ALEXIS SOSZYNSKI'S INTERVIEW

Alexis is a young French Pastry Chef.
He discovered his passion for pastry at the age of 14 and decided to make it his profession.
He trained at the Notre-Dame de la Providence technical college in Orchies (Dept. 59) from the age of 15.
He began his professional career at the age of 19 with Christophe MICHALAK in Paris and then went to work with Marie SIMON (Championne du Monde des Arts Sucrés) in Beaune where he is now.

Having been highly competitive and anxious to prove himself since his earliest years, he competed in the MAF (Best Artisan in France) Pâtissier and MAF Chocolatier during his training and is now preparing for the national final of the Worldskills competition which will be held in Lyon (Eurexpo) in early 2022.

meeting with the chef

YOUR CHINESE PORTRAIT IN FOOD

If I was...

If I was a fruit, I'd be a lemon.
Zesty and packed with energy!

If I was a dessert, I'd be a Paris-Brest.
Delicious with a melting heart.

If I was a cooking utensil, I'd be a knife.
Sharp and precise.

If I was a culinary institution, I'd be a school.
To pass on my know-how.

If I was a spice, I'd be cinnamon.
Because it always takes me back to Prague where I tasted a Trdelnik for the first time. They're soaked in a sweet mixture of sugar and cinnamon.

If I was an aroma, I'd be that of melting chocolate.
Always lovely.

If I was a pastry book, I'd be instructive.

Rather...

Rather sweet or savoury? Sweet

Rather chocolate, strawberry or vanilla? Chocolate

Rather acidic or bitter? Acidic

Rather gourmet or sensible? Gourmet

Rather breakfast, lunch, teatime or dinner? Teatime

Rather traditional or creative? Creative

Rather on your own or in a team? Team

Rather tart or entremets? Entremets

"To put passion and desire into every dessert,
which is what enables you to really touch people's hearts
and move them with your creations."

The interview

Where did your passion for patisserie come from?

I first discovered cooking with my family when we were entertaining, preparing for meals at Christmas, New Year and other special occasions. Then, very early on, at the age of 14, I was drawn to patisserie and I knew that that was what I wanted to do for a living.

These days, the sky's the limit, you can create the kind of pastry you want to and, most importantly, the kind that people want to eat.

Who were the most exciting people you met? Who and what influenced you most ?

In the early part of my professional 'career', I had two important meetings, the first was with Karim BOURGI when I got the chance to assist him at the Europain trade show in 2018. Three very challenging but extraordinary days and one of the best memories of my life so far.

The second was with Marie SIMON, who is my coach for the competition and for whom I work today.

As for influences, I like to follow the work of Stéphane LEROUX, Yvan CHEVALIER and Paul OCCHIPINTI with chocolate. When it comes to sugar, I really admire the work of Etienne LEROY and Stéphane KLEIN.

And lastly, from a patisserie, point of view, I always enjoy watching what Julien ALVAREZ, François DAUBINET, Karim BOURGI and Marie SIMON do.

You've already taken part in several culinary competitions. What does it bring to your professional and personal life?

Competitions allow you to make faster progress, they sharpen your palate, your way of working and make you better organised.
They also give you a chance to meet people and make a name for yourself in your profession and even beyond.
They grant you opportunities, open doors and help you to understand a lot of things that are most important in life.
I've always tended to be a bit of a loner, but the competitions have opened my eyes to the fact that I wouldn't be able to do anything without a team around me.
And when you win as a team, the victory is even sweeter because the joy is multiplied and shared.
There are always times of doubt, of soul-searching but also wonderful moments of sharing that are what makes the amazing memories.
It gives you stories to tell to your children and grandchildren in your future years when you're talking nostalgically about the 'good old days'.

How do you go about preparing for the national final of the Worldskills pastry-confectionery competition?

There are several stages, starting with discovering the subject, through to the big day.
You have to find the delicate balance between training, work and rest.
I'm so lucky to have Marie to support me. It gives me excellent conditions and she shares her expertise and vision of the different presentations with me.
I also have wonderful people around me (family, friends and partners) who never fail to offer me their help and support each and every day.

What are your best memories from a competition?

Among the hardest times when I'm preparing my recipes, those where you have to surpass yourself yet again to get ahead, those times when nothing goes to plan, but you have to continue to move forward.
Those are the times that make you grow, that forge your personality and dig deep within yourself and so learn to control your emotions.
Those difficult times are what adds spice to the victory, they are what gives flavour to your success and a feeling of personal achievement.

What's the next competition that you've got in sight?

The Meilleur Ouvrier de France Pâtissier in a few years' time.

What are your plans for the future? What are your professional ambitions?

I want to develop my creative side through my patisserie work, find my own style, spread my knowledge and inspire others.

My ambition is to become an executive chef patissier in a Paris luxury hotel, and to develop and put my own mark on our profession by finding new techniques and new recipes.

How did you come across DE BUYER?

It was when I was very young because my parents always used De Buyer mixing bowls at home. Then when I was working with Christophe MICHALAK we used your products every day.

I became aware of the quality and efficiency of products Made in France by De Buyer.

Do you have a favourite product or one that seems to bring you luck?

My de Buyer saucepan :)

Otherwise, no.

Every recipe has a secret. So, what's yours?

To put passion and desire into every dessert, which is what enables you to really touch people's hearts and move them with your creations.

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