Chef Staff Interview - Olivier Rodriguez
1. Where were you born?
Annecy, France (in the Alps)
2. Did you always know you wanted to be a chef?
Yes – since I was 2 or 3 I knew. I lived above the restaurant that my parents owned and started helping out from a very young age. I was always drawn to the pastry kitchen. I knew that was were I wanted to be.
3. What was your first kitchen job?
I was a dishwasher at Pepino (my parent’s restaurant)
4. Who do you consider to be your most influential culinary mentor/teacher?
Laurent Branlard who was my chef at the Swan and Dolphin in Disney.
5. What is the oddest ingredient or meal you have ever had?
Durian (the fruit that is banished in certain places in Southeast Asia for its offensive odor).
6. Have you ever cooked for someone famous?
Over the years, I have made about 4 or 5 birthday cakes for Celine Dion.
7. Do you cook at home? What do you have in your refrigerator?
A bit – mostly tuna and pasta salad.
8. Any memorable kitchen disasters?
I was going to an off-premise event and as we were traveling there the truck that contained the food took a sharp turn and all the individual desserts fell over and were completely destroyed. In a hurry we had to call the kitchen to begin making hundreds of more desserts.
9. Speaking of disasters…what beverage or cocktail do you like to unwind with?
Once in a while, I like to have a mojito.
10. What is your favorite dessert?
I don’t crave sweets too often but when I do, I love to go to the McDonald’s drive through and order a caramel sundae with nuts.