I’ve been a huge fan of award-winning French born chef Guillaume Brahimi for many years. The Bennalong restaurant under Guillaume at the Sydney Opera House was always such a special experience, and now his Sydney CBD venue keeps that special “Guillaume” charm alive and well.
I arrived a little early for lunch today and I am glad I did. Just before the Friday rush I spotted Guillaume’s 2 books, Food for Family, and Food for Friends sitting proudly on the maitre d’ stand. Before my guests arrived I snapped up two books and took them back to our table. Sitting opposite the open kitchen I spotted the man himself and kindly asked for an introduction.
Guillaume is one of the most inspiring chefs in the world, not only for his cooking, but also for his leadership, integrity and charm. The Bistro on Sydney’s George Street was at capacity today and as Guillaume shouted out the orders, his engagement with both the front and back of house was extraordinary. His entire team, many of them French, which simply adds to the Parisian feel, appear to be enjoying every second as they serve up dishes from the sensational menu. You truly get a feeling that you’re tucked away in a little pocket of Paris. The atmosphere also reminded me of some of our favourite French restaurants near our home in Angoulême and Bordeaux.
Food wise Bistro Guillaume as you would expect absolutely nails it. It was such a pleasure to be in this magnificent environment and in the company of the man himself. The floor staff’s knowledge of the menu and wine list was outstanding, and the attention to detail from the interiors to the ambience was très magnifique!
Guillaume and his team truly transport you to the heart of France, the only disappointment was leaving.
Guillaume kindly signed two of my newly acquired books and I said to him, they will be on their way to France to take pride of place in our “cuisine de campagne” in the Charente. As we departed, Guillaume was keen to ensure that we enjoyed our experience. I said it was “très magnifique, je vous remercie beaucoup, avoir une bonne journée, au revoir.” Let’s hope my French was understandable, I gave it my best shot.