For more than 17 years from now, Alain Abel team's has been helping
to promote this refined flavouring for discerning consumers,
not just by cultivating it,
but also by preparing it and exporting it to the four corners of the earth,
with love, pride and passion.
“Generous, sensual, delicate, refined… breathtaking.”
Tahiti vanilla, Alain Abel speaks of it as a lover.
27 May 1966
born in Toulon
and spenthis childhood in le Var
moved to Tahiti
for the island of Raiatea
started in vanilla
with the purchase
of his first plot of land
It is the little things that change a destiny. For Alain Abel,
it started with “a wonderful trip to the Seychelles” at the end of his studies,
which gave him an incurable taste for the islands.
His destiny would be Tahiti: at 25 years of age, Alain moved
there as a nurse.
Then four years in 1995 his life took a decisive turn. One day while passing
the shop of an old pharmacy assistant, Alain was literally hit by the smell
of vanilla and was fascinated by the agility the woman used to work the pod.
Love at first sight… then an impulse.
Two years later, he bought his first plot ofl and for a vanilla plantation
on the legendary island of Raiatea, birthplace of the Polynesian people.
This was just the beginning. It would take nearly three years of demanding
work to transform this “plot of jungle” into what would become
the first terroir of Tahiti vanilla. Alain led two lives simultaneously:
during the day, he tirelessly worked the earth.
At night, he continued to practice as a nurse at the hospital on the island
An experience that he describes as “ a school of patience and passion”.
Over time, Alain set up and formed a team of young Polynesians.
Planting, cleaning, selecting, maturing...
Alain is there for all stages of the vanilla production line.
Under his leadership, hundreds of thousands of vanilla beans are processed daily.
“ It is a philosophy of nature.
Working with vanilla is handcrafted and authentic.
It is to glorify the vanilla and respect it”, he concludes.
Alternately entrepreneur, craftsman, and salesman,
Alain Abel has an eye and hand on everything.
In 2003, while in Madagascar – the world's largest producer and exporter of vanilla
the price of Bourbon vanilla was soaring and production was falling,
and Alain took the opportunity to promote Tahiti vanilla.
“ Most people don't know the origin of vanilla, and much less
that there is a Tahiti vanilla very different from others.”
The pod: the only one which does not split before maturity,
which allows for late harvest when the flavours are at their peak.
“ A floral taste, with aromas of caramel and chocolate and very fresh notes...
Once you have tasted this, you cannot forget the unique flavour.
For me, this is the next Tahitian pearl! ” Abel enthuses.
Convinced of the quality of his product, Alain had thenerve to knock on the doors
of great master chefs ,daring that paid off: most of them literally fell in love
with this luxurious vanilla.
Today, Alain Abel's Tahiti vanilla is used worldwide by more than a dozen chefs,
including Guy Savoy, Joel Robuchon, Alain Ducasse and Pierre Gagnaire.
Ambitious, Alain continues to cultivate the patience that helped him get where he is today:
“There is still so much to be done to promote this wonderful product."