Inside the kitchen of a starred chef!
Going into the kitchen of a starred restaurant is like entering a whole other world. An incredibly oiled machinery where it’s all about organization and precision. But above all, know-how and excellence! I still can’t believe you can join a brigade during service hours. And yet, this is what we were able to share with Arnaud, a young firefighter who obviously has a great wife for offering him this experience as a birthday present via OpnKitchen, a platform allowing you to enter a chef’s kitchen and live other diverse experiences according to your desires.
It’s at La Scène Thélème that we have an appointment this morning. A restaurant that earned its star from chef Pierre Rigothier. Here, you find a combination between gastronomy and theater. Isn’t it surprising ?!
We’re welcomed by Baptiste Limouzin, sous-chef at 24 years old. Yes Ma’am ! He gives us the visit. And I can tell you that here, they don’t wait for the boss to arrive to get to work. It was still 8:30 am and everything was in action !!!
Cleaning fish, vegetables, cutting meat, kneading the ravioli dough. Cut, tap, wash… to the rhythm of a metronome. We reach the pace with a dozen pigeons to clean. The instructions are clear and precise, all in a nice atmosphere. Arnaud was happy to lend a hand.
« Life is all made from experience ! J’ai beaucoup de chance d’être là aujourd’hui ! »
secretly escape for a moment to take some shots. First to the basements where the pastry chefs work in freezing cold. I learned that it was normal, otherwise the cakes would melt. I’d never thought about that before.
Back upstairs. It’s 10:30 am. We always clean in every direction! The preparation is phe-no-me-nal! The chef teases me.
“Here, we’re very different from what you see on television. We don’t run in the kitchens, we don’t start flames from 50cm high… Because, that would burn everything !”
11:15am : Pierre Rigothier reviews his troops. All the preparations are done or almost finished.
12am : We receive the first order. I feel like I’m on a plane ready to take off. Everyone in place and taking care of their dish. The dishes are then sent for dressing before they are served. And when one of the servers doesn’t pay attention to the request, the blower is brief, but immediate! As for me, I observe, listen and… enjoy! Because the chef lets us taste each dish. His foie gras ravioli is absolutely amazing! I think it tastes even better because you get to try it with him in the kitchen.
2:30pm : the service ends. In a few minutes everything is cleaned and stored away as if nothing had happened. Tonight they’ll have to put everything back. I leave with an overwhelming feeling, stunned by the rigor and know-how of each person, but also the experience of this unique moment we spent together. A must try !
Since my visit, chef Pierre Rigothier had left the restaurant, (not because of me !!!) but to chase new adventures in Bordeaux. You can still try this experience with
Find out more information click here !
La Scène Thélème : 19 rue Troyon, Paris 17
Textes et photos: Jessica Lia-Antoine @thefrenchmakers