My time in Paris seems to coming to a close too quickly. We’re already into the last of our three semesters here, and I’ve barely done half the things I set out to do (e.g. visit Lens and the new louvre museum, visit the art galleries in Paris, travel all of France, etc..). One thing I can strike off my list is staging at a restaurant in Paris, and a helluva sick restaurant at that.
I spent my two week break between intermediate and superior cuisine doing a stage at Bones, the restaurant I wished I had opened. If you’ve talked to me recently about my eating experiences in Paris, you would have heard me rave about Bones, a restaurant opened early this year by australian chef James Henry (previous chef at Au Passage) that focuses on fresh, locally sourced ingredients without sticking to any particular cuisine per se. (Although I would argue, it is definitely quite australian, considering that they have an indoor bbq aka the big green egg). They make their own butter, ricotta cheese, charcuterie and breads amongst all their other delicious and delectable dishes, which is very impressive considering that it is only a 4-person team in the kitchen. They also have a sick standing bar area, about half the size of the restaurant, serving seafoods and shellfish, and an amazing suckling pork sandwich! They proudly display the entire suckling pork on the bar in a hotel pan eveyr Thursday and Saturday night, which is pretty damn genius if you ask me.
Anyhow, I was lucky enough to be granted the opportunity to stage there for 2 weeks. Learnt about a whole new philosophy on cooking- without being bound to a specific cuisine, the team at Bones are not bound to strict rules about cooking or any of their dishes. They have a rather clean and ‘simplistic’ look on cooking, as in they don’t throw 10 different ingredients in a pot and try to build a heavy or overly sophisticated dish. They treat each ingredient on the plate as it should be and how it should naturally taste (with the occasional smoke treatment), dress it up with simple garnishes that complement the visuals or the entire flavor profile of the dish, and then finish off with the freshest and most beautiful herbs ever! Unpretentiously delicious is what I would call the food, with a subtle punch or attitude.
Hours were long, of course. But I enjoyed every moment of it. Everyone was so willing to impart some knowledge or share some information and to just teach, while they had the time of course. And I have so much respect for the entire team at Bones- they work tirelessly and without any complains (I almost never heard “omg I’m so tired today” or “I just want to sleep” or anything of the like) even though they got in earlier and left later than me on most days.
I don’t know if it was confirmation for me that being in the kitchen was something I wanted to do for life, but I definitely was super excited to be there every day. Then again, it was only a 2 week period, you never know if that excitement will last after a year in the kitchen with those hours. I have a long way to go in terms of building and gaining experience in the kitchen, but I’m glad I managed to get my start at Bones 🙂