Name: Bernard Leclercq
Title: Chef/owner, Pastis, 1725 S. Federal Hwy., Delray Beach, 561-265-0061
Personal: Born in Cannes, France, Leclercq studied at the Culinary School of Le Touquet in the Westminster Hotel in France and owned two restaurants, Le Centenaire in Callian and Zenith in Cannes, before purchasing Pastis. He lives in Boca Raton with his wife of 17 years, Paula.
What is your favorite type of cooking?
I like old-fashioned cooking, which involves such techniques as cooking over an open wood fire and creating your own broths using marrow and bones. That's something we can no longer do in restaurants because of problems with mad cow disease.
In Le Centenaire, we had a big open wood fire, and we'd bake potatoes in the ashes, do a leg of boar by hanging it over the fire, then serve the entire leg at the table. It was like attending a dinner in the Middle Ages.
How did you learn to cook in this style?
When I was growing up, my grandmother would make stews and all sorts of meals over an open fire. I remember her wild boar stew. We lived in an area where it was plentiful, not too far from Provence.
Name the highpoint of your career?
In 2001, Le Centenaire was given the highest rating by Academie National de Cuisine [France's National Academy of Cuisine].
Do you have a prized possession?
No treasure is as great as your family. I treasure my wife and my mother, who still lives in Cannes.
How do you feel about the celebrity-chef phenomena?
I never watch those shows.
Which chef do you most admire?
Alain Liorca, who is a two-star Michelin chef at Le Moulin Mougins on the French Riviera.
Do you have a pet peeve?
Chef du Jour