Alexandre Dufaur is the head baker at Destination Kohler, a five-star resort offering unapparelled lodging, spa experiences, golfing and, of course, dining. New to Destination Kohler, Chef Dufaur hails from France and brings nearly a decade of bread-making experience to the Forbes Five-Star and AAA Five-Diamond resort. Learn about Alexandre Dufaur…
Hometown: Vic-en-Bigorre, France
First job: A summer job in my neighborhood bakery in Paris during my teenage years. That brief exposure cemented a lifelong appreciation and love for eating and creating all things bread.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in WI: Being fairly new to the area, I greatly enjoy spending time with my wife and two children discovering new road trip possibilities and family escapes along the coast of Lake Michigan.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: My biggest accomplishment was to move to the United States when I was 21-years-old, not speaking a word of English, and graduating with a Master’s degree in Literature and Linguistics 10 years later.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Starting over in the hospitality business shortly after getting my Master’s degree and thinking of baking as a career. It meant a lot of commitment and sacrifice for my family. Old World artisan bread baking entails long hours, commitment to tradition, quality and hard work to master the skills that go into this truly great craft.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: For many, bread is an afterthought. Baking good bread takes time. The impregnation of the dough as it is kneaded, its slow rise and the spring upward of the loaf in the heat of the oven. By virtue of constant repetition, the body or senses eventually take over in the craft work so that it feels as if your hands are “thinking” as the dough is being worked on. Recognizing the sound of the dough in the mixer, knowing its feel as you pinch it or the sheer of the dough’s skin during fermentation – it’s a multi-sensory process. These visual, tactile and auditory cues become the signals for what you should or should not do. It takes time to learn. You hone in those senses the more you repeat the process. If you are not humble in this craft, you will end up with under and over fermented loaves, misshapen and dense breads. You have to work hard and stay resilient, knowing that if you fail, you will have to try again the next day.
Favorite quote: “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” –Samuel Beckett
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I am a former professional ballet dancer with the Paris Opera Ballet and Miami City Ballet.
What makes someone fabulous: Being fabulous is achieved by creating your own path — and by living authentically and unapologetically.