Jérémy Touzelet – team spirit sprinkled with passion
An Italian mother and a father from Burgundy: the perfect recipe for a lover of fine food and wine. Raised by passionate amateur chefs, Jérémy Touzelet developed a taste for good food from an early age. While his friends spent their time watching cartoons, Jérémy preferred to make cakes for his nanny.
From the age of 16 he began racking up work experience in restaurants – not only for the pocket money but as a step towards his future, which he already saw in cuisine. General Baccalaureat under his belt – mostly for his father’s peace of mind – he decided to level up, and went on to obtain a BTS (technician certificate) in catering and hospitality management. During his training, he gained further experience at the prestigious Grand Hôtel de Cala Rossa in Corsica, and with the corporate catering company Eurest – two very different environments which gave him a great insight into the variety of the industry.
Once qualified, he split his time between a prestigious five-star hotel in Courchevel and a restaurant in the Jura, before fulfilling his mandatory military service in the Ministry for Defense’s staff kitchen – not to mention spells in various Michelin-starred restaurants around the capital.
Hungry for new opportunities and experiences, Jérémy first jetted off to Florida to work as a chef de partie in Disneyland’s gourmet restaurant, and then to help open a Mediterranean restaurant in the Caiman Islands. There, under the watchful eye of his mentor Eric Sala, he covered fine dining, brasserie, room service and banquets – and all with a kitchen team of less than 100 people. This was the most educational experience of his career so far.
Next stop: Jamaica, to a beautiful 5 star establishment, where he would stay for 4 years to train the kitchen team. The desire to pass on his knowledge was beginning to show through.
Then, on to the exclusive Mustique Island, where he joined the prestigious Cotton House hotel as executive chef to a highly demanding clientele. The workload was intense: days would often start at 7am and finish as late as 1am, with only one day off. He learnt a lot, but his experiences were far from limited to the kitchen. For example, the time he sang karaoke with none other than Keith Richards, guitarist from the Rolling Stones!
After a second stint in the Caiman Islands managing a team of 50 people at the Marriott Ritz Carlton, he decided to cross the Atlantic and return to the city of light, as an executive chef at the Marriott Champs Elysées. The transition was not always easy, due to differences in working style, but it was nonetheless enriching experience in which he used his management and teaching skills to instill a real sense of team spirit in his colleagues. After 5 years, he crossed the Seine to join the team at the Marriott Rive Gauche which, containing a 2000m2 conference centre, targets businesspeople as its main clientele.
Then, having built up an extremely varied range of experiences, his desire to educate became stronger and stronger, and he decided to join FERRANDI Paris – first to teach adults in professional re-training, but later international students.
“I love to see my students come together as a team and make progress – there’s such a mix of cultures, and a variety of activities, meaning no two days are the same,” Jérémy explains with gusto. It is clear that his favourite sport, rugby, influences his philosophy: “In the kitchen, everyone has a chance no matter your story – all that counts is that you throw yourself in.” Positivity must be in his nature!