The food we cook at Petit Pois is based on French classics, using local produce as much as possible. Fresh, seasonal ingredients are key to delivering a quality dish.
I was born and grew up in a town called Royan on the coast in the South West of France.
It has to be from my mum and grandparents. We have a very close family who love cooking, and living on the coast meant fresh fish and seafood at least twice a week. Vegetables from my grandpa’s garden and also North African cuisine from my father’s side, who lived in Morocco for 20 years. If I had to pick one, it would be moules marinière (made with local sweet wine Pineau des Charentes).
After working summer and winter seasons in France, I decided it was time to travel abroad. I got a job in a 2 rosette restaurant called The French Horn in Reading where my wife and I met, and after a year, we moved to Brighton.
It has always been our dream to open our own restaurant. Now, in Brighton, it is not easy unless you have a lot of money sitting in your bank account. So we were looking for a site for over three years and finally came across this one, which was closed for a couple years but needed a good refurb.
I love sports, especially rugby (I played in France for 15 years) and I run once a week. Other than that, fishing is a great passion of mine and I started kayak fishing last year, which combined both sport and fishing.
It has to be our first service at Petit Pois. Finally realising our dream!
I worked in a very busy brasserie in France for three weeks. Everything was frozen: vegetables, fish, meat, pizza dough… The starters had to go out within 3 minutes of getting the order in, and mains within 5 minutes… I hated it.
Going back to the food memory question, it has to be couscous with all the meats, chickpeas, and harissa sauce… or a good curry.
It would be outdoors, I can’t stay too long sitting in front of a computer. Close to nature probably.
With everything happening in the world at the moment, I think it will be all about getting ingredients as locally as possible.
To be honest, I’ve already realised my dream of opening a restaurant. So now, it’s all about keeping the good staff with us, and having a great team with people coming to work with a smile on their face.
Mayonnaise. Classic and simple.
Social media is great for that, and I also keep an eye on what’s happening around us in Brighton, with so many good restaurants.
Funnily enough, I have been to a few Michelin starred restaurants in my life and the only thing I remember is the bill! Usually, it’s all about the atmosphere and the company (and the food obviously). Recently, I’ve had some very nice meals in Bincho Yakitori, Due South, and Market where we had our last staff party… Quality.
Having a restaurant and a family sadly doesn’t leave us much time to go out… There’s a great pizza place though in Ovingdean, close to our house: Wild Flour Pizza. The best pizza dough I’ve ever had!
Published: 5th January 2022