Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chairs & dust

My worst fear, when I started planning the restaurant, was to receive the chairs after the opening day. I remenber reading stories about restaurant opening date which had to be delayed becasue the chairs had not arrived! Our timing is very tight so when I ordered the chairs I made sure that they will be delivered on 4th May.
This morning, a massive truck pulled in front of my house- the driver from Tcheque Republic told Clive that he had 800+kilos of chairs to be delivered at my home adress! wrong adress and 1 week too early- flooring is not finished at the restaurant- the carpenter is still sanding; dust is everywhere....

So the driver drove all the way to Soho and delivered the chairs.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Neighbours and smell

There is something really particular about Nicoise cuisine; it is very colourful- very vegetable based and also full of dry herbs.
The flavours are very powerful and release an exquisite smell.
Sadly our new neighbour can't stand food smell.
One would wonder why they decided to rent a flat above a restaurant.
Anyway, the gentlemen living above the restaurant stormed into the dining room last night and abused Max in front of our costumers! Not very cool in a full restaurant!
I guess there are going to be some busy lawyers in Nice.

News from the front...

Streets around the restaurant have been emptied by the red shirts and the army.

The usual non stop traffic is now non existent.

La Table de Tee has been closed for 2 days and we have had to ask most of the staff not to comeback until the area is safe.

The other parts of Bangkok are full of army personnel checking who is doing what.

I read in this morning newspaper that the prime minister had rejected the offer of a dissolution; the army is going to end all of this with gun.

We all expect carnage in the streets of Bangkok and that makes me really sad.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Piercing & Tattoo

Our wine cellar is starting to look good I have to say. Most of our cave du jour will be on display in what used to be Lindsay House Chef's Table. Our guests will be able to pick their own wine from our list direct from our cellar. Also, we got a huge piece of marble to put in the middle of the cellar, so we can use the room as a bar as well.
Most of our future wine suppliers have been coming to the restaurant for the last few days. They all share our hopes and are very supportive- above my expectations.
Meanwhile, Damian is busy trying to create a relaxing and chic dining room. He has also started interviewing our future waiters & waitresses. Recruiting for a restaurant in Soho is nothing to compare with recruiting for a restaurant in Pimlico. Our staff need to reflect Soho diversity and also its eccentricity- so get ready for a few piercing & tattoos.

Tears & Bombs

After spending most of my morning trying to find ways to defend myself with my lawyer, I came to the conclusion that the rest of the day will be just business as usual.
The tough hours were behind me.

I walked Oxford street, passed Liberty and walked back to the restaurant via the side Soho streets. The sun was shinning and the sky started to look, again, like a congested sky motorway!

When I stepped into my office, Gerard was intensively looking at the computer; he saw me and told me:
Did you hear what happened in Bangkok?
I didn't know was he was talking about;
Bombs have exploded at Saladeng Station! 3 dead-100 injured.
Saladeng station is exactly where our restaurant in Bangkok is situated!
Gerard and I bought a restaurant for our protégé chef- Tee Kachornklin- called La Table de Tee.
It is probably the best restaurant in the Saladeng area and despite having been open for just under a year, business is really good.
Last week Tee told us that the red shirts had started to move closer to Sillom road and saladeng road. We did not worry, thinking that they will be deterred by the army. Wrong!
Red shirts are fighting for the restoration of democracy. The current government is fighting for the end of corruption. 2 good causes. 2 sides with conviction.
Sadly behind each side there is the interest of a few minorities pulling strings!
Now the King needs to step in or blood is going to flow in the streets of Bangkok... and our restaurant will never survive the chaos.

Not a bad day is it?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A day to forget

Wow, things are getting hot here. I thought I took over L.....y H....e- the buidling- trademark name, so can't use the name! So it will be Gauthier Soho

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Menu dilemna

I have started to finalise what the menu is going to look like- I don't want big menus that open in 2 with 4 pages to read and millions of things to decide from.
Soho is no Pimlico and I must reflect what Soho is all about in my menu.
It should be straight forward, relax and to the point- without the fuss.
Price wise, It should reflect my feeling toward gastronomic restaurant:
I just detest restaurant where I feel I am being overcharged. I think that having a Tasting menu for £75 or up is just daylight robbery! All our suppliers will be helping us to succeed when we start- we must pass the savings to our customers.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

First trial---exciting

On wednesday we all went to Highgate cemetery to organise a pop up dining room for Courvoisier. The house we were cooking in was overlooking the cemetery and was surrounded by gigantic trees- there was quite a lot of mediteranen pine trees wich really surprised me.

