by Augusto Oriani
Gastronomy is an art, but at the same time, it is love and passion. Each nation has its own, and it is very nice to know the secrets of ethnic cuisines, which are part of the history and culture of each country. In all these years I have noticed how many Chefs have approached Italian cuisine. Italy is the home of many important Chefs, from Gualtiero Marchesi “Il Maestro” of Italian cuisine (who died a few years ago), to Antonino Cannavacciuolo, Massimo Bottura, Carlo Cracco and there are many others to list.
Italian cuisine has strong energy, which intrigues and attracts many Chefs. Froilan Alejo is one of many Chefs, a lover of international cuisine, and with a particular passion and gut interest, he approached our cuisine, with great humility, but with a great desire to learn his secrets.
Froilan Alejo, born in the Philippines, moved to Vancouver in 1993 and attended the VCC culinary program in 1996.
Like all Chefs, Froilan Alejo started out as an apprentice, and over the years his career has improved from Sous Chef to Executive Chef. He has worked in Restaurants, Hotels and Golf Clubs, bringing with him many innovations, both from a working and management point of view.
Chef Froilan has travelled the world, worked in different places, learned and honed his passions and continued to explore the wonderful world of food, this was the only way to improve his skills.
In 2020 Chef Froilan was named Chef of the Year by the Chefs Association of British Colombia.
I remember, when I started the “Hotel-Restaurant School” in Italy, the first thing we learned was this: the chef must have these attitudes:
1. Leadership by the example of himself, 2. Transparency, 3. Impartiality,
4 Organization, 5. Ability to listen (pay attention to collaborators in the places and in the established ways, without however being a confessor or, worse still, an older brother), 6. Ethics, 7 Empathy, 8. Entertainment: component sometimes neglected, such as if it were incompatible with a serious and rigorous approach, knowing how to introduce an element of fun and passion allows you to cement the team and increase commitment, involvement and a sense of belonging).
In Chef Froilan, I review everything I have learned, but I repeat, it is very difficult to find this type of person, because, at the peak of their careers, many chefs become a little authoritarian.
Chef Froilan currently works as an Executive Chef at the Vancouver Golf Club.
One of the best golf clubs in Canada. The golf club is surrounded by greenery with many centuries-old trees, a corner of unspoiled nature in the city.
In my working experience in Italy as Maitre ‘D, every four months I was with the Executive Chef to discuss the menu, and based on this I had to buy the wines, because it is very important for a Restaurant Manager to have the knowledge of Food. -Wine (knowing the wines does not mean knowing their names).
Augusto: Chef Froilan, do you have the same collaboration here?
Chef Froilan: Nope
Augusto: paraphrasing “il Maestro” Gualtiero Marchesi who said: there cannot be good cuisine if there is no good service(dining room) , there cannot be good service(dining room) if there is no good cuisine, Chef Froilan, what do you think?
Chef Froilan: “Maestro Gualtiero Marchesi” is right, I always have a good kitchen brigade to work together, you cannot be a good chef without the good brigade, almost all of my brigade has a Culinary College background. I don’t know in the dining room.
I thank Chef Froilan for his availability.