Fabrice Cardelec: Sharing knowledge
Hotel Borobudur Jakarta’s Executive Pastry Chef is all about cooking adventure, learning new things and sharing knowledge with anyone who shares the same heightened passion in culinary.
AS A LITTLE BOY, Chef Fabrice Cardelec woke up everyday to the smell of freshly baked pastries.
“There was a bakery very near to my house. Every morning the smell would enter my room. I wake up to the scent of croissant and bread,” he reminisced.
As a native of Normandy, France, Fabrice also grew up in the agriculturally rich region. Parts of Normandy consist of rolling countryside with sprawling pasture for dairy cattle and apple orchards.
Some of the most famous dairy products are produced and exported from Normandy, such as the Norman cheeses like Camembert, Livarot, Pont l’Évêque, Brillat-Savarin, Neufchâtel, Petit Suisse and Boursin. Likewise, the Normandy butter and Normandy cream are lavishly used in the culinary world.
With abundant supply of apple, its no wonder that the pomaceous fruit become an important ingredient, resulting in signature dishes like: moules à la normande (mussels cooked with apples, cream and cheese) and bourdelots (apples baked in pastry). Every family has their own variation of Norman Tart, a classic pastry-based variant of the apple tart.
“My earliest memory of cooking is when I was 5- or 6-year-old watching my mom cookng rice pudding. I remember we also make our own yogurt,” Fabrice told me.
To this day, a nice warm and crispy apple tart remains his favorite dessert dish.
A career as pastry chef seemed natural for young Fabrice. After an apprenticeship in Normandy, he graduated at the age of 18 from CFA de la Boulangerie Pâtisserie Rouen in his hometown in 1985.
As fresh graduate do, he quickly move to get as many experience as he can. “But I always wanted to go abroad because I knew I was good at two things: pastry and language. I learn language very quick,” Fabrice said.
When he was 20, he caught a big break, landing for a job in the Netherlands. After hearing a friend talking about England, he became intrigued and moved and got a job there before returning to France.
Fabrice had a stint of seven years working as Pastry and Bakery Chef Instructor at New England Culinary Institute in Vermont in the U.S..
To date, he has worked around the world from Bahrain, Ivory Coast Abidjan, Philippines, and Egypt, ever ready to rise up to new challenges.
“I always accept challenge, try to introduce my technique to other people, to my employees,” he said.
Fabrice arrived in Jakarta early last year to become head of the Hotel Borobudur Jakarta’s 26-strong pastry kitchen team.
“This hotel is one of the biggest hotels I’ve worked in. The challenge, however, is always about bringing the best quality,” he said.
For him, it’s not about the money or anything, but what’s most important is sharing the knowledge. With that said, he also wanted to present a new style of pastry unique in Jakarta.
“I’m working for an idea for our Christmas creation. It’s a secret of course,” Fabrice said with a grin.
HOTEL BOROBUDUR JAKARTA
T: +62 21 3805555