This place I work, La Fontaine aux Perles, is owned by a man named Rachel Gesbert. He not only is the Executive Chef but as I found out a few days ago he also lives on the site with his girlfriend Sophie. He's obsessed with his restaurant, has built it from the ground up and from what Gina and I heard through the grapevine, the only thing Chef Gesbert wouldn't trade for his restaurant is his mother. After pondering that statement we discovered he would trade his three children, his girlfriend of three years who runs the front of the house and an amazing staff. Our friend in the kitchen, Hugo, who speaks English, told us "Chef is a madman..."
I believe it 100%.
Each shift is the same. We all prep our butts off, eat family meal, begin service and then Chef Gesbert trots in. You can hear his piercing voice coming from the hall before he enters in his designer jeans, pointed brown leather shoes (with small heels), black chef coat and seriousness. He plays the role of expeditor and yells out orders walking up and down the kitchen waving his hands. Most often than not he becomes angry at something within a shift and the kitchen changes from a composed and confident atmosphere to a stressed one. Last night I thought his rage sounded like a 5 year old temper tantrum, in French of course. He flipped his lid at one of the cooks who accidentally put butter beans in with the steamed vegetables while plating. If I didn't know any better I would think someone just lost the Chef thousands and thousands of dollars and he was going to have to close his establishment and choose another career. The funny thing is that in the middle of his tantrum he came up to me and pointed to a saute pan with Sole and kindly said a quick sentence in French telling me what to do as though it were an ordinary hour and ordinary behavior. Maybe I need to be enlightened on what "normal" behavior is for French Chefs.
Check out the restaurant van below..."RS" stands for the one and only Rachel Gesbert. There are also plates within the restaurant that have these same symbol engraved in them.
I should point out that aside from his frequent rages during service he is a really nice man to Gina and I and has bent over backwards to get us in for externship. He also showed genuine concern about my Dad when I came back and wanted to know the status of everything which was very sweet.
I've just learned to completely stay out of his way during service and watch the commotion from a safe distance...you just never know what he'll be nit-picky about next!