Chef Thierry Rautureau hails from France. His parents were farmers in a small agricultural community, which lead to Rautureau quickly becoming acquainted with fresh homegrown ingredients and cooking at a young. After Apprenticing throughout France, Rautureau landed in Chicago at the ripe age of 20. After some time in LA, he found himself in Seattle where he became the chef/owner of Rover’s Restaurant in 1987. By 1998 Rautureau won Best Chef Pacific Northwest from the James beard Foundation. Today Rautureau is the Chef Owner of Loulay and Luc, located in Seattle, WA.
Favorite Success Quote or Mantra.
"It starts with fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. The rest of it is hoping not to screw it up."
In this episode with Chef Thierry Rautureau, we discuss:
- The challenges Rautureau faced as a young apprentice moving from the country to the big city with a mentor who wouldn't teach him anything.
- How every working experience is an opportunity to learn; even if the only lessons are what not to do.
- The power of knowing you can do anything you put your mind to.
- Finding partners who excel in parts of the business you don't excel at.
- How there is no end to your craft. The learning never stops.
- The importance of learning the basics before trying to get creative.
- When taking over a restaurant, why you should consider changing the restaurant's name. When the chef leaves, so do his guests. New chef, new brand.
- Distilling a clear message for your customers that explains who your and your restaurant are, and what it is that you do.
- Hiring people with the same spirit and passions as you.
- Never say no to any opportunity with the media.
- As you start growing your team members to the point were you can remove yourself from the day to day, use that free time to get involved with your community and media.
- Making sure you keep your business fresh with renovations and updates.
- How to raise $450,000 with nothing but an email list, your name, and an idea.
- If you are opening a restaurant, take time to sit with restaurant owners in your community to learn as much as possible about running a restaurant.
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Which "it factor" habit, trait, or characteristic you believe most contributes to your success?
What is your biggest weakness?
- Being all over the place.
What's one question you ask or thing you look for during an interview?
- Look for spirit; the shine in their eye.
What's a current challenge? How are you dealing with it?
Share one code of conduct or behavior you teach your team.
- Be on time. Be ready to work when it is time to work.
What is one uncommon standard of service you teach your staff?
- As a chef, go to the table when something goes wrong. Mistakes happen. Be real. Apologize.
What's one book we must read to become a better person or restaurant owner?
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- Kitchen Confidential Updated Edition :Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
Share an online resource or tool.
What's one piece of technology you've adopted in your restaurant and how has it influence operations?
If you got the news that you'd be leaving this world tomorrow and all memories of you, your work, and your restaurants would be lost with your departure with the exception of 3 pieces of wisdom you could leave behind for the good of humanity, what would they be?
- Say hi to those in the streets.
- Don't let anyone go hungry.
- The kids are our future.
- Be grateful for what you have and who you are.
Thanks for Listening!
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Huge thanks to Chef Thierry Rautureau for joining me for another awesome episode. Until next time!
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