Serge Vieira of Restaurant Serge Vieira, Cantal, France was this year awarded a Red Star by the Michelin Guide, an honour reserved only for those chefs expected to progress to a Three Star status. Vieira is internationally recognised for his contribution to the industry and has demonstrated his culinary art all over the world.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in France and grew up in Clermont-Ferrand in France, but I am originally Portuguese.
When did you realize you wanted to be a chef?
Since the age of 16 I have loved cooking. As a young man I wanted to be an architect, but my parents could not afford to pay for my studies.
Is there one dish you still struggle to get right?
It is difficult to be consistent with all dishes, particularly when you are cooking for many people. It is easy to do one dish, far more difficult to produce the same for fifty people.
What does it take to be a successful chef?
Courage, modesty, professionalism and a certain ability to release.
Worst job you have ever had?
The most difficult experience was preparing my test dishes for the Bocuse d’Or competition in Lyon.
What is your signature dish?
I do not have a ‘signature dish’ – I like all my dishes!
What can people expect from your restaurant?
Our cuisine is derived from the produce grown in the immediate area where we live. People visit us for the honesty of the experience.
What is unique about your restaurant?
We use a special ‘cone stone’ to serve appetizers; and all the furniture was specially made for the restaurant by two artists, Jacques-Yves Mansuy and Thierry Courtadon.
Who’s the chef serving in heaven?
What is the most bizarre dish you have ever tried?
Whenever we create new test dishes they can be very confronting!
What is one question people are always asking you?
Why are we located in the Cantal.
What flavours/ingredients are your favourite to work with?
Seafood, vegetables and wild herbs.
Which three people would you invite to a dinner party?
My parents and Paul Bocuse.
What is your best tip for home cooks?
Do not attempt anything too complicated.
Serge Vieira will be sharing his insights on preparation and technique in exclusive masterclasses from the 11th - 15th January, as part of Tony Bilson's Cuisine Now festival at his Restaurant Radisson Plaza Hotel Sydney.