Fit And Fab

Chef serves up a good bout of muay thai

Frenchman Alexandre Pini, founder and chef of Braseiro Restaurant in Joo Chiat Road, is also a professional fighter at Fight ProMotion gym. He first picked up muay thai in Lille, France, where he is from.
Frenchman Alexandre Pini, founder and chef of Braseiro Restaurant in Joo Chiat Road, is also a professional fighter at Fight ProMotion gym. He first picked up muay thai in Lille, France, where he is from.ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Restaurant founder from France juggles competitive fighting and F&B business

Q What do you like about muay thai?

A I picked up muay thai in 2006. I find it addictive because when you see improvement, you will be motivated to be even better. Once you become competitive, there will be clear objectives to pursue and the pressure will keep you on your toes.

I feel that one can never become too good in muay thai. The more we train, the more there is to learn. With every fight, you will learn something from your opponent and something about yourself because no two fights are ever the same.

Q What is your secret to looking fabulous?

A Laugh a lot, eat a lot! I'm a happy-go-lucky person.

Q What is your diet like?

A Outside of fight season, I will eat just about anything that I like. During fight season, I will go low-carb, eat clean and go off sweet things.

RECIPE FOR SUCCESS

I feel that one can never become too good in muay thai. The more we train, the more there is to learn. With every fight, you will learn something from your opponent and something about yourself because no two fights are ever the same.

MR ALEXANDRE PINI

Q What are your indulgences?

A Everything sweet!

Q How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance?

A My work as a chef is also my passion. So fortunately, going to work is fun for me.

Fitness is even more fun because I train at a very family-oriented gym and it's a happy place for me to go to after work. Everyone leaves his ego at the door. We train hard and laugh hard at this gym.

Q What are the three most important things in your life?

A Family and loved ones, friendship and loyalty, and last but not least, good food and good company.

  • BioBox

  • ALEXANDRE PINI

    AGE: 28

    HEIGHT: 1.84m

    WEIGHT: 75kg

    The founder and chef at barbecue restaurant Braseiro in Joo Chiat Road picked up muay thai in Lille, France, where he is from.

    His first amateur muay thai fight took place in 2010 there. Since then, he has fought in eight amateur fights and nine professional ones in France.

    He first came here in 2011 for a three-month internship while doing a master's in engineering at France's Institut catholique d'arts et metiers (Icam).

    "The weather was lovely and I felt very safe at all hours in Singapore," he said.

    "The cleanliness, superb infrastructure and, most importantly, the harmonious relationship among people of all races left a lasting impression on me and I knew I had to come back."

    He moved to Singapore in 2014, after graduating from Icam the year before. However, instead of getting an engineering job, he decided to pursue his passion in cooking and started Braseiro.

    Here, he trains at Fight ProMotion gym in Joo Chiat.

    Mr Pini, whose French girlfriend works as a restaurant manager at Braseiro, has since fought under Fight ProMotion in two professional bouts in Johor, Malaysia. At the inaugural Thrive Championship here in August, he won the middleweight championship belt.

Q What's your favourite and least favourite part of your body?

A My height. In muay thai, the height advantage is something all fighters want. I accept my body for what it is so I don't really have any part that I dislike.

Q What are your must-dos before and after a workout?

A I stretch and make sure I am well hydrated. And, after a good workout, I go for a good meal because I feel that I have earned it.

Q How important is it for you to keep up with your fitness routine?

A While it is important, I still have a business to run and need to spend time with my loved ones so it is about finding the right balance.

Q How extensive is your collection of sports-related paraphernalia?

A I have many pairs of muay thai shorts but I only fight in one particular pair because of its sentimental value.

Q Would you go for plastic surgery?

A Absolutely not. I don't mind being punched, but the thought of putting myself under the knife is scary.

Q Do you think you're sexy?

A My girlfriend couldn't stop laughing when I asked her this question.

My fellow gym members will double over in laughter too if I ask them this. Maybe you should ask me if I think I am funny. Haha!

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 28, 2017, with the headline 'Chef serves up a good bout of muay thai'. Print Edition | Subscribe