The FIGAROSCOPE. – What is your background?
Julien DUBOUÉ. – Born at Dax in 1981, I studied at the lycée hotelier de Biarritz. I didn’t like school. My first internship, at the home of Jean Coussau, 2 stars, has allowed me to discover a second passion outside of rugby. After having done all my courses for three years, I was hired. Coussau I was then sent at Alain Dutournier in Paris, with which I remained two years, at the Carré des Feuillants. Then I spent two and a half years at the George V with Philippe Legendre, before heading to New York at Daniel Boulud. I started as a clerk to pass to sous-chef in six months. Daniel then offered me a position of head that I refused. I preferred to return to Paris to open my own business, Afaria. Expecting to find the local, I worked for a year at the Drouant by Antoine Westermann.
How did you had the means to launch Afaria?
I was 26 years old and very little money. My parents, my coach rugby and one of my best friends told me lent. But it took me three more times. Nine banks have refused a loan. I ended up getting one and I opened both good and bad, doing it all myself. I had the chance that this is in full rugby world Cup. Yves Camdeborde and his friends have done all the pre-games at the restaurant and the business was launched. Subsequently, In the Landes, A Noste and even BOULOM, I have reinvested everything I had each time. I do not appeal to external investors, but offers to those who have helped me in my beginnings and my team to participate in each new project.
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What leaders have you learned most from?
Jean Coussau has taught me how to hold a kitchen and not to waste it. Alain Dutournier has given me to understand that a leader must not stay in her kitchen, but to show himself in the room and know how to wine. With Mr. Legendre, I worked like crazy, but the palace, it was not for me. I was, however, permitted to cumulate several jobs: when I was not working at the George V, I was in the bakery at Delmontel or in pubs in the evening. With Daniel Boulud, I realized that we could do very good things for 500 people. But the real encounter that changed my life, it is the one of Yves Camdeborde, at a dinner in the Lair of the Cartridge. On hearing my accent, he asked me to come play basque pelota. I fed him, I admired him as a kid. His philosophy of life corresponds to me. He was able to develop while maintaining an ethic.
tapas at the bakery, passing by the author’s cuisine, the bistro and the “fast-good”, what is the common point between your addresses?
conviviality, sharing, and the quality of the products. 80 % come from the South-West. For the bakery of BOULOM, for example, we are working a wheat flour old produced organically in the village where I was born. I have never been asked to think of an concept. Each address corresponds to a desire at the time I created her. I am looking for a place, and it sometimes does change my original idea.
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The concept of unlimited buffet of BOULOM, is it not a risky bet in a society attentive to the waste?
I hadn’t thought of! But, don’t worry, I am very attentive to waste and I instill in my teams. In BOULOM, if a customer leaves leftovers on his plate, they are charged 2 euros 100 g. What the rest of the buffet (47 dishes every day) is eaten by the staff or re-used to make trays of sandwiches or quiche side bakery.
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How do you organize your time between your different addresses?
By this time, I spend a lot of time in BOULOM, because we’re still in the opening period. I come here in the morning, in the afternoon I work on new projects, and then I’ll come back to start the evening, before going at A Noste.
do you Have other projects? You don’t want to open in the South-West, or abroad?
I had a lot of proposals in the South-West, but it is necessary to find the right people. One day, surely, but not now. I was also approached to open A Noste in London, but I didn’t want to burn the wings. The glory, I’m in cogne! I don’t have a career plan, but it all interests me. With my wife, Delphine, who has just left his post in the digital, we will be launching The Meal of Alba, a range of organic food for children 0 to 4 years, which will be sold initially in the grocery stores of luxury. We are also in discussion on three big projects. I have a lot of ideas, but I’m only a cook. This is why, with the many projects that await me, I have decided to surround myself with.
do You feel rather entrepreneur or artisan?
Head of the company! I am not a craftsman. We made crafts in our kitchens, and we work with artisans in each of our business. But behind, we must sell! A good cook, today, must learn to find a quality product and sell it at a fair price to save his life, but also to make a living for the producers.
What did you think of the experience of “Top Chef”?
Not a lot of good, but I can’t spit. The issue I was injured at the time, but I must admit that it served me. Speaking of TV, TMC will soon broadcast “Kitchen impossible”, that I shot with Juan Arbelaez. Each of us has sent the other in a foreign country to reproduce to the blind, a local dish. A very nice experience!
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The quest for a Michelin star does not interest you?
I ran after in others, but this is not for me. I made the choice of the business and, to be honest, I do not have the capacity.
After South-West and 100 % corn , do you have other books in order?
I was actually asked to coordinate a book about food, rugby and plonk!
You are rather active on the social networks. For duty or for pleasure?
I don’t have anyone who takes care of them, but I’m careful. When I started with Afaria, the social networks did not exist. I am aware of the clientele they bring us back.
what heads are you close?
Camdeborde and the whole gang: Jégo, Doucet, Notelet, Favier, Mandard…
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do you Have passions outside of the kitchen and the rugby?
I stopped playing rugby, but I go regularly to the stadium. My other passion to which I devote a lot of time, it is bocce! I am licensed in a large paris club and participates in the championships. I also play regularly at squash and football with my teams.
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What do you think of the parisian gastronomical scene present?
It has the advantage that put them ahead of many talents, but who have trouble to register in the duration. This forces us to update constantly. But how many restaurants must close at the end of six months because they have spent too much?
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