I spent the last year working at Le Môle in Marseille, which was a great experience but also a tough one. It was my first time working in the gastronomy business in France. The kitchen team is young, nice and very proficient.
But even though Marseille was amazing, gorgeous weather, friendly people, mind blowing landscape, the best aperos ever…..I decided to come back to Berlin for a while.
I first worked in a pastry shop, which didn’t work out as I had hoped, but I actually found a better place, a compromise between kitchen and social life: the Catering business at Kofler Company. It is a very different way of working than à la carte, first because of the quantities you have to produce for, the desserts have to hold for a few hours, have to be easy to plate and produceable for hundreds, thousands of guests. Then there is the organisation, the logistic etc…..a great opportunity to learn. And personally, that’s what the job is also all about.
Le Mole Passédat hosted the charity event Les Restos du Coeur a couple of sundays ago. Chefs Passédat, Troisgros, Portos and Charial and their teams cooked for the event.
We assisted the Valrhona team to plate the desserts. It was a great opportunity to look at other Chefs working and try some very fine food. What a great evening!
For the ones who are not familiar with the MUCEM, the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, openend its doors last year for the Cultural Year as Marseille was elected one of the capital of Culture. The MUCEM hosts also the restaurants La Table, La Cuisine and the Cafe Saint Jean.
I joined the pastry team last January. We produce pastries and desserts for the whole place, which means a lot of work, which means I learn a lot. I also do the service for the restaurant and the lunch buffet. The kitchen team, led by Chef Moreno, is young and very professional. Working in France is proving to be a great learning experience from the pace and quality of work point of view, but also it is interesting and enriching to see my home country after so many years spent abroad!!
I had the chance to photograph the evening, backstage……
La Nuit Magazine launched their new website last wednesday. The party and presentation took place yesterday at the WAAW bar in Cours Julien. La Nuit Magazine is an online platform for all news and events regarding the marseille night life. As it was said in the presentation of the team, they are a young team and want to move marseille. That project deserves to be supported!
Before I left, Chef Pelloie was working on new desserts for the restaurant. It was a real pleasure taking part in the creation process. I got to try a lot of the recipes. The pistachio soufflé especially……there is just so much one can eat, even for the job!!
I love the plating, the colors and tastes combination. Preparing theses desserts was simply great and inspiring!
I’ve decided to go back to restaurant business after trying out a smaller and nice structure at “Minoofi”.
I’ll be starting at the Môle Passédat at the Mucem next week. For me, a larger structure allows to work on many different styles of pastries, from café pastry to dessert on the plate. I think it is a very good way to learn a lot, like at the Waldorf Astoria.
I am very fortunate and grateful for the opportunities I have here.
I know, I have not been very effective at writing since last time…..But I have good reasons for that! It’s been a very good year, and I can only hope that it carries on….So many things have been happening. In 1 word: We left Berlin to move to Marseille 2 months ago!
I had been looking for a new job in France. Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, Valence..After sending a large number of applications, I ended up at le Petit Nice, a 3* restaurant and institution in Marseille. It didn’t quite go as I expected, especially after working at the Waldorf Astoria with Chef Pelloie, it was kind of a cultural choc. So I decided to stop.
But we fell in love with Marseille and tried to stay. Which we are now. These were intense, stressful months but hopefully worth it.
That’s how it all started: after spending some time back in Berlin following the pastry school Graduation, I delivered “Mogg&Melzer” where my friend Joey Passarella prepares Berlin’s best pastrami sandwich. I delivered lemon meringue tarts and chocolate truffle cakes. We also took part in the Art Fair abc. That was crazy and a lot of fun, but also made me do calculations and food costs which is a good exercise.
Then I applied at the Waldorf Astoria in Berlin which was about to open. My interview was conducted by the French Pastry Chef Nicolas Pelloie, who has been working for Pierre Gagnaire for over 10 years. It was important for me to work with a French Chef to carry on applying what I had learned at school. And it worked out!
It was very lucky, because this was my first experience in the real world after school, in a 5* Hotel and a starred Chef’s Kitchen. You usually need a minimum of one year experience. Since I was super motivated and my age was no problem, as it is in many places, mainly in Paris, let’s be honest…..Nicolas gave me my chance.
I started in October 2012. It was an exciting experience to join this team, and the Pierre Gagnaire’s team for the gastronomic restaurant “Les Solistes“.
