AUSTRALIAN GOOD FOOD GUIDE - Home of the Chef Hat Awards
Xavier Poupel
Xavier Poupel

Xavier Poupel

Born:  Dual French/Australian citizen born in Normandy, France

History:  Xavier is a highly credentialed Escoffier trained Chef who has worked internationally and Australia wide.  Among his many culinary accomplishments Xavier has cooked for royalty, billionaires, political figures and celebrities: the Aga Khan, Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis, Evel Knievel, Robert Redford, Bruce Willis and the Ferrari Formula One team in Monaco. 

He has worked in the kitchens of world renowned establishments including Chateau Richelieu in New York as Chef de Cuisine, Le Privilege on St Martin in the Caribbean as Executive Chef, and the Marco Polo Hotel in Singapore as Consultant Chef de Cuisine at La Brasserie. Xavier has cooked aboard the private yachts of Princess Caroline of Monaco and the King of Saudi Arabia; for Prince Charles in the desert of Wadi Rum, Jordan; and worked as Private Chef for their majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan and the Sultan of Brunei; finally, he held the position of Director of Kitchen in the Sedona Hotel in Yangon, Myanmar (formerly Burma). In Australia, Xavier was Executive Chef at Prunier’s in Sydney and also at the Parmelia Hilton in Perth, among others. 

Have you always wanted to be a Chef?
As a young boy I was often on vacation with my grandparents in Alsace and I spent many long hours in the family kitchen watching and learning traditional techniques from the family cook. A few years later at a Swiss Monastery I saw a man dressed in white with a very large hat emerge from a sea of black robes and I knew at that moment that I wanted to a chef.

It has also helped to come from a family of great cooks and of course in the French culture it is natural to enjoy preparing food and sharing the pleasures of the table with others; terroir and family tradition underscore my philosophy.  So yes, I have always wanted to be a chef; it is a way of life for me.

How would you define your style?
I have extensive experience in Fine Dining, French Bistro, Fusion and Modern Australian cuisine as well as in ‘specialty-styles’ of cuisine with flowers, and cuisine with truffles.

What is your feature flavour these days?
Provincial or country style cuisine of different traditions; the primary influence originates from the regions of Provence in southern France and Piemonte in the north-west of Italy.  I embrace the importance of innovation. I am currently integrating native Australian bush terroir products into my repertoire, and taking delight in working with products such as wattle seed, finger lime, mountain pepper, lemon myrtle, native thyme and native mint, bush tomato and rosella for example.  Superb!

Obsessive compulsive about?  
Good quality seasonal produce, sound traditional technique, and refined taste. I always say, ‘Quality seasonal produce first, with as little manipulation as possible…  the idea is to enhance, not mask, natural flavours.’