About Bruno Albouze
My French family inspired me to cook.
Now imagine this, you’re in a small village in the southern parts of France. Right atop a small hill, you will see a lot of closely-built stone houses surrounded by the green forest. And you’ll start loving autumn if you ever visit Cordes-sur-Ciel in October. Anyways, I’ll try not to ramble on and on about this small town… but I love it so much, I just can’t help myself.
So, why was I inspired to cook. You see, when I was growing up, we were a large family who LOVES to eat. Both my parents loved to cook, and my grandma was responsible for the baking. She loved to make duck with olives in a 200-year old brick oven. Oftentimes, she would bake homemade baguettes. And let me tell you, rustic and crunchy French bread tastes so much better in a Provence. Especially when it’s made by grandma.
There I go again… Let me get back to the point I was trying to make. And you could say that the first person that taught me to bake was my dad. Yes, you heard that right. My dad, who I love so dearly, had a tradition of preparing a big, family apple pie on Sunday. I was always there, “getting my hands dirty” kneading the dough. Even though I hated peeling the apples, I loved being in the kitchen.
The years went by, and…
At the age of 14, I started working in a restaurant while apprenticing and attending culinary college in the city of Bordeaux.
I was working part-time in this small restaurant, where I learned to cook delicious food using local and seasonal ingredients. And even though it was fun, I quickly realized that cooking is not my passion.
Wait, WHAT?! A chef that doesn’t like cooking.
Now, before grabbing your gun, let me explain. I didn’t like cooking, but I ABSOLUTELY ADORED baking and pastry. So, I took up baking and pastry in Bordeaux. Everything about pastries and bread, from making the starter (or Poolish, as the professional bakers call it) to baking the bread and getting the oven temperature just right, everything intrigued me. I wanted to learn. I wanted my entire house to smell like those old, French bakeries that have baskets full of breads and croissants. I was determined to master baking and pastry to the best of my ability. And now, several decades later, here’s what I can do with bread (Look at my Gallery for bread sculptures). But I’m getting ahead of myself. By the time I graduated culinary college in Bordeaux, it was time to join the Army. I was 18 years old, and had to do my military service. One year later, at the age of 19, I returned to Bordeaux and worked in several patisseries for 10-whole years. Now, I was 29, and I decided to move to the City of Lights… Paris.
There, I worked in both of the most popular and luxurious restaurants in the world. The first one was Ritz Palace Place Vendôme, and the second one was the Plaza Athénée. I loved working at the Plaza Athénée because I was the head baker under Alain Ducasse. He’s the culinary mastermind that has earned 17 Michelin Stars and currently holds the world record. Everything had to be perfect, from the way the bread and pastries looked, to the way they smelled… even their crust had to have a uniform crunch. Yeah… they’re that crazy about food! And yet, after all that, in 2003, I decided…
To join Lenotre Culinary Institute and the Pavillon Elysée.
But right after joining this Culinary Institute, one of my friends told me about a pastry sous-chef position in Vegas. I was hesitant. On one hand, my English was nonexistent and I would’ve had such a hard time adapting to the Culture Shock. On the other… IT’S VEGAS, BABY!
So, you can safely guess what I did.
But the flashy lifestyle and the fake people just weren’t for me. I wanted to go somewhere I could bake those authentic French pastries… and have a good time. That’s why I went to San Francisco. But you know what, working 7-day weeks and sleeping in a one-bedroom apartment with shattered windows and sharing all that luxury with cockroaches… So, now you can see why I went to…
I got on a plane and flew to San Diego. All of this almost made me quit, but San Diego was different. I wanted better opportunities. Went back to the culinary world…There, I started working as a private chef in La Jolla, and restaurants.
With the spare time I had left, I saw that YouTube was becoming very popular. So, I wanted to start my own YouTube channel, but I was deathly afraid of how people would react to my videos. My English was terrible. But I gave it a shot. And you know what… It was one of the scariest things I had to go through. It was even scarier than sleeping with cockroaches and broken windows.
Almost a decade later, I now have a YouTube channel where I share my tips and tricks from decades of professional culinary experience. On my channel, you will find all of the secrets that professional chefs and pastry masters don’t share with anyone except their team.
And this is one of the things I came to talk to you about. It’s not enough to write and watch YouTube videos about cooking. The best way to learn something, is to actually do it. So, if you want to cook like a culinary master, you will finally have the opportunity to do so!