Masterchef S03 ep1 : Jocelyn Herland, Restaurant Ducasse, Dorchester, [London]

Interview with Jocelyn Herland

Born in Auvergne, France, Jocelyn Herland, has worked with Alain Ducasse in Paris for several years. From 1997-2000, he was Chef de Partie at Restaurant Alain Ducasse at 59 Avenue Poincarré (3-Michelin stars). He then moved as Chef de partie to the Restaurant Opéra (1-Michelin star) at the Hotel Inter-Continental in Paris, and as Sous Chef to the Royal Monceau Hotel. In December 2003, when Alain Ducasse introduced new Head Chef Christophe Moret to Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athénée in Paris, Jocelyn joined him as Sous Chef, progressing to his most recent post as Chef Adjoint (deputy). Jocelyn interprets Alain Ducasse’s cuisine in London in a contemporary and refined way. In keeping with Alain Ducasse’s philosophy, the ingredients are the key elements. Jocelyn Herland only uses the freshest and most seasonal products, strictly sourced for their quality and provenance.


We work with Mr. Ducasse to set up a restaurant. We can’t take the restaurant and go in another
place and do the same thing, so you need to learn the story of the place to understand the culture and
what the guest in the new town want from us.

We come from France, the kitchen in France has evolved, we bring back something special from France
– our way to offer French cooking in London.

No one in my family is working in catering or hospitality but they enjoy to eat to break food to have
good ingredient. We have pleasure together the Sunday lunch or dinner and when I was 8 years old I
wanted to do a little salad with a little tomato, simple things but I was very pleased to see that I give
something to my family and that they enjoyed it saying “ah yes”

At 18 I decided I want to go in that way, I want that. I think that I would be more passionate with that.
I get this great pleasure to create something maybe. Lets go!

The next point is to study in the real life of the catering, you need the service, you need a kind of
ambience, you meet people, you understand the difference culture of everyone and you start to build

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

I started in a brasserie, in a day you cook for 900 people and you push but I learnt a lot. Normally you
start the cooking study at maybe 16, 17 year old maximum. So when you start at 18 you need to push
a little bit more, and I mean push!! I meet some people at the brasserie that gave me the chance to
cook 100 piece of meat on the grill during the service and you start to understand what you need to do
things perfectly.

When you start in catering you need to understand room service, brasserie, you need to understand
more than that, and after, you need to make the choice.

I had the chance to meet people like Mr. Emolien of Claude Longchong. It was a 2 star Michelin in the
hotel Meridien and this chef Mr. Emolien was the chef of Mr. Rotier in Loise san L'Apaune. I learnt a
lot from this man. He was near the team. I was impressed because during the service he was able to
do the pass and to do perfectly the meats.

The next master was Mr. Ducasse in 1959 there was at this time Jean Francios Piege from Le Crillion
and as well Christophe Merlen the chef from the Plaza Atheneum a 3 star Michelin. It was a good
balance because in a kitchen I always say to a team you got a chef, and his sous chef must be a
different character.

Every time he [Ducasse] needed a new challenge. He'd say "Yes, I give you the key for that. If you got
any issue if you got any things, we met a few times every month and he come here every month one
time and I was going to Paris every weekend so I could see him, he would say "I give you the key, if
you got any issue call me. But it is your baby now".

Jewellery Theatre Carravaggio

The first restaurant I see is it's the first restaurant where I was surprised by the produce. A piece of
turbot about 8 kilo, magnificent lobster , scallops. We got little squid like 2 cms it was crazy to prepare
but it was this fresh food. I was surprised. It was the first time I see so many perfect ingredients in a
restaurant. Really the first time.

It is like a family work with a supplier. We trust in our supplier, and at the end of the day, they need
trust in us as well and when they got special produce, we want to be sure that we taste that and to be
at the same level of understanding of the produce. You can't say to a supplier yes, today yes I want
this special thing for just a journalist and after I don’t care… no. We care everyday.

In Paris we are have restaurant for Italian, we got brasseries, we got gastronomic restaurants, many
luxury shops but every restaurant is for somebody and here when you come in a restaurant, maybe
it's the culture of the pub, if you go in the pub you got the business man but on his side you've got the
worker and they just want to have a good time. That is the spirit you get, this sensation when you
come to London

Some of the dishes we prepped at this start here, the customers did not feel for the recipe, they did
not understand a chicken we've got on the a-la-carte menu. The chicken Albifare. This is a very strong
recipe and when you order it, it has a little bit of garnish, the customer feedback is "Yes it is a boiled
chicken with foie-gras sauce, not interesting". It is a basic recipe we have in Monaco in Paris and it is
one of our best sellers. I was surprised by the local reaction to it. But we take care. We are in the new
place, it will be difficult to understand but we listen to our customers and take the things that they say
but maybe there is something right in all things.

Jewellery Theatre Elements

We are a French restaurant, we need our history in the menu, so we need a notoire sauce, we need a
beef rossini but we can't say yes we are going to have this notoire sauce like basic thing we have done
,so take the details of the sauce, take the details of the garnish, what we could do with this? If I need
to do a pomme boulangere – with potatoes, onions, bacon and thyme and cook in white wine, it is a
stew, what could we do with this appellation – because it is our history we need that one. We could
adapt. We need the onions on the plates, we need the potatoes and the bacon. Ok. I am going to do a
pomme de terre fondeau. Crispy , sweet and I am going to add this little spring onion, and we have a
different taste of the pomme boulangere, but with another way. The bacon will be thin sliced crispy
one up on the top, you got the bacon, potatoes, you got the spring onions – if you taste like that. Ahh!
you got all this different flavor.

In the previous menu carte we got John Dory Coco curry. It is a very strong thing. The al la carte menu
we got hot and spicy crab. In the colder dishes we got guacamole – avocado, with salted lemon, inside
granny smiths [apples], after, we got the meat of the crab, we got the jelly of the crab and vegetable
and in the part we've got a royale of crab, the meat again of the crab, the vegetables on the side we
got in different slice but it is the same, we got the emulsion of crab.
It's our way to work on a dish, how we use ingredients, spices, adding special things.

We had a chicken pie in the al la carte menu. But created in our way. We start with the puff pastry ,
beautiful puff pastry, perfectly cooked and not too dry and not too soft, then we slice, we mix
different elements with the chicken breast and with a piece of steamed foie gras, add sweet breads
with a little quenelles of our chicken and it is our way to create a chicken pie.

Jewellery Theatre Fairytales

Now it is more safe than when we started. The guest come just to have pleasure. In London there is a
lot of restaurants but I think maybe this is the only one to have more than enough space for people, I
think we are alone in the place. Because in this type of restaurant you could do more than 130 covers
in the dining room, the maximum here is 80 covers.

I have so many things to do in London, there are beautiful parks, museums. I need Paris because I
have my friends, because of my family but London is a nice place to be.

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Jocelyn herland, Restaurant Ducasse, Dorchester, [London]