Duo Deli Restaurant in Perth
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A Very Happy First For The Team!

Michelin Guide 2014

A Very Happy First For The Team!

Hello All!

We are a very excited, very happy team here at Pig’Halle and Duo this week.  The news that we brought you back in June’s blog, The Chef’s At Large, about our first ever entry into the Michelin Guide is finally real.

There we were lying in bed the other morning when we received a phone call from our old friend and wine merchant, Richard Bouglet.

“Wake Up!” he shouted down the phone, “You’re on the Michelin website!”

Michelin had released their annual PR statement to the British press, outlining their choices for 2014 and announcing that their website had been updated with all of the new restaurants. Now, we didn’t make the cut for their actual PR (It would seem Heston Blumenthal’s 6th Michelin star was more important!) but Richard knew we’d made it into the Red Guide and fired up his internet access to find us sitting right at the top of Perth’s restaurant listings!  One phone call, two half-asleep-to-wide-awake friends later and the excitement had reached fever pitch!

In some ways, the flying-high reaction seemed a little excessive! We knew we had made the guide; they let us know back in June. But seeing it up on screen - Pig Halle – with a big, fat, red number 1 beside it…. I can’t tell you how excited we were!  You see, after 25 years in the business this is a first for us.  We have never made the Michelin Guide before; not in any of our restaurants.   For us this is the award you want; out of all of the possible industry awards this one means the most.  Because you see, you can’t apply for it, you can’t pay for an entry in it, you can’t nominate yourself.   This has been awarded to Pig Halle, from Michelin.  The world’s most highly-regarded, well-respected, dining guide.   It is a huge achievement for all of the team and, I think, testament to how much we have grown together – Herve, myself, Eric and Nedka.

There are no secrets to the fact that Pig Halle was our labour of love.  You all know that we have had a number of business interests in Perth and (touch wood) through a lot of hard work and loyal customers, they have by and large been a success.   Herve’s vision and planning made sure we looked at our businesses with scrutiny first and sentiment second. So the decision we made to sell up and concentrate on that “bloody awful, cursed site in South Street” (as one person put it!) was either out and out cockiness or sheer stupidity!

Pig Halle Perth

Our Labour of Love!

We had a choice you see, to go bigger, keep Breizh and Sante and expand the brands there… Or to sell up and make Pig Halle ours.  You know this story – I’ve been banging on about it all year! We chose Pig Halle.  Herve was sitting chatting to Nicki the other day to send out some PR on the Michelin Guide and he summed it it up beautifully;

“We had a chance to do big business, but you know, you have to know yourself. And at heart we’re not business people. We’re restaurateurs. And… It was time for Paula and I to be back together, under one roof.  Pig Halle was right for us.”

It took a while but you love them now!

He’s right of course; but at the time, when we sold and franchised two profitable businesses and kept the loss making one, people thought we were mad. But we had to make this choice – the children were both up and away from home.  Herve and I wanted to work together again and do something that got our passions running and our excitement going.  Pig Halle was going to do that – we knew from the start it was right.  But, as Herve explained, perhaps it was a bit too much, too soon to start with! The very French menu was such an extreme step away from Briezh and Sante with its pigs trotters and snails in marrowbone that our customers weren’t quite ready for it.    And truthfully, neither were we! The kitchen prep that is involved in what we do now is way, way more than we’d been used to at Breizh.   It is more demanding all round, this true French menu.

We paired it down a little, started again and slowly we have built it back up so that we do everything well and you enjoy what we offer – that is, the menu Herve wanted from the start!   Pigs’ Trotters are one of our most popular items and you’ll now find Steak tartare on every menu we do!  The joy of constant improvement and development, getting the menus and specials just right, is apparent to everyone, not just us.

Because now, two years on, this is right for you our customers and for our chefs in the kitchen.  Duo has certainly helped to strike the balance, with its salads and pizzas, Grill Menu and home made breads.   And here we’ve brought in the dishes that didn’t seem to quite fit anywhere else – homemade burgers, tartiflette (heaven!) and moules marineres.  Oh my mouth is watering!   It has given us the freedom to bring you the best of both worlds and it would seem this has been the elusive combination that everyone has been waiting for – you, us and the team!

Eric - no title required!
Head Chef, Pig Halle Restaurant, Perth

The team… my god the team have multiplied!  We are so busy and so specialist now that everyone has a dedicated job and we recruit on that basis.  Look at our menu; we’re taking whole pig heads, trotters, ox tongue and we’re preparing it to the true French recipes.  That size of challenge takes a Brigade! We have a pastry chef, a pizza chef, a French idealist, a proper commis (much excitement!). Long gone are the days when Herve and Eric had to be good at everything because they were the only two chefs – with maybe an extra at the weekend so they could get for a pint instead of doing dishes!

 Herve Tabourel of Pig'Halle Perth I can’t help but smile, because this Michelin Entry feels like the reward for making the right choice.   For choosing to follow our hearts and not our heads and for casting aside the taunts of the disbelievers.  I’ll leave the final wordwith Herve for a change… This was his quote for Nicki to send to the paper:

“We know we’re not quite where we want to be yet. There is always room for improvement – but we also know that in the last two years we have taken a huge step forward. And for now, we’re very happy.”

I’ll second that!

Thank-you to everyone for sticking by us and making this dream come true.  (ok… you know I always get the last word!)

Love Paula x

 

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