As part of the So Chef! programme which is coordinated and run, in part, by the French Institute of South Africa and Alliance Francaise, French chef Pierre-Franck Salamon visited the Capital Hotel School to spend time with its students.

“Capital Hotel School honoured us with a delicate and difficult choice between highly motivated students, and we had to pick only four,” said Pierre-Franck. When asked what he would like to instil in the chefs-in-training, he said, “I wanted to share my knowledge during this workshop. To show them that nothing is impossible if they have the passion and motivation to attain their dreams.”

While at Capital Hotel School, the chef found out more about the school and its people, shared his recipes, and used South African produce to showcase French ‘savoir-faire’.

Chef Pierre-Franck Salamon comes from a family of cooks and has worked in some of the most famous 3 Michelin starred restaurants. He’s won a number of culinary competitions, including the 1999 Taittinger International, and is currently the owner of the restaurant Pirate, which is a brasserie that specialises in seafood.

When asked about the biggest lessons he’s learnt as a chef, he said that it was to “respect the environment, and those that cultivate our natural resources, so that we can have the best natural products, without pesticides, without any toxins. To use these ingredients that are as natural as possible, and to use each ingredient without waste.”

Another lesson he’s learnt is “To respect my team, whatever their level and to share my knowledge with them, so that we can reach the very best results for every meal. Make use of the strengths of each individual without changing them, and share what I know to allow them to grow.”

During his trip to South Africa, he visited a number of secondary schools and culinary schools in Pretoria; including CBC Mount Edmund, Pro Arte Alphen Park, Prue Leith Chefs Academy, as well as a few restaurants, such as Brasserie de Paris. He also spent a week in Durban at the city’s Alliance Francaise: “I discovered a South Africa rich with people who were very professional and enthusiastic, and were keen to discover what I did and how I did it.”