Bathers Pavilion celebrates its award winning young chef, Alexis Besseau - and Serge couldn't be happier!
WHEN HE MOVED TO AUSTRALIA FOUR AND A HALF YEARS AGO, ALEXIS BESSEAU NEVER IMAGINED HE'D BECOME HEAD CHEF AT AN INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED RESTAURANT, BUT THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED. NOW, AT THE AGE OF JUST 26, THE FRENCHMAN IS SERVING UP AWARD WINNING DISHES AT BATHERS PAVILION, UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF HIS ICONIC MENTOR, AS ANNA USHER REPORTS.
Exclusive images by GRAHAM MONRO from gmphotographics
Step inside the busy kitchen of Bathers Pavilion at Balmoral during lunch service, and you’ll find iconic chef Serge Dansereau checking meticulously placed garnish on a dish of poached Murray cod, before smiling approvingly at the young man who stands beside him.
“It’s absolutely perfect,” he says, “the flavours are dancing on that plate.”
But 26-year-old Alexis Bessau has no time to smile back.
Instead, he is deep in concentration and focussed entirely on the orchestrated procession of meal preparation before him.
The native Frenchman has lived in Australia for just four-and-a-half years, but in that time has worked his way to the job of Head Chef at the internationally acclaimed restaurant.
“When Serge asked me to work at Bathers, I didn’t ever expect to become Head Chef,” Alexis says.
“I first joined Bathers in 2014 as chef-de-partie, before moving on to the Merivale group as a sous-chef - but I just couldn’t stay away from Balmoral.
“And now here I am again – but with a much bigger job,” he smiles.
Alexis has just been honoured with a coveted Foodservice “30 Under 30” award, a recognition given to Australia’s high achieving young chefs.
“We combed the country to find the best and the brightest under 30’s, and were staggered by what we found,” a Foodservice spokesperson said.
“These are the people who are all making their mark, and through excellence, creativity, and application are shaping the future of the sector.”
It’s a sentiment echoed by Serge Dansereau.
“Being named one of the Top 30 chefs under 30 is a huge achievement and very well deserved,” Serge said.
“Alex has a raw and natural talent in the kitchen – he understands food and he also understands the demands of working for a brand like Bathers.
“We strive for perfection in every aspect of this business – and Alex is a proving to be a wonderful leader at such a young age,” he said.
Serge said Alexis has an approach to food that fits with the Bathers philosophy of absolute freshness, in a menu that features the very best local ingredients, with everything made in house.
“I’m very proud of him and the dishes he’s creating are outstanding – we are very lucky to have Alexis at Bathers.”