So… Here we are! My first post! The silent partner finally turns the volume up!

Silent or not, I can tell you both of us are living with a little knot of excitement in our respective stomach realizing we’ll be opening our doors in less than 3 weeks. The last two months have been quite exciting for us. With all the business planning frenzy and bureaucratic nonsense finally behind us, we were like two kids in a giant candy shop. You’ve got cash, you’re hungry for sweets, and your parents are not watching! Furniture, lighting, crockery… Colors and materials… We picked it ALL and love it all. And I’m quite pumped to see the final result. I think it’s gonna be reaaaal nice. Sleek but cozy, warm but airy, casual and friendly. Just like we wanted it to be.

The thing is though, all of these aesthetic choices can only go so far. What is really going to make Holybelly the place we want it to be is us and our staff.

I had been wondering who I could work within the kitchen for a long time. It’s a tricky thing, you know, to find someone you’ll work with all day every day, just the two of you. Someone who loves and respects food and its beautiful seasonality as much as I do, someone willing to commit and work a little harder to make tasty, honest meals. I didn’t want someone too high end as I want Holybelly to be casual and generous in its servings. I didn’t want someone too casual as I want attention to details and great balance on the plate. I didn’t want someone with too little experience who wouldn’t be able to partner up with me for dish creations, but I didn’t want someone with too much experience either. Yeaaaah… I’m picky and I know it!

I was honestly pretty sure I would never find the perfect match when we met Lise at the Kinfolk gathering in Paris. Lise graduated from Ferrandi culinary school last year and has been working at L’Astrance this year, specializing in pastry. While gorging on some gorgeous truffle ham (Butcher Block Party, duh!), we started talking about food, cuisine, hospitality and it just… clicked! We were kind of basically finishing every one of each other’s sentences. She told us she liked working in a 3 Michelin stars restaurant but wanted to work somewhere more casual. BINGO! We found our first employee!

Lise and I met up for coffee and croissants last Tuesday and designed the draft for a pretty exciting October menu. It took a little longer than expected since Nico was jumping in every two minutes giving his two cents about what HAD TO be on there and what had to go (“F*ck baked eggs! Tasteless-mouth-burner“). Anyway… The man sure loves his food! We decided to focus on seasonality and beautiful produce, but let our various backgrounds shine ; Lise is Danish-American, with a particular interest for Southern comfort food (hello mean pecan pie!), was trained at Ferrandi and lived in Hong Kong for a while, and I am French but lived in Vancouver and was trained by an English chef in Melbourne, so I think it would be a real shame to limit ourselves to a particular style of cuisine for our menu, when there is so much tastiness in this world!

I cannot wait to start cooking with Lise and tackle our first dockets. Paris, I promise we will feed you well.