Hard work and discipline have always been driving forces in Alexandre Dufaur’s life. Born and raised in France, Chef Alex brings over eight years of bread making experience to Destination Kohler as Head Baker of the Midwest’s premier luxury resort.
At the tender age of 11, he joined the Paris Opera Ballet and at 18, he was one of the few to make it professionally into the esteemed company. His talent and discipline took him all over the world, and in 2002, he joined the Miami City Ballet where he quickly rose through the ranks as a soloist. While performing internationally with the Magic City company, Dufaur attended Florida Atlantic University, where in 2012 he obtained his Master of Arts degree. With over 15 years of an international ballet career behind him and an unfulfilled passion for food and baking, Dufaur took the plunge and pursued a career in hospitality in 2010. Soon after graduation, he was offered an assistant sommelier position at the landmark luxury hotel, The Breakers Palm Beach, under renowned Master Sommeliers Virginia Philip and Juan Gomez. Having learned the “back-of-the-house” ropes from some of the best in the business, Dufaur returned home to France, where he continued his hospitality journey. Eager to learn more about the restaurant industry, he pursued a position as Maître d’ Hotel at “Les Pres d’Eugenie,” a three-Michelin star restaurant operated by Michel Guérard, founder of la nouvelle cuisine.
In 2010, Dufaur met his now-wife Elodie, a gifted pastry chef. They welcomed their first child in 2014. Sharing a passion for baking, Dufaur joined the family business by taking an apprenticeship at the bakery. The owner and Elodie’s father, Bernard, was a sixth-generation bread maker who was struggling to find a new generation of bakers to pass down his secrets and techniques. Dufaur enthusiastically took on the challenge, and the baking business would prove to be the most challenging and fulfilling endeavor of his life. At the bakery, Bernard performed every aspect of the bread production process, from slow-rising to hand-shaping of the breads. He taught Dufaur the importance of working with local farmers and millers and using stone-ground organic flour to produce naturally leavened quality dough. Bernard was an old-world artisanal bread maker, and he would instill the dedication to tradition and quality in Dufaur.
This commitment to natural ingredients and hard work is what drives Dufaur in the kitchen today. In his continuing quest to achieve greatness, he looks to the baking legends for inspiration, such as World Champion of Chocolate Bread, Sebastien Lagrue, and world-renowned baker and Meilleur Ouvrier de France, Thomas Marie. The Meilleur Ouvrier de France, the Best Craftsman in France, is a prestigious national competition where over 200 craftspeople in over 16 industries compete for the title of the best in their industry. In early 2022, Dufaur had the opportunity to meet Marie and experience his coveted 3-Day Master Class in Rouen at the famous French National Baking and Pastry Institute, INBP. At Destination Kohler, he aspires to translate his love for naturally leavened breads and locally sourced ingredients to the bread program. He hopes his creations can help guests be more mindful of the ingredients they consume, without sacrificing flavor. In the kitchen, he’s currently focusing on laminated pastries and promotes his rustic artisan bread and viennoiseries creations on his personal social media pages.