Monday, May 18, 2009

Whirlwind of activity

Hi everyone. I wanted to say thanks for your interest and for all the 'positive thoughts' you have sent me during my search for a fond de commerce. It's been a tumultuous couple of weeks. I thought I had finally found a good start-up place (which I didn't even have time to write about yet), but as quickly as I stumbled across it, I "lost" it to another guy, faster at the draw by leaving a deposit check. Yes, the fun of real estate. I picked myself up by the bootstraps, continued pondering my current options, and even started to explore others. A week later I couldn't believe it when I received a phone call saying that the shop I had wanted was available after all - due, apparently, to credit problems of the prospective buyer. Perhaps a sign of a tightening banking system? Who knows, but suddenly luck seemed back in my favor!

We're now in the process of finalizing an offer and trying to confirm that the landlord will approve of the changes we'd like to make to the place. (If not, it's back to square one...) Yesterday was an interesting day. I met a kitchen designer and a wine vendor, thanks to our new friend from Chevreuse (more on his restaurant later). This morning I have an appointment with an architect, thanks to another American friend in Paris. Things are moving, hopefully not prematurely. I'll certainly write more about the new place after it's a bit more settled (I'm hoping for the best). For now, I wanted to say, please continue to keep your fingers crossed & send more of your positive thoughts my way, s'il vous plaît!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Recent Production

Things have been just a bit hectic lately and I haven't had time to post as many things as I'd like. At least I can share a few photos from the kitchen activities:

Ravioli production: squid ink & egg pasta with tomato filling

Cod filet, gros langoustines, ravioli, ginger froth & fennel -- before & after addition of bouillibase broth

Mini muffins: lemon poppy seed

An "everything" bagel...hits the spot every time!

Tarte au chocolat

Spring's Bounty Salad

Strawberry Gaspacho (sweet-savory)

Bon Appétit!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Salon Saint Michel - Promos

The past few weeks have brought on some promotional activity at Salon Saint Michel.

Salon Saint Michel is one beautiful, 19th century Haussmannian-style apartment in the heart of historic Paris. It's privately leased, but it has authorizations for commercial-purpose uses. Therefore, its three beautiful and attaching rooms are available to be rented for small executive board meetings, or private events such as dinners, lunches, cocktails, etc. (from 4 to 32 people for dining and up to 35 people for cocktails). With wrap-around views overlooking the Seine River and Place Saint Michel, it feels very special indeed. It's a true, hidden gem in the city, if ever there was one.

It also contains the office of CCN (Chef Culinary Network), from which owner Michel Cloes operates. Michel and I have been working together, on and off since last November, trying to develop our mutual interests. He has these three beautiful rooms he'd like to rent out and I have a bunch of desire to provide a high-quality food service for his guests when he rents out these rooms.

Michel started up a website: Salon Saint Michel. Check it out to see some really nice pictures of the place. (BTW, I would totally agree with you if you said you've seen better pictures of me! But c'est comme ça (that's the way it goes)!

We've developed some printed promotional materials to explain the service concept and menu ideas. So, in the past couple of weeks, it was time to start opening up the place to prospective clients. And just that was done with an open-house breakfast and cocktail. There is one more breakfast scheduled next week.

I only have a few photos of the breakfast & none of the cocktail, but I can tell you we put a good little effort into these events so far. Over 200 macarons were made (pistachio, lemon and caramel with salted butter), several bottles of champagne were opened, and lots of nibbling and chatting went on. Soon it's time to see if we'll bear any fruit from these labors.

If anyone is interested in using this space, or would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me. Feel free to also contact Olivier (+33) - just let him know I sent you!