busy sewing mini bags for my girlfriends, drawing, cleaning my huge collection of crockery, looking at images of interior decors in vintage books, and putting all my energy into learning how to drive.
SC: Are there any ingredients or processes that you are particularly enjoying working with at present?
AL: Making jam is always fun, these days it’s fig jam for future buffets I hope to make. Mastering sushi rice while listening to philosophy, micro gardening on my windows and learning all about herb growing. And eating a lot of homemade spring rolls.
SC: What do you want to learn more about?
AL: Being able to make anything in pastry, understanding butter, sugar and heat – mastering that.
Images courtesy Alix Lacloche