The blog of

The ideal restaurant

8,0643.3/5 for 6 ratings
Grade this page:

Last modified on: October 15th 2012

The ideal restaurant

Like all passionate cooks (I suppose), from time to time I dream of opening my own restaurant.

I imagine loads of things: it will be like this or like that, we'll do this, I'll cook that, the room will have this or that – in short, I dream.

But now I have a son who's in the trade (cook-in-exile in Brussels as I write), and another who, even with a Master's in Biology, passed several summers as “chef de commis” in a restaurant on the coast, I've been able to see what a real restaurant kitchen is like and how it functions. This (alas) brought me back down to earth with a bump…

But no matter, I'll carry on as if the two lads I've just mentioned are still little and we're playing games, of the sort that start with “Let's say that…” or “What if…”

So, let's say that:

- It would be a small, even very small restaurant, about twenty covers. One person serving, two at most in the kitchen.

- There will be a bread oven with the door opening in one inside walls of the main room. We'd bake a batch of levain-raised bread for the evening service, which will come out of the oven (the timing is crucial) while customers are arriving. There would be a batch of plain bread rolls and various specials. They'd be served fresh and still hot from the oven, and everyone would be offered one in a paper bag to take away when they pay the bill.


- From time to time, there would be pizza or flammenkueche days, or for any other dish that can be cooked on an open fire, but no fresh bread on those days.

- No menus on paper, just a flat screen (or more than one depending on the room layout) on which photos of the dishes of the day would scroll through. Tablets (iPad style) would be passed around to diners so that they could consult the menu electronically. This would effectively be a mini-website in the language of their choice, diffused by wi-fi through the restaurant. Customers mobile phones and smartphones could log onto it or access the internet while they are waiting for food to be served. Diners could even order themselves, or call the waiter, who would also take the order in electronic form. This would then appear directly on a screen in the kitchen.

- The style of cooking would be simple, not a huge menu, but everything with plenty of flavour, properly cooked, as much fresh local produce as possible, preferably organic. One fixed midday menu, with just 2 choices of main course and dessert. Dishes would always vary according to the season, the market and events.

- Themed meals : Sushi, Spain, Mexico, Slow Food, etc.

- Some "core dishes", easy to prepare in advance and store, would always be available, winter and summer: Pâté de campagne, assiette de cochonnaille (selection of cold pork meats), crème brulée, tiramisu, etc.

- At the end of the meal, a choice of 2 coffees: classic espresso, or a “longer” coffee in a cafetière served at the table with (free, maybe?) top-ups. In both cases, these would be served with a little home-made treat: meringues, financiers, chocolate, etc. which would change every day.

Right, now all I have to do is come up with the name …

Back to top of page

Lasts posts

  • The 3 essential knives
    The 3 essential knives

    You must have heard a chef or cook say: "There’s no good cooking without good ingredients". This ...

  • Using stretch food film effectively
    Using stretch food film effectively

    Maybe you use food film in your own kitchen. You know, the very thin, clear plastic stuff that you ...

  • The mock CAP baker's certificate exam
    The mock CAP baker's certificate exam

    The next instalment in my life as an apprentice baker at the French INBP professional school. I’m ...

  • Rosemary in recipes
    Rosemary in recipes

    Rosemary, as I’m sure you know, is a culinary herb: It is one of the famous French "herbes de ...

  • The Holy Grail of French bakers
    The Holy Grail of French bakers

    While browsing through the recipes on this site, you may have noticed that while I adore cooking ...

  • Is it really necessary to cream egg yolks?
    Is it really necessary to cream egg yolks?

    Let’s try and answer a question that crops up in cookery and patisserie, even if it verges on the ...

  • Egg yolks and caster sugar
    Egg yolks and caster sugar

    We often come across recipes where we need to mix egg yolks with caster sugar. This would appear to ...

  • The golden-brown finish on puff pastry
    The golden-brown finish on puff pastry

    Let's take a look at the tricky matter of producing puff pastry with an attractive, golden-brown ...

  • Other articles

  • See all posts
  • Random post
  • RSS feed

Other pages you may also like

[A few tips for effective kneading at home]
A few tips for effective kneading at home
When you have to knead dough for bread or some other recipe, you may well use a food processor or the type of machine known as a stand mixer. The best-known brands are Kenwood and KitchenAid. They are useful tools, but here are a few tips to help you get the best out of them.Let's start with...
2,878 23.4/5 for 26 ratings
[Too much sweet and savoury]
Too much sweet and savoury
There is a food trend which is creeping in everywhere in France right now: mixing sweet with savoury. In some restaurants, it is becoming difficult to order a classic dish, like “roast veal” for instance, without being served fruits in the garnish or honey/conserves/syrup in the sauce or...
4,2283.8/5 for 11 ratings
[The window-pane test in bread-making]
The window-pane test in bread-making
The home bread-makers often ask themselves “Have I kneaded my dough long enough?”. A good question, as dough that is insufficiently kneaded will not rise properly or will fall flat when the top is slashed, which is very frustrating.To know when the dough is ready, one can rely on the...
8,636 13.7/5 for 6 ratings
[What can I use for blind baking a pastry case?]
What can I use for blind baking a pastry case?
When it comes to home-made desserts, tarts are always popular. They can be divided into two basic types: those cooked with their filling, such as an apricot and almond cream tart, and those where the filling is added after baking the pastry case, such as a strawberry tart or chocolate tart. For...
2,3604/5 for 3 ratings
[The golden-brown finish on puff pastry]
The golden-brown finish on puff pastry
Let's take a look at the tricky matter of producing puff pastry with an attractive, golden-brown finish. French pastry chefs call this "dorure" (literally, "gilding"). Behind this quirky term there lurks a real problem (and the solution): when using puff pastry (pâte feuilletée) for a pie, or...
4,7614/5 for 4 ratings

Post your comment or question

I am not a leaving thing

Follow this page

If you are interested in this page, you can "follow" it, by entering your email address here. You will then receive a notification immediately each time the page is modified or a new comment is added. Please note that you will need to confirm this following.
I am not a leaving thing
Note: We'll never share your email with anyone else.
Alternatively: you can subscribe to the mailing list of , you will receive a e-mail for each new recipe published on the site.

Back to top of page