Christophe Krywonis It doesn’t need much introduction. Furthermore, there are few who recognize him by his surname. But he is Christophe, simply. And he is one of the most famous chefs on the Argentine gastronomic and television scene.
But the former Masterchef jury and host of Parrilleros, among many other programs, has a particular relationship with the world of cars. He is often called upon for numerous events and not necessarily to cook.
Christophe has a story that began at an early age in his native France. Just as he himself says he had his gastronomic beginnings learning from his grandmother. When I was 5, the same thing happened with cars..
“I get along very well with cars,” said Christophe Clarion. “It’s something that first started at my grandmother’s house, with her Citroën 3CV with the hood.”
He feels comfortable talking about cars. She recalls the past and brings back childhood images of him in perfect “Argentinian” but with his native French accent.
“I learned to drive in Argentina”
-How have you continued that relationship with cars since you were a child?
-Later my mother had the same vehicle as my grandmother and then we switched to Ford. It was a party. My mother bought it and had it until recently. She kept that car for about 25 years. Middle-class French people don’t spend much…
-Were there other cars in the family?
-But the car I liked best was my aunt’s, who had a Peugeot 403 Pininfarina convertible. It was white with a black hood. Walking around with that was fabulous. Then her husband had a Ferrari, so it was a very nice thing. These things mark your steps a bit. But life has led me to consider knitting needles as something that can be useful and pleasant at the same time. In other words, it will never be profitable, but it will be very enjoyable.
-At what age did you learn to drive?
-The reality is that I learned to drive in Argentina, when I was 24 years old. In France I drove tractors and things like that, with cars in the fields, but nothing more. So I had to learn to drive officially in Argentina, 34 years ago.
-Who taught you?
-There was no one in particular. My mother’s best friend’s father, people on my father’s side, then with friends. So well, when I got here I said no, no, I have to drive normally with a license.
-What was your first car?
-I bought a Renault 19.
-You continued with the French thing.
-Yes and it was what I could buy and pay for at this time. It was a very nice experience. I was very happy with the design and then switched to a Japanese brand. And now I have been with Ford for many years and it would be very difficult for me to switch to another type of vehicle.
-What should not be missing for you in a car?
-Internal comfort, power, safety at all costs, because the family is there and it is also road safety that worries me the most. Good aesthetics, I’m European, in short. But for me the best European cars are not French, they are German and English. A dream would be an Aston Martin.
-Have you ever driven an Aston Martin?
-I sat down but didn’t handle it. It was enough to get me excited.
-What are you driving now?
-I have an SUV, a second generation Ford Territory which is a pleasure to drive. It’s not for trails, it’s for road safety and to ride very well and comfortably both in the city and on the road. It’s very comfortable, it’s very comfortable. The truth is that it is a very versatile car.
-Does it strike you that a country has so many pickups?
-I had to adapt. I see its usefulness especially on the field. I have many inland friends who use pickups. But yes, she surprised me. But I also believe it’s an entire sociocultural phenomenon; Demonstrate a volume that makes you feel important, having a vehicle that makes an impact.
– Do you drive fast?
-I won’t go away calmly. Now I am calm, very calm and I am very happy like this.
-But do you like driving fast on the track, for example?
-Yes, but only on orders and with the direction of someone who knows. I had an event with an English rally driver and we drove together, and when he saw that I hadn’t frowned, that I was happy, he understood that I had enjoyed myself.
-What can’t be missing from your car?
-Waterfall. Safe water. And well, the cell phone to manage me with GPS. A dress. Toilet paper is going around. It’s not more. A few dry biscuits so as not to make a mess and so you don’t arrive hungry and something sweet, but nothing more.
What project are you working on now?
–Mon Chicken (“my chicken”, in French). It is a project that has been going on for many years, four or five years. But a year ago with Sebastián, my partner, we found the place where we wanted to do it. It will be a rotisserie open to the public, with a table to sit at, takeaway, home delivery and it will be grilled chickens, embers and wood, but with the carousel system, let’s say.
-Yes, but there is no longer a wood-fired spit. This one has 84 chickens. It’s hypnotic to see them spin, the smell, how they turn golden… they tell you “Eat me!”.
– Is it a special car?
-Yes, I had it designed. It is a beautiful two-sword machine that has a very long life, is very bulky, weighs 700 kilos. It is an important machine measuring 1.50 meters wide by 1.20 meters deep.
-Spiedo was very popular a long time ago in Argentina, but not so much today.
-Here the craftsmanship has been lost. This is a call to attention to the craftsmen who know how to do these things. In Argentina you need firewood. Well done. He gave my drawing to anyone who wanted to copy it and replicate it well.
-Do you stop to eat when you travel?
-I always, always, always stop to eat something.
-Are you very fussy when you stop to eat?
-Yes. Always. If I eat a sandwich, make sure the bread is fresh, the lettuce is fresh, the tomato is freshly cut, the cured meats are freshly cut.
-Do you remember any food along the way that surprised you?
-I spent an episode going to Córdoba, I had to load in the Leones area and there were so many people that we had to wait an hour, both to load and to eat something. A driver appears out of nowhere and advises me to go into town to load up and that near the station I could eat at the bus terminal. I ate some gnocchi that I won’t even tell you about. People wanted to take photos. I returned from my trip to Córdoba, 15 days later and there was a glass blow-up on site. The story doesn’t end here.
-Soon I’m going to Neuquén, to Villa Pehuenia. And on the way to the airport I stopped at another station and a man grabbed me and told me that he was the brother-in-law of the owner of the restaurant at the Leones terminal. “I’m thrilled with the photo you took there, so I need a photo with you.” Well, the story continued like this. But that’s Argentina, see? Things happen in Argentina.
Ben Stock is a journalist working for News Rebeat, where he covers the automobile section. With a passion for cars and the industry, Ben brings insightful and in-depth reporting to his readers.