French cuisine: a reputation carried by technique and flavor

Francis Metais, Executive Director at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando, met with the greatest French Chefs and led immense kitchens on land and sea. During his interview, he talks about his work and French cuisine throughout the world and the ages.

e-Toile : Francis Metais, you are the Executive Director in hotels and restaurants and made the board for restoration within one of the largest hotels in Orlando. Upon arrival in Orange County, you have associated with the greatest French chefs who worked in the region, Paul Bocuse, Gaston Lenotre and Roger Verge yet. Can you clarify how you and the Chiefs have they adapted their cuisine to American customers?

JPEGFrancis Metais: I will say two things to answer that question, first the Chef has adapted mainly on the volume if covers done during the day.

At that time, we were doing an average of 3000 covers per day when none of the three Chefs mentioned were doing more than 300 covers a day.
Regarding the adaptation of the food, mainly was to tune down the flavor of the dishes in order to fit better the American palettes. That was a few decades ago. Today the American palette can detect much more flavor.

e-Toile : You have had the opportunity a few years ago to oversee two restaurants cruise ships. In terms of management whether in human or in products and services, what are the most striking differences between a traditional restaurant and a floating restaurant?

  • Francis Metais: The main difference between the restaurant on the corner street or the floating restaurant, inland restaurant your staff is mainly the same all year long minus the turn over.

In the cruise industry, because the contract may be 4 months on, 2 months off, you have to manage three teams instead of one team all year long.Regarding the menu offering, the cruise industry is much more diverse than the inland restaurants.

During the day on the vessel you could have 10 - 18 different menus every day depending on the size of the vessel.

The easy part is to manage the level of consumption because prior to the cruise, you know how many people will dine your restaurant because you know your head count with the reservations, compared to the inland restaurants where it is a gamble every night.

e-Toile : The flavors of the world are found easily in one place especially in large hotels. How do you put value in French cuisine and how you explain it to the professionals?

  • Francis Metais: For as long as I remember, the black paper was not growing in France but it’s about technique and balance of flavor that makes the French food being renowned.

Today we are using mainly local grown product either for a restaurant in NY, Florida or California.
It is the Chef and his team that can make a difference based on this talent and where they are trained and today I will say that between France and Asia, China, India and Japan where they have their own techniques and flavor for 1000 years, just like us.

e-Toile : After we turned to New kitchen, then the Merger, in your opinion, what are the next trends in cooking?

  • Francis Metais: The more the Chefs are traveling and picking up on some techniques in their local work environment, their food becomes a melting pot on what they learn and what they find as far as product.
    What I just want to remember, it’s only the good food that tastes great that can travel through time.

Francis Metais
Director of Food & Beverage
Waldorf Astoria Orlando and
Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

Last modified on 14/06/2012

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