Vincent Catala French Cuisine & Pastry Chef

Childhood: The Dawn of Passion

I entered the world in 1982 in a small town called Fréjus in the south east of France, and the environment that surrounded me as I grew up was one centered on the importance of family ties and the sharing of cuisine.

As a child, I remember passing all of my free time sitting on a stool in the kitchen of Mémé Loulou—my great grandmother. She adored passing on her taste for Mediterranean cuisine, a cuisine rich in both taste and color, to me. Each and every one of her plates was finished with aromatic plants or flowers, and Mémé Loulou transferred all of that knowledge to me without fail.

There are no words to express the depth of my gratitude to Mémé Loulou, who was the first person to show me the potential for emotion in cuisine and who continues to inspire my dishes and me to this day. While I was still quite young, I recognized that I was not thriving in an ordinary school setting, and as a senior in high school I completed an internship that ended up determining my path in the kitchen.

The chef who hosted me in his establishment taught me the precision of movement; the professional side of a chef. It was with that experience that I realized that my path was one of culinary exploration, and I oriented my studies to this quickly growing passion.

On the Path of Gastronomy

Diploma in hand, I set out to cut my teeth in the culinary world in renowned restaurants. As I made my way across France I worked in a variety of starred restaurants (from one to three stars Michelin). It was in these exceptional locations that I had unforgettable encounters that shaped the person that I am today.

Constantly curious and ever thirsty to learn more, I participated in the championship for dessert in France. It was there that I met Michael Durieux, who became my mentor in all things pastry. I decided to invest myself fully, and succeeded in creating and acknowledging my legitimacy in the field. One year later, I obtained the CAP in pastry.

Perpetually evolving, I became the 2014 Ambassador of the Champions of Dessert in France along with achieving the qualification of an International Consultant. Additionally, over the past 10 years I participated in numerous gastronomic events such as Etoiles de Mougins, the Salon du Chocolat, SIRHA, and the CREMAI for which I was on the jury for the African selection of the Coupe du Monde in Pastry 2017.

I was also fortunate to have the chance to appear in Thuries magazine and to participate in several television programs both abroad (in Canada and Morocco) and in France (TF1—reportage—La cuisine des fleurs). I invite you to follow me in all my new and upcoming adventures in the world of gastronomy!

The Heart of the Chef

For me, cuisine and pastry are arts that I have to impart and convey to the world around me. There is nothing more beautiful or satisfactory than seeing the light in someone’s eyes as they behold the treasures I created with my own hands.

Out of my love for gastronomy, I never hesitate to serve and work for others, and regularly hold courses for the young and old. When given the opportunity I also invest in charity. For example, with my participation in Restos du Coeur, with the construction of the course “Verte” for the children of Talencieux, or with the benefit for the disaster victims of the Alps-Maritimes in October 2015, among many more.

Having once left the forefront of the scene, I won’t leave so much as my apron now. I love sharing and creating moments with my family, from whom I draw my serenity and my strength. You will hear me say that my Miette (who is my wife) has become my muse and that my children are my motivation.

Today, I have chosen to teach pastry at a gastronomic school in Miami, to better transfer my experiences and knowledge to a greater number of people.

As a child, I remember passing all of my free time sitting on a stool in the kitchen of Mémé Loulou—my great grandmother. She adored passing on her taste for Mediterranean cuisine, a cuisine rich in both taste and color, to me. Each and every one of her plates was finished with aromatic plants or flowers, and Mémé Loulou transferred all of that knowledge to me without fail.

There are no words to express the depth of my gratitude to Mémé Loulou, who was the first person to show me the potential for emotion in cuisine and who continues to inspire my dishes and me to this day. While I was still quite young, I recognized that I was not thriving in an ordinary school setting, and as a senior in high school I completed an internship that ended up determining my path in the kitchen.

The chef who hosted me in his establishment taught me the precision of movement; the professional side of a chef. It was with that experience that I realized that my path was one of culinary exploration, and I oriented my studies to this quickly growing passion.

Philosophy Behind the Cuisine

To appreciate and capitalize on the potential that each fruit and vegetable has, I work only with seasonal ingredients.

Through my world travels, I am constantly researching new products and flavors, new colors and textures. I enrich myself in the discovery of the diversity of humanity and its many cultures, leading to the ability to compose plates that are complex and surprising with just a touch of madness.

Don’t be surprised either if you see my plated desserts composed as if they are an actual work of art—as painting is another of my great passions in life, often carried through into my work in the kitchen. And if you are vigilant, you too will add a spoonful of something new to my palate.

Welcome to my universe gourmands!!

I will end with the words I live by: CARPE DIEM

Share On Google Plus
Show
Share On Google Plus
Hide