I was once asked what chefs are becoming with the age after a lifetime of serving others sweating in front of a hot pass having spent many long and numerous hours focusing and deliberately becoming so conscientious about one’s greatest work of the day , here , represented on one plate after having been carefully executed and delicately dressed , using nowadays tweezers and pipettes you would mistake a great artist for your lab analyst , unfortunately his skills and knowledge too often neglected , not respected and left unseen as if non-existent. Their life , our life , having been however full of glorious travels , discovery and mixing of culture by simple gestures such as a handshake , demonstration of a local or family recipe and exchange of laughter , books, or a glass of cold beer at the end of an evening service. They were there when necessary , when a new cooking technique was being demonstrated , trying to understand the process and sometimes applying it to their own signature dish, twisting and tweaking flavours by adding an aroma or essence thus allowing nowadays recipes including nitro “blasting” a creme Anglaise so to provide one with the quickest and smoothest Ice-Cream…..we are , so is cooking, in constant evolution as an element and hopefully we are here , able to make a difference , at least that is what we all may wish for.
Fernand Boulert was born on the 9th August 1931 in La Bassee, Northern France and started his career as a chef in hospitality in 1949 at Westminster Technical College then went to work at the Claridges until fulfilling his military obligations in France , his country to which he was devoted. At his return in the Uk he worked 3 years at the Savoy Hotel, then at two London restaurant where he held the head chef position until his next move to the Connaught. In 1963 he joined the Waldorf Hotel where he spent 12 years, 10 as the Head Chef until his retirement from catering. Fernand Boulert belonged to various Charitable Associations such as the Association Culinaire Francaise In london (having designed its logo Fernand Boulert was known for his artistic and creative approach) as well as being one of the founder and president of AMOMA (Association des Membres de l’Ordre du Merite Agricole) in Uk.
From 1975 until 1997 , Fernand Boulert worked at the French Embassy in London. In 1988 he was named Chevalier in the Order of Palmes Academiques for services to Education and Culture (C.P.A.) and in 2002 he was made a Freeman of the City of London , before receiving the recognition for his services to Agriculture in 2004 and was made Chevalier de l”Ordre Du Merite Agricole.
Fernand Boulert left us on the 8th April 2011
Friday 6th May ,as a mass was attended and celebrated by many whom have known him during all these years , others such as myself were present to give a final lift of the “toque” so to speak , in support to a man who has devoted his life in the simplest possible way by sharing and loving and caring not only for his family to whom all my respects I share with today ,but also to his industry which he, amongst the numerous I have named before on this same page , have built the foundations and are the pillars of our today’s industry.
Happy cooking Monsieur Boulert et “merci” pour votre passage.