The star chef is the hero of a new documentary series. In the first issue, he goes to explore the Marquesas Islands.
Some trips mark you for life. The escapade of Philippe Etchebest in the Marquesas Islands is one of them. The star chef of the small screen, recently decorated with the Legion of Honor by Emmanuel Macronflew 14,000 kilometers from France (he had never gone that far!) to visit these archipelagos of French Polynesia as part of the new M6 documentary series “A chef at the end of the world” , produced by Bonne Pioche Télévision (“I will sleep at your place”).
This new show rests on the (broad) shoulders of the charismatic chef. The idea? Make him travel to distant lands so that he explores local culinary specialties and culture by meeting the population. “I had always wanted to create something around foodexplains Alexandre Soulier, the producer behind the program. I knew Philippe Etchebest through his shows and I told myself that there were other things to do with him and that perhaps he wanted to tell different stories”.
“I could very well have lived there. I like difficult things, because I believe that everything has to be earned”
In the Marquesas Islands, the inhabitants live off the abundant nature and concoct powerful dishes marked by earth, water and fire. Philippe Etchebest discovers it through specialties like fafaru, a fish marinated in a preparation made from sea water and shrimp heads, or during an impressive sheep hunt until the end of the night. “In the Marquesas, you have to fish and hunt to live. If you’re lazy, you dieunderlines the chef. The Marquesans are resilient, proud and uncomplaining. As Jacques Brel sings, moaning is not appropriate in the Marquesas. I could very well have lived there. I like difficult things, because I believe that everything is earned. »
Philippe Etchebest unrecognizable
Disorienting, this film also highlights Philippe Etchebest as we have never seen him: curious, empathetic, gentle and very smiling, far from the sinister figure that he sometimes portrays, notably in “Kitchen nightmare”. Even his tone – he is the narrator – is unrecognizable. “I have the image of a boss who is a bit loud and tough, which I accept, but in real life, I’m not like that”, admits the cook, happy to be able to show unknown facets of his personality to the general public. His two-week journey to the other side of the world had a profound impact on him. “It was intense, beautiful, true, outside of time and modernityhe confides. There, family ties are very strong, we don’t lie to each other, we don’t cheat. I had a unique experience. » A trip that will remain engraved in his memory, but also in his skin thanks to a Maori tattoo (his first) made on his forearm. In the next issue of “A chef at the end of the world”, he will discover Louisiana.