Jerome Dreyer, Head Chef at Domaine de Murtoli, Corsica, France – recipe on right: Tartare de denti
Jerome Dreyer is a young and talented Head Chef, who had the privilege of working for Paul Bocuse in Lyon at the very young age of 19. His story unfolds in a fairytale-like fashion that would make any young chef envious and the guests at Domaine de Murtoli very delighted!
Tell us about life before Domaine de Murtoli.
My father was a French patissier in eastern France near Strasbourg. I watched him bake and gained an interest at 15, and my first job was with Paul Bocuse for three years when I was 19 years old. After that, I went to a three Michelin-starred restaurant named Le Pont de Brent in Switzerland for two years. I thought about pursuing an entrepreneurial venture as a teacher and conduct some events, but ultimately didn't feel like I was ready. Then the opportunity arose to come to Domaine de Murtoli, and I have been here for three years.
Who hired you?
I was hired by the former Executive Chef Jean Niels. I spent two years working for Jean and later with Chef Guillaume Millot, and then the opportunity as Head Chef became available. My responsibilities include the creation of the menus, dishes, and the presentations, while Guillaume is in charge of ordering, the back office, and overall management. While we are both Head Chefs, we work very well together, and our teams complement each other effectively.
So many chefs would do anything to work at Paul Bocuse in Lyon. How did you earn your first position there?
I had a lot of contacts and friends there. Gilles Reinhart was a chef there from the same region, and my parents were friends with his parents, so Gilles helped me get my foot in the door at Paul Bocuse. I start as a commis, and when I finished there, I was a junior sous chef. I learned every section of the kitchen so that I would develop my passion for cooking.
What motivates you?
I have a desire to continuously improve, and I enjoy working hard. My goal is to earn the title of Un des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOF), a prestigious award in France, which was awarded previously to Paul Bocuse. This contest is organized and recognized as a third-level degree by the French Ministry of Labour. The President of the French Republic is granted honorary membership with the title MOF honoris causa. The awarding of medals occurs at the Sorbonne, in Paris during a large reunion followed by a ceremony at the Élysée in the presence of the President of the French Republic.
Farm at Domaine de Murtoli
Tell us about the quality of the produce here.
I have never worked with the outstanding quality of produce that I have here, and much of it comes directly from the Domaine property, so we see it born and grown. All of our fish are still moving when we get them because they come fresh from local waters from the local fisherman. I am living a Chef’s dream!
Tell us about your passion for Domaine de Murtoli.
It is the WOW factor! Everything is exceptional. I have an incredible quality of life and work, and every day is different. We may be cooking in the kitchen one day or doing private picnics on the beach the next day. Or we may be cooking in the Marquis, or at the Corsican wineries for Mr. Canarelli. The various locations away from the kitchen create different and unique cooking experiences for the staff, so we are never bored.
Would it be difficult for you to work anywhere else?
I am jubilant here and don't want to go anywhere else at this stage. I think I would be bored somewhere else, so I don't plan to go anywhere. I want to grow with the Domaine.
How do you get along with the owners Paul and Valerie Canarelli? Are they involved with the cuisine?
They are like family to me. When we create menus, we decide together as a team. Paul sits down with us, and we talk about all of our ideas with any new and seasonal produce we may have. I like working for a place where the boss is demanding but makes us feel like part of a family.
Head Chef duo Jerome Dreyer and Chef Guillaume Millot prepare Golf Kitchen recipes.
Tell us about Chef Guillaume Millot.
He is older than I am, but I consider him to be my big brother. We are very close to each other personally and have a great working relationship. If either of us is not feeling well, we are always here to support each other, and we always have each other to back up the kitchen if either of us are away.
How often do you change the menu?
We travel all over Corsica regularly looking for new produce, then apply some creativity and inspiration, resulting in constantly changing menus on a weekly basis.
FULL INTERVIEW available in Golf Kitchen Book