The Daguin family history includes seven generations of restaurateurs and chefs. Alix's grandfather, André Daguin, was chef/owner of the famed Hôtel de France in Auch, the capital of Gascony. "Food and family are very important in our way of life," Ariane explains. "Everything evolves from there. Any single mother raising a daughter has very strong ties to family. Alix is culturally involved in her roots."
Grandfather "Papi" teaches Alix something new every time they are together. "Last winter he taught me three different sauces," she says. "He has also taught me pride, discipline, respect, attitude, and efficiency. He expresses love through teaching things he admires. When you cook, you need all of those qualities plus a respect for yourself and your ingredients. That's important to my mom as well."
Consequently, Alix knows about a chef's authority-she has interned at Daniel, Daniel Boulud's four-star New York restaurant, and at Restaurant Hélène Darroze in Paris. "At Daniel, I was 17 and the only girl in the kitchen," she says. "Papi's lessons about discipline and efficiency taught me a lot."
Recipes are at the end of this story