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Victoire Gouloubi was born in Congo in a difficult period for that country, but she didn't lose heart and she decided to leave to follow her dreams. She arrived in Italy where she wanted to study law but, ate the end, she attended the prestigious cooking school in Feltre and, from that lucky change in plans, her culinary story began. She worked with some of the most important chefs in Italy and now she has a restaurant in Milan simply called "Victoire".

From Congo to Italy to study law. But when your passion for cooking was born?

My passion for cooking was born in Congo when I was a young girl, but at that time I was uncertain about my future. In Africa, cooking is not considered as a real “job”, but when I arrived in Italy I seized this opportunity with both hands.

Which are the flavors of your land that you like to mix with the Italian cuisine?

I always like to bring with me some spices, tubers and many pot-herbs of my country. I use them in various recipes: these are the flavors I love!

You worked with many important chefs. What did you learn from their cuisine? And what did they learn from your mixture of African and Italian flavors?

Cooking is like a “military school”. During my mess tin, I had to learn new things about cuisine but it was not the time to express my views to my superiors. I tried to do my best to learn as much as I can. But when your time arrives, the fantasy and philosophy will increase much better than before. I learned a lot of things from different chefs: the administration of a cuisine, the love for your work, how to experiment... And many others things!

Now you have a restaurant. Which dishes do you propose to your customers?

I offer to them very delicious dishes that I personally love. They reflect my identity and my afro’s roots: the base is Italian with a mixture of my land. I represent simply me: Victoire.

Which African ingredients do you mostly use in your dishes? Would you like to have an ingredient that is hard to find in Italy?

The manioc is my flag. Peanuts, corns and ginger are my secrets. But I miss many others ingredients that are not available in the international alimentary market.

In your dishes, do you play with African colours?

Yes, of course. Africa is a range of beautiful and unique colours. It would be stupid to not do it.

Your dream is to come back to Africa and open a cooking school for young and promising local chefs. Do you believe that effort, passion and sacrifice needed in this field could help people living difficult situations to have a better future and to develop new forms of entrepreneurship?

We need to work hard before reaching that objective. Young people should understand that success is not available only in the Western world. Our land is full of resources, those who had enriched many countries in the world. But if we still have corrupted governors, the road to be walked is still longer: it is necessary to make people understand the reason for sacrifice and hard work.

If you now are hungry and want to taste the colourful Victoire's cuisine, you can find all the information on her website.

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