Chef Mathieu Masson Duceppe was a rebellious teenager who found his purpose in the kitchen. “You tell me to go right I go left, always the contrary, you tell me to put 60 millimetres, I’d put a 120 millimetres, why? but why not? I always had my way of thinking, and it was only my way of thinking,” he told BUZZ.
When he was 17 years old, inspired by the dishes his mother and grandmother would prepare, the Canadian decided to pursue a chef career. He went on to get his cooking certification, and a year later he started travelling the world preparing dishes from different cultures.
The 29-year-old is now the executive chef of Jellyfish Crudo et Charbon, one of Montreal’s top restaurants, and winner of Chopped Canada 2015.
Duceppe is still rebellious, but now the only mischief he creates is with flavours. “I like to do things different, why not put this with this and you and try and make it work?” he said.
“I figured out that cooking was what truly made me happy. I like to express myself, and it gives me adrenaline, and it gives me my freedom of expression, and I can do whatever I want with food,” he said.
Last Friday, a handful of Jamaicans got to experience his cooking at Eleni’s Bakery in Kingston. It was an evening designed by the chef himself. He wanted to give guests a taste of the signature dishes prepared in his restaurant in Canada, with a Jamaica twist.
‘It gives me my freedom of expression, and I can do whatever I want with food.’—Chef Mathieu Duceppe
Guests were treated to a six-course meal which included, bone marrow pasta, raw oysters, with Asian escovitch mignonette, tuna shashimi, shishimi pepper and Jamaican citrus oil, beef tataki with soursop ponzu dressing, smoked marlin with pickled red sorrel onion, and a variety of desserts. All dishes were complimented by six different selection of wines.
Chef Duceppe even went as far as decorating the restaurant himself, because, why not?
And so the usual French-themed restaurant was transformed into an island paradise with bananas leaves as tablecloth, and food displayed on trays for sharing. A mixture of middle-eastern music and reggae provided a relaxing atmosphere, and highlighted the chef’s genius with mix matching.