Chef Lauris Aleksejevs calls the key to his success the hardening of the Garden School choir boy / Article

Lauris Aleksejevs is a summer anniversary, but the restaurant business in Jūrmala, even in pandemic conditions, draws a rather grounded line for the celebration. That is why the conversation in the series of programs “Congratulations, Jubilee!” happens now – in the summer, when the chef can take a breath.

It is interesting that the favorite season of Lauris, born in Jūrmala, is winter, not summer, the time of the warm season. “Then you can hear the silence. The sea is frozen, people are calm. In the summer, everyone gets crazy, ”comments the chef, who has also chosen winter hobbies in sports: skiing and hockey.

Laura’s working hours are long. Glad you can sleep longer in the morning. Therefore, it is no wonder that the creative group of television in Laura’s restaurant arrives before the owner himself. When he comes, the tables and flower pots have already been moved, everything is arranged for filming.

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Chef Lauris Alexeyev

Photo: from private archive

“It’s good to be able to see the sea in the background,” Alexeyev is always happy in a cheerful mood. As a birthday present, the jubilee receives a photo album from the legendary photographer Viļa Rīdzinieki from Latvian Television, in whose pictures the origins and history of Latvia are recorded. Lauris is happy: “I really like it, I already have my own collection of photo albums at home. There will be something to add! ” he hands over the smooth cover of the edition.

The interview begins, and Lauris watches with interest the archive materials prepared by the creative group, among which there are also music opuses of his choice. The first of them – Giuseppe Verdi. “This is a grand composer, I have delved into his work. For example, one of my favorite is the festive scene of the opera “Traviata”, “the chef laughs and explains:

“Because feasts are my professional everyday life today.”

Laura’s first education is music, E. Dārziņš Music School Boys’ Choir conducted by Jānis Ernštreits. In memory of the school years – participation in the opera production as well. “It was Boris Godunov,” says Alexeyev. “We were the guys who wrapped around Inga Peterson. I don’t remember exactly how many shows I took part in, but I remember how I had to make up for the first time in my life. I asked the other guys how much makeup to put on their face. These are opposite me: say as much as you want and what you want. ”

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Lauris sinked so richly that after the show he almost missed the Jurmala train: “I just couldn’t get it off in many layers of make-up!”

He remembers the time of the music school very fondly, because he believes that it was thanks to this temperament that he was a complete adult at the age of 14: “Jānis Ernštreits was the father of the choir, he taught us not only in music. Also in duties, responsibilities, masculinity. He was with us not only in choir classes, we also played a lot of football, we played a lot of sports in general, ”comments the businessman, for whom music and sports still mean a lot.

“It was the Garden School that taught me to receive whatever happened. This has helped me later in both business and family relationships. Do it! ”

The show “Good luck, anniversary!” the team has given Lauris another gift. Namely, during the interview there is a call with Laura’s teacher and conductor Jānis Ernštreits, who admits that Lauri had very good musical talents. The LTV archive holds footage from a concert in which Lauris, as a soloist, together with the Garden School Choir, led by Ernstreit, and Raimonds Pauls performs a Christmas song at the piano: “It was in the 1990s, during the Awakening. One of the first concerts where we were allowed to perform Christmas songs again, ”the conductor and his former student share their memories.

Laura’s music education was crossed by an outstanding solfeggio exam, her family and relatives were in despair: “You were provided with everything, you just had to study. Now think for yourself what you want to do next in your life! ” Laura’s father, a strong man, once the director of the “Dzintari” concert hall, a public figure and the head of the Jurmala stage orchestra office. “Of course, I didn’t want to upset my parents,” the chef recalls.

“And when I went to cooking school, I strongly promised myself that I would prove myself in this profession.”

It was neither quick nor easy. But when Lauris Aleksejevs was already the chef of “Rīdzene”, already known as a specialist in his field, the father changed his attitude towards the choice of his son: in front, saying: this is my son, the chef of “Rīdzene”! Then I realized that my debt has been settled, ”says Alexeiev, with a sincere smile, whose professional authority no longer needs to be proven today.

Today, he himself is a husband, a father of two children, the leader of the restaurant team and tries to be a support to people who need it. Especially for young people who lack family warmth and advice in life. “I have to pass on what has been given to me. And what I have understood and learned myself. ” The situation is similar in a professional environment – young chefs have to be entrusted with trade secrets, even if they then go to work elsewhere or start their own business. “Although it sometimes seems unfair to give others what you yourself have earned through hard work, that is the spiritual law: give up and go ahead! “

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