Chef's Profile - Thierry Caruel
What do London’s Harrods, the Four Seasons hotel chain and Dubrovnik’s Grand Villa Argentina have in common? Thierry Caruel! The Frenchman worked at Harrods for three years, spent an equal amount of time as head of kitchen in the luxury hotel chain and then joined Grand Villa Argentina in Dubrovnik. Thierry was educated in Paris, and then he worked all over the world – New York, Thailand, India, Switzerland.
“I remember that one day I was sitting at my computer,” says Thierry Caruel, “and I saw a tempting offer from the Grand Villa Argentina. I had my CV ready in my computer and I was contemplating whether to press the button and send it or not. In the end I did, and I have not regretted it. Fine dinning restaurant Victoria in Grand Villa Argentina is my baby and a great challenge to me. We do lots of weddings, banquettes and parties, and we prepare meals you can find in large cities but are also characteristic of this region and prepared in a modern way. I am delighted to be surrounded by such wonderful young people who are willing to learn, and therefore the atmosphere in the kitchen is relaxed, which is not the case in New York restaurants where a competitive spirit prevails.”
The high point of his successful career has surely been his engagement at the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. “Preparations for the wedding took two months and everything was top secret. Only my wife knew I had been hired for the royal wedding. The menu was international, and I was in charge of the French cuisine. All the ingredients had to be bought exclusively in France and were delivered to us in sealed packages which were opened in the presence of the Queen’s security staff, who then tasted all the ingredients. Despite all that, I did not feel I was under pressure, I felt good, and the atmosphere in Buckingham Palace was relaxed. That was a wonderful experience. I met wonderful people and realized why they were proud to have an opportunity to work for the Queen,” says Thierry.
Thierry regularly cooks for his wife and children, who are his most honest critics. At home, he tries new dishes, and specialities from different world cuisines find their place in the menu. The family around the table is always a small celebration for them. “At the moment, my greatest challenge is to create a new speciality which will make Victoria recognized,” reveals this likable and energetic chef. He finds life in Dubrovnik quite similar to the one in London because of the many people from all over the world whom he meets every day in the course of his work. Only the climate is much nicer and life is less hasty and stressful. And these are the best ingredients for a high quality of life, a recipe we should all stick to.