Monday, May 9, 2011

Paris People - Meet chef Alex of Cook'n With Class: A Texan takes on French Cuisine

This week, Ann-Marie brings you a personality profile of Alex Dreyer, one of the newest chefs at Cook'n With Class.

Many of you maybe wondering why out off all the chefs in the whole of Paris we decided to chose Mr. Alex Dreyer for our Paris personality profile. Well I could lie and say it is simply because he is a magnificent chef who deserves to be acknowledged. But that would only be half true. We chose to interview Alex not only because he is clearly talented! No, we chose Alex for his non-stop, never ending, contagious energy and charisma. The man is like a ball of energy every time he enters any room and we wanted to get the scoop on his take on Paris.

Question: So Alex tell us a little about yourself and your life before Paris.

Originally a Texas boy, Alex has always had a keen interest in cooking. In his younger days he worked in hotels such as the Houston Hotel- St Houston and restaurants in his local area waiting on tables for a "friend of a friend". He always had a love for french food or more specifically fine dinning, which in his opinion is based on French cuisine and thus came him inspiration to enter the field of cooking.

(One thing you must understand about Alex is he is quite the character, and for every question I asked I got several replies (many of which I will not be including!) He is the type of guy that will put you in a good mood for the rest of the day!)

So when asked "What is your specialty?" (laughing as I refer to his bio on the Cook'n With Class website which states that everything is his specialty), his initial response is food! It must be said that his confidence is something to be admired! Eventually he informs me that he most enjoys cooking with meat.

Q What is your favorite class to teach in Cook'n with Class and why?

"Easy, the market class for sure! You get to use fresh good quality of the moment food." He especially enjoys the fact that it is more spur of the moment then any other classes as they pick what looks good . Advices that overly prepping for this class can often result in disappointment, thus he does not like to have a set menu beforehand.

Ok, so lets learn more about Alex and his thoughts on Paris!

Q. When did you first come to Paris?

First came on October 9th 2009, with the goal of working in a Michelin Star restaurant. (which he did, Taillevent no less!)

Q. What was your initial reaction of Paris, did you like it? Was it everything you had hoped for?

Alex explains that his feelings and emotions towards Paris come in waves. First he loved it because its the complete opposite of America. Then came the second wave where he hated it because "the metro sucks and the people are rude!"and these waves continue throughout his stay. Currently he is loving it here and advises people not to hesitate when coming here, just jump into the lifestyle!

So here in the Feels Like Home in Paris office we ave been partaking in a heated debate about where to find the best macrons/ crepes and coffee in Paris, so who better to ask to settle the debate than Alex, who seems to have an opinion about all things food!

In his opinion Pierre Herme is definitely the best place to go for macrons as they have the most interesting flavors. He simply laughs when asked about crepes and say Brittany, that's where they originate from and no where else compares! With regards to coffee, as an American he is not impressed by French coffee (a French man might actually say the opposite!), and votes Nespresso as the best coffee in Paris!

Q Which boulangerie would you recommend to our guest in Montmartre?

Au Pain d'Antan which he goes to with Cook'n With Class. They have great bread and a great atmosphere!

Q What bars would you recommend?

His own favorite bar in Paris is located just underneath where he is living (now isn't that convenient?) which he describes as a small whole in the wall that serves good beer.

He recommends the Experimental Cocktail Club, which is a speakeasy. He claims its very good and loads of fun, but also very expensive! He recommends trying out the smaller/frenchier bars to truly experience the Parisian culture!

When asked about his opinion on French people ( and the whole stereotype on "French Courtesy")
He simply replied Yes, No but better then expected. (His exact words I promise!)

He also recommends that when in Paris to eat French food, as the French people do French food brilliantly and that's about it with few exceptions! And according to Alex don't even think about getting Mexican food here!

Alex's Picks!

53 rue Saint Saveur,
Paris 75002

72 rue Bonaparte Paris 75006
185 rue de Vaugirard Paris 750015
4 rue Cambon Paris 75016
48 avenue de l'Opera 75002
Publicsdrugstore, 133 avenues des Champs-Elysée Paris 75008
Galeries Layayette, 40 Boulevard Haussaman Paris 75009

2 rue d'Eugène Sue


  1. and he speaks English too!

  2. I was in this class where the pics were taken! It was such a great experience. Chef Alex has a wealth of food knowledge. He took us to the butcher, the cheese shop, the fish monger and the vegetable market. We chose our menu. We then prepared the meal you have described in your blog with the help and instruction of chef Alex. It tasted delicious. What a great teacher and a great chef. Salut!


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