The kitchen was super designed and was a real pleasure to work in.

Courvoisier was organising a special tasting menu with a food & Cognac pairing of dishes I created for Courvoisier.

The organisation was very slick; there was a bar in the kitchen where a very clever Canadian girl was mixing cocktails- the Saint Tropez cooler is exceptionnal= Ginger beer + Lime + Cognac

The meal went very well- if slightly under pressured in order to make sure that every single plate would be identical.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Builders and dust

The dust gets everywhere. In my hair, my clothes, my nails, my computer....

I can't wait for the day when I will see the back of this dust squad. They seem to love it. They sand and sand and sand all day long...I need to be strong; I know that it will soon be a bad memory.

Meanwhile, the building work is coming along nicely. First floor dining room almost finished- ground floor needs another day of painting; cellar needs to be build (ouch! that takes a long time)- private dining rooms need to make feel even more private; toilets need to be started....etc

We are not open yet!

Gerard is back from his holiday and I feel a lot better. I am kind of weird when he is not around.We tend to talk to each other on the phone at least 10 times a day- and this has been going on for the last 12 years. I can see much clearer when he is around.
He only had 2 hours break today, but he came to see me at the restaurant; gave me his point of view on different issues and we talked about strategy. Sometimes his intelligence really impress me- and that is quite reassuring.

I am going home early tonight.
I was out last night to the Streetsmart party at The Groucho Club- too much Champagne is bad for me. Good party and very nice & chatty people.
After that we went for supper at Rosa's (again); it was packed and I was really thrilled for them. They deserve to be full= good food; gracious service and Thai smile. What more do you need in a restaurant? Oh! and the price is still ridiculously low.....

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Pad Thai & Macaroons

What a contrast this day has been.

I first had to pick up a very original art deco mirror for our private dining room- got stuck in traffic jam at Angel and lost 1 hour of my precious time!

Had to rush back to Romilly street to meet our fire system prevention rep. Westminster is very strict those days and I was requested to install an extremely sophisticated fire Alarm system- our building was build in 1721, so I guess that they are quite cautious.

My phone couldn't stop ringing meanwhile- small equipment to reorder- wine glasses to decide on supplier- outside sign.... I think I need help.

Clive, very courageously, came to start putting together my very cheap office suit from Ikea.

Now I know why it is so cheap- the time you spent putting it together would cost an absolute fortune if it was paid by the hour- even more if you were in France! Clive cost me a lunch at this new Thai restaurant called Rosa-Soho. My vegetarian Pad Thai was delicious and Clive's Pad sewu (excuse my thai) was great too. £13 for 2 including soft drinks- cheaper than Pret.

Went to John Lewis to check out some fabrics- came back to the restaurant and spent a long time on the phone with Carlos & Gerard. One on the Isle of Wight, the other one in Chayapun (north east Thailand)= Thanks Skype for making those 2 calls the same price £0.

Carlos is in great form those days- the presence of his girlfriend must have an impact on his mood.

Gerard is slowly baking in Thailand- the heat is unbearable and the red shirt demonstration had to make him cancel his trip to Bangkok. Pity. I told him, he should have stay here with me! Miss you Gerard.

Went back home, read a weird story to Arthur about taste bud and told him to fall asleep fast- otherwise he couldn't wake up in the morning.

Tonight is macaroon night from Laduree cookbook.

David told me that the recipe really work- without cooking the sugar!!!! I had to try.

Photo attached- my macaroons looked like deflated Pillsbury dough boy-don't try at home.

Good night.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Back after easter week end

Wow, it has been quite a week end! My sister, her husband and her 2 children came to visit us. It was quite weird for me to tell her that my partnership with Roussillon had ended. My sister found it quite hard to believe; after 12 years... It is a bit of a waste.
I told her that usually chefs stay 3 to 4 years in a restaurant and then move on.
I have spent the day trying to install my HP printer- without success. I also tried to design a mini-bar for our tasting room; It reminded me that a few years ago I designed a bar for Roussillon- we ordered it but was never delivered!
The carpet has been laid down in our offices and I have started to put my wonderful Ikea offices.
I have divided the offices in 2= 1 creative office where we will, hopefully develop ideas, recipes, products.... for Lindsay House, Voyageur Nissart & La Table de Tee.
The other office is the account- they should never be mixed together.
I'll take some pictures tomorrow.
Barcelona- Arsenal tonight! I need to go.

Veganisteria 111

Deep Problem If there was one thing that has seriously amazed me since becoming a vegan chef is the fact that I am still not connected ...