Meet our new Development Chef, Olivier!
Last month, we welcomed a new Liquidite to the team, who we think you’d all love to meet! Olivier Briault, our new Development Chef, is an award-winning, Parisian-trained, pastry specialist and he’s already been busy in the Liquid demonstration kitchen.
Olivier will be working with our food and beverage team on everything from recipe development to photography and video content – he’s even making daily breakfast for the team to fuel them for the day, we can vouch for his crêpes in particular!
We sat down for a cup of tea and a chat to find out a little bit more about him…
Who inspired you to start cooking?
I think that would have to be my grandad. I have very fond memories of collecting the wood for his traditional style French oven and baking fresh bread with him – the smell through the house was simply amazing.
Can you walk us through your career? Who are some key mentors that had an impact on you?
My first job was in a local patisserie in my hometown of Normandy when I was 16. I completed a two-year placement, starting at 4am each day, learning the fundamentals of pastry…making perfect croissants for the French was not an easy task!
I then moved to Paris where I was fortunate enough to secure a job with master pâtissier, Thierry Audou. The quantities were enormous – making over 2,000 macarons, 800 eclairs, and 11 litres of crème patisserie each day was normal. Although he worked me hard, Thierry was a fantastic mentor who’d send me off to work in different kitchens and environments weekly, pushing me to learn as much as possible early in my career.
After that I moved to England with my young family and landed my first restaurant job as pastry chef with Liquid’s own David Colcombe at Opus. Adapting to a restaurant kitchen was a real step up because everything was so different! I will never forget the thrill (and pressure) of a full service and will always be grateful to David for giving me the opportunity.
I then continued to push myself in professional kitchens including Michelin-starred Simpsons under Luke Tipping and then finally at the Edgbaston, where I led a team of eight chefs to winning ‘Best Afternoon Tea in the Midlands’ for four years running.
What are you most excited about in your new role?
I’m excited to unleash my creativity, using all the skills and techniques I’ve learnt through my career, on projects in the Liquid kitchen. I’ve already loved developing recipes for clients, experimenting with new, specialist ingredients, and adapting complex recipes to be accessible for all.
What’s your foodie guilty pleasure?
I must admit that I enjoy a kebab with lots of chilli sauce after a few drinks, but peanut M&M’s and frozen mars bars also deserve a mention!
What’s your go to tipple?
Sticking close to home, I love a glass of pinot noir but a nice single malt is also one of my favourites.