Alice Moireau has just celebrated her 25th spring. She lives in Belleville but it is in Olivet, in her pretty house bordering the Loiret river, that she grew up. Between the bluish walls of an old 20th century tavern, in the space that then served as a kitchen when the party still punctuated this mythical place. Her parents fell in love with her when her little brother was born, both dreaming of space, poetry and light. Originally from the region, these painters spend their days drawing. The father is a watercolor artist. The mother, fascinated by the arts of the table, reproduces her everyday objects on large kraft paper canvases. Kettles, teapots, decanters and bouquets… Everything that furnishes the large wooden table in the dining room goes there.
The anchor that connects Alice to the kitchen is everywhere. “The” food “is very important for me. I always saw my father go to the market. He grew up in a small town, so for him it was just the most normal way to shop. But me, it made me dream to see him talk to everyone, discuss products with traders and then bring them home and turn them into dishes. I tasted what he prepared and everything was always good. ”
If the weeks pass slowly near this river which cradles the house, life sometimes speeds up on weekends when the family heads for Paris. “We took the opportunity to see friends, exhibitions, we went to the movies and above all we went to restaurants. It seemed like a crazy place to me, much better than my countryside. I told myself that my life had to be spent there. ” That’s good, around the age of 15, she takes her first steps in modeling, multiplies the castings, and with them the back and forth. Alice is independent, and this new rhythm doesn’t scare her. “Fashion is a pretty euphoric environment. You meet lots of creative people, who have taste, wit, who are driven by something strong … For me, coming out of my campaign, it was really inspiring. “
At 18 years old, the bac in her pocket, Alice moved to Paris, to live the high life, seven days a week. In addition to the modeling that she pursues, she chooses to revolve her studies around her culinary passion. “I loved cooking, but I didn’t just want to work with the product. I also wanted to learn things about dishes, the history of the table, eating habits… I wanted to take a more sociological perspective. ” The young woman then turned to the applied arts and joined the École Estienne for two years before joining the benches of Science Po. She specialized in visual communication, quickly became passionate about the typographies of the menus and the iconography of the restaurants of the 1970s.
The experiences are linked, never too far from the culinary universe, often in the four corners of the world. Starting with an internship in New York, where Alice Moireau was introduced to food styling. In the process, she flew to Los Angeles, and took the opportunity to accompany journalist Victoire Loup on the writing of a documentary featuring portraits of committed chefs. On her return to France, she joined Fooding and events, for a six-month internship which has continued to be extended. A teenager’s dream since she was 14, the time when their culinary chronicles punctuated her Parisian weekends, but also a way for her to be in the field, to talk with suppliers … and especially to have the impression of finding a little of the adrenaline of a restaurant.
Comes this March 17, 2020, where everything stops, and the world takes a break. Confinement is decreed and Alice joins her tavern for an indefinite period. Nothing more distressing, for this hyperactive, than this abyssal void which is offered to her. So for the first time, Alice has no other choice than to cook for herself, without ulterior motive, without detour. She therefore puts her hand in the dough and quickly gives reason to all the signs that have strewn her life until this precise moment. Cooking is no longer just a heartwarming hobby, it is becoming essential.
Three times a day, the apprentice cook tests, fails, starts again, improves, learns to make pasta, cream cheese, pizzas, sourdough bread. Quite naturally, she publishes the recipes that she invents and recreates with Instagram posts in pastel colors. She takes up certain ideas from her childhood, instituted by her father, and seeks to rediscover the discoveries of her travels. “In Los Angeles, I think I fed exclusively on Mexican food and it was amazing. Even today I wonder how I can go back there. It amuses me to find what I felt there. ” Soon, the charm operates: the recipes become daily and the admirers, each week more numerous.
Until the day when Paul-Henry Bizon, writer and former editor-in-chief of Fooding offered him to make a book by his side, published by La Martinière (1). The young woman hesitates at first, not feeling legitimate. Moreover, she makes a point of not claiming to be a chef, but is delighted to see the dishes of her childhood occupy the tables of unknown houses. Especially Acacia fritters. A ubiquitous flower in her countryside, that her grandmother would fry after countless picking parties. This book appeals to her all the more because she can take her own photos, touch the visual of the model and work with Ulysse, her great friend Estienne and “best graphic designer in France” in her eyes. Today, Alice Moireau is in her final year of a Masters at Sciences Po and will be leaving her student life in a few months. In the meantime, she continues to pose for brands such as Mango or Marcia, prepares pissaladières in her house on the water, and lets herself be carried by the waves. While secretly dreaming of reopening the family tavern, just to give it new life.
(1) In Alice’s country, by Alice Moireau and Paul-Henry Bizon, Éd. La Martinière, 160 pages, € 19.90.
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