Even though the hotellerie business was not my thing at first, I soon realized that you can learn a lot in a short period of time there, given that you do interesting work are not only there to peel apples. But you should know what you want and always ask to be shown and do new things. You can learn every day.
We produced the pastries for the cake shop, the afternoon teas, for the banquets and made the mise en place for the fine dining restaurant. It was a very busy year. Do not count the hours. For a few months I barely slept nor had any rhythm at all. But the team was fantastic and made the hard times turn into fun days and nights.
I was very lucky to work with Chef Nicolas who taught me a LOT, who was my coach for a year, shared his passion and his great jokes…….MERCI!!
The first experience after school is very important as it should not put you off the business. I’m sure some expected something else than what it actually is. But I must say, my girls from our little group at school are all very successful and love what they do.
I’d like to share some of the great stuff we’ve made over the year at the restaurant, with Chef’s agreement…..I’ll put some more photos in a coming post. But for now…….
Le Chateaubriand is considered one of the world’s 50 best restaurants. Read here.
It is THE place to be and therefore, you should make sure to reserve a while in advance.
After a complicated reservation process from our part, being first 2 persons then 4, the friendly staff managed to find us a table by the kitchen at the last minute.
They might have regretted this later, considering that my lovely aunt, who introduced me to high gastronomie years ago, is addicted to her camera and doesn’t show any embarrassment when it comes to asking running waiters, submerged with orders, if they could take a picture of us. We had to apologize a couple of times and after another couple of funny situations this evening was a memorable great experience.
Chef Inaki Aizpitarte proposes a single menu for 60€ or 120€ with the drinks. We had a couple of them to try and they happened to be very interesting.
If you want to eat out in Paris I can only recommend this place.
Here some impressions of the evening
Address: 129 Avenue Parmentier, 75011
Tube station: Goncourt
Hours: Dinner only, closed Sunday&Monday
Reservations: Book a few weeks in advance
Telephone: +33 1 43 57 45 95
Starting a new career is an exciting thing. In my case it also means a lot of learning, a lot of working hours and commitment. It is great! However, I have not been blogging as much I would have liked to….
Of course, having a job doesn’t keep me from looking for what’s going on out there, the remote idea of owning my place one day is still there, but far away.
I bumped into this website “Kitchenette” while reading my daily blog feeds, one of them called Essen.
Kitchenette is a London based start up that helps you run your food business by providing a 12 weeks course in return for a 5-10% stake in your business.
The French TV channel M6 is presenting a show about pastry. Pastry amateurs come and bake on the show. The winner gets to have his baking book published.
Here, just a quick look from the blog “La cuisine de Mercotte” (in French I’m afraid, sorry…), she takes part in the show.
If anybody from the ENSP reads this, you might recognise someone!!!!!!!!!!
Click here to read the article.
Wednesday evenings have never been as pleasant than since the restaurant NeugrünsKöche organises the culinary wednesday, a lively evening where a mixed crowd enjoys a 7 course meal, all that for 26€. The price is of course an extra appeal to dine at this cosy place in Prenzlauer Berg, but I find the evenings to be fun and a smart opportunity to enjoy fine food.
You attend the evening not only to discover flavours, you are there to take part in the event, to taste a meal prepared by 2 cooks while the waiters make you feel at home.
Since the plates start coming at around 20h00, get there at 19h30.
The atmosphere is relaxed and playful, you engage a conversation with your table neighbors you have never met before…All of a sudden it gets quieter, the food is coming. Small plates are being handed over, the waiters announce the dish, the guests “hmmm” or discuss after each fork, you feel like a child waiting to discover what’s going to be on the next plate.
While having the last drop of wine left in your glass or sipping a hazelnut snaps, the kitchen team comes out in the room. This is a great moment, full of gratefulness – with a large smile on their faces, the guests applaud and cheer.
You leave content and looking forward to the next culinary wednesday.
Of course, having dinner with social networkers/freelancers is a whole program, if you have something to say, you’d better say it fast and chose the right moment.
I don’t eat much meat myself, so far I’ve been lucky, there was mainly fish. But I would suggest you ask before you book a table. Also, the evening is often booked out, so book early….
Schönhauser Allee 135 A
D-10437 Berlin (Prenzlauer Berg)
Menue available online at 5pm
Opened: Tuesday to Saturday at 6pm
U2 – U-Bahnhof Eberswalder Straße