Logo pickles blanc

My ohh my…..a pretty busy and important month of April…….40th birthday celebrated last week, party last night, final service at restaurant Kong as fish section “chef de partie” last Wednesday, end of the “Create a Restaurant” month long training course a few weeks ago and 2 day trip last week to a city out to the west of France (to be revealed in a later post !!) to check out the city where we intend to set up home in the not too distant future…….

All good stuff.

There’s one thing that I haven’t mentioned, namely that I’m starting back at Capgemini tomorrow morning with my first role possibly being “Project Director” for a chain of supermarkets…..hmmmmm……..

Yep, I’m heading back into the world of consulting – for how long ? We’ll see. Why ?? Having prepared an intial version of the Business Plan for the creation of my restaurant, I need to check for once and for all that I’m ready to quit consulting for cheffing and my own resto. Creating a restaurant is the ultimate challenge which requires bringing together many skills, not to mention a fair amount of money ! It’s also a step which changes everything for the family. So, if I’m really serious about doing it then I want to be sure that I’m going to do it well…..and a first part of this is making sure that consulting (and the life and money that goes with it) is really no longer for me.

I’ve come a long way over the last 19 months of training and working in the kitchens of Paris (and Newcastle). I’m still not quick enough during the service, but I’m a hell of lot better. Earlier last week I dealt with 80+ fish main courses on my own (not including the ravioli starters that I had), “banging them out” as we used to say when I worked at Jesmond Dene House – it’s a question of organisation and anticipation. My knowledge of products, where they come from, their seasonality, the farmers / producers invloved and the cost involved is improving all of the time. There’s a lot more to learn, but I’m finally pretty happy with where I’m at and the progress that I’ve made.

The next step is for the family as a whole….we’ve been planning to leave Paris for a number of years but have never really made serious attempts to pick where to move to. Well, that’s changed (we know where we want to live) and now we’re starting to get everything in place for our move out west in the next 12 months or so.

The dream (create a restaurant) is not over, far from it, but I want to ensure that I (and the family) have as many options as possible. If I decide that, finally, consulting really is finished then I will head off to the west of France, find a kitchen to work in for another year or so and then find the location for my future restaurant. If, on the other hand, I see that consulting still has a future then we’ll move out west but as a consultant rather than chef.

…..I’m pretty sure that I know how things are going to turn out (if we’re heading out west it’s also to be close to the fabulous products that are available), but I’m just keeping my options open.

Before signing off, a quick top 10 of my key moments / experiences :

  • getting my fongecif funding accepted ;
  • succeeding at my CAP ;
  • the team at the Fontaine Gaillon offering me some fantastic Henkel knives ;
  • 1 month of hard, hard work at the number 1 traiteur / caterer in France during Roland Garos ;
  • 10 weeks of excellent experience at Jesmond Dene House back in my home town of Newcastle ;
  • my full-time contract at “Au Petit Marguery” ;
  • the tasting menu at l’Echappée “Dom for One Night Only” just before christmas ;
  • working at Kong since January – a great experience for learning how to produce good looking food for a lot of customers in a short space of time ;
  • the 4 week, 3 hours a day training for “Create a Restaurant” in March / April ;
  • the trip out west to a first meeting with a fine city, its excellent produce and a first look at its restaurants up for sale…..hmmmm ;
  • Keep tuned for the next step and wish me luck !

    4 réponses

    1. Hello, j’ai découvert votre blog avec ravissement grâce à votre femme, que j’ai rencontrée en entretien à l’école hôtelière et qui m’en a parlé pour m’aider à me représenter le changement de vie auquel je me prépare (dans la chronologie de votre blog, j’en suis à peine à votre premier billet…).
      Merci de nous confier tous ces récits, ces recettes, ces photos, et de partager vos doutes et votre enthousiasme.
      Je vous souhaite beaucoup, beaucoup de chance, ne perdez pas de vue votre rêve maintenant que vous êtes si près !! et si prêt.
      Je ne sais pas comment vous faites pour vous replonger dans l’univers de Cap, d’ailleurs, bizarrement, tous vos derniers billets nous régalent les yeux et les papilles mais ne racontent pas votre (dur ?) atterrissage… N’est-il pas difficile de retrouver cette population si étrange (le consultant), qui plus est dans l’univers agroalimentaire du mass market ??
      Enfin bon, je comprends, grâce à votre blog, vos raisons, et je vous souhaite du courage, et de la persévérance. Keep faith.
      Et puis j’ai hâte de découvrir votre resto : ce que vous dites de votre resto est très séduisant.
      Une demi-anglaise, leila

    2. thanks for the support.

      Great comment, Leila – really good to hear that some of you enjoy reading my adventures.

      Je vais dévoiler de plus en plus du concept de mon resto au fur et au mesure que le projet avance.

      Watch this space, comme on dit chez moi.

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