Serge Falcoz-vigne of Saint Jacques French Cuisine in Raleigh has been a loyal Firsthand Foods customer for many years. We had the chance to ask him more about his background and are excited to share his history and “Waking Up Emotion” philosophy with you.
FHF: Give us a short history of how you became a chef.
SFV: For me, I don’t know why I do it; I just know that this is what I have to do. Growing up in France, my happiest moments were around the table. Much of the love I received as a kid was through food. Every time I ate my grandmother’s food, I could feel the love. She lived on a farm, and what’s better than having your grandson come cook with you? I also loved to be in the kitchen with my mother.
My parents gave me the freedom to be what I wanted to be. I started cooking in the profession at 15 1/2. The library of flavors I have doesn’t start with professional cooking. It started with me as a child. I remember my grandmother giving me orange blossom water with sugar most nights before bed.
FHF: What is your philosophy/inspiration for your cuisine?
SFV: Chefs are people who specialize in waking up emotion not creating it. What I want to do at Saint Jacques is awaken the palates of people here with the flavor library that I bring from France. I share the love and modern techniques along with my experience growing up and my time as chef in France. Everything needs to make sense. If it doesn’t make sense then it probably isn’t going to work.
FHF: Why do you purchase/use Firsthand Foods? What does it mean to you?
SJV: As the base of French and world cuisine, “local” was the only way for you to source a product. It’s what you have access to. Choosing local is not a choice it’s what you have to do. It’s what makes sense— to support the local economy and to help local farmers and producers who struggle to make a profit. They work so hard and make an effort to make it happen…it’s the minimum we can do to thank them. So many people tell me how good our Firsthand Foods meat dishes are. It’s grass-fed, no hormones, no antibiotics. I want people to understand that we choose local because the flavor is better. It’s a clean taste. You are getting the meat flavor without anything interrupting it. Direct delivery and direct taste…it’s why we choose local and why we choose Firsthand Foods.