Duo Deli Restaurant in Perth
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The Frenchmans Family Dreams

Hello Everyone!

We’ve all been on a bit of high since our review by Richard Bath in the Spectrum Magazine. We knew it was going in…  I realised who he was about two days after he left (as you do!) and then came the call to do photographs.  The nerves you have as a restaurateur between this phone call and the newspaper hitting the shelves are hideous! I’d compare my frame of mind to that of the kids – you know, when they were waiting for their higher exam results!  You did your best but you just don’t know how it will go!  The feeling is almost debilitating because it consumes your thoughts. Well, if you have an ego like mine that’s what happens… Herve was as cool as a cucumber.

Richard Bath Review of Pig Halle

The review was fantastic.  I like Mr Bath’s writing style but he is notoriously tough to please.  So when we read little gems like “The steak tartare, in particular, was perfect” we were all whooping with joy!  He went on to say….

“The contrast in textures and tastes was fascinating, starting with the succulent but subtle suckling pig and ending with an interesting version of black pudding that looked nothing like traditional boudin noir but instead looked like a salami studded with flecks of fat, but which had a dark, strident flavour that had Bea smiling.”

What am I doing with these excerpts? Read it all here at the online spectrum.

I was front-of-house the night he was in (my only issue with the review was his reference to me as “veteran” ;-) ) so, of course, I was given a shout out. Herve was also mentioned but as is usual in these types of reviews, it is a fleeting comment and then he is given a back seat.  I say “as is usual” because it easy to comment on a person who comments about everything! And I am always talking; and Herve is not.

Just recently someone asked me who the “bald waiter” was.  ”You know, the man who has worked for you in a few of your restaurants.” she said.  ”That’s my husband!” said I.  ”The whole thing has been his idea and his idea alone!”.   Here I stand gleaning all the glory and it doesn’t bother him at all.  He is unpretentious, unaffected by it all and quietly confident in his capacities.  He doesn’t need the praise of others – he is content with a successful business that is full of  happy customers.  It is why Mr Bath’s visit didn’t unnerve him.   We have satisfied customers every day of the week and this is enough for him.

Pig Halle Perth

If This Is Full, And Everyone is Happy, Then Herve is Happy!

As I get older though, (perhaps veteran was right!), this unequal spread of the “well done you Paula” feels a little unbalanced and more than a little unfair.  So, after much discussion with my daughter Roxanne, I’ve decided to write this blog about the man I married. I want to try and briefly explain the real force behind our businesses.  Herve has steered my family’s life with his wild ideas and bold visions ever since the day I said “I do”.  Its true that everyone thinks I’m the boss but in actual fact I’m just the loudest.  You don’t get to 25 years together with a boss in the mix; this is a partnership that has been built on a mutual love and my unflinching respect for my husband (I’m going to say it. And his for me..!).

Because, you see, I am undoubtedly the “gobby one”, (I’ve been here long enough to know what that means, thank-you!). You know, the front-of-house force that will cajole you into having the special of day and an extra Kir when all you popped in for was a bowl of mussels.  But it has always been Herve who has had the imagination and foresight to pave our path moving forward.  Anyone who knows us will tell you he is a quiet, unassuming man – and he is positively embarrassed when he is pushed into the spotlight (so you can imagine the wrath I’ll be facing after this blog!). And yet underneath this passive exterior he is ambitious.   He is also a man who is traditional in his approach to his responsibilities and his family. He firmly believes that it is his job to provide for us, care for us and plan for our future.

Breizh Perth on Pig Halle Blog

When we opened Cafe Tabou it took us three years to make any money. Blood, sweat and tears went into that business and we were working like dogs to make it a success. So on the night my lovely frenchman told me his vision for Breizh I was incredulous. “No way!” I said. I just couldn’t see it. I couldn’t see how we were going to run this busy French Brasserie AND a creperie. He sat me down and he painted a picture of stone baked pizzas and big fresh salads; with proper crepes and cider from mugs. A little slice of home.  That was it, I was in and I am very pleased to tell you my initial reaction was SO wrong.  Breizh has been one our most successful businesses to date and I love watching it flourish under the watchful franchise holding of David.

And then Sante… dear god I thought he’d lost his mind. An empty shell of a building that would need completely rehauled. He stood in the middle of the rubble and he pointed to where everything would go.  ”Can’t you just see it?” he said to me.  Here we go again, I thought!  And again, he was right.

Herve Tabourel of Pig'Halle Perth

Herve

After the success of all this you’d think he would have settled.  But I could see him twitching! He had a hankering to create a true French experience and, coupled with this, he wanted us to be back working side by side.  A team.  Those of you who read the first blog will remember my description of Duo starting off; of Herve’s dream to get back into the kitchen and do it all his French – Continental way.  I agreed, we spoke to managers of Breizh and Sante and made a plan.  Then I sat and watched the magic happen; my humble man’s wild ideas and passionate plans grew into Pig’Halle and Duo.  And I truly adore Pig’Halle – in 25 years of working together this is my favourite restaurant and each time I walk in through the front door I know that I have Herve to thank for it.

Let’s be honest people, I am cocky enough for both of us. Roxanne agrees.  Max agrees. But I get nervous when we’re investing savings and time into new projects. It scares the hell out of me. Herve though, calm collected Herve… He knows. He has the clarity and  ambition to look up and see what will come next.  He has worked hard and stuck to his principles. But above all of this, he has done everything for us. His family. Myself, Max and Roxanne have been whirled along on his dreams and ideas and we have loved every single second of it.

I’m off to face the music!

Love Paula xx 

 

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Paula talks about her upset at the the closure of two great independents.

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Paula talks fondly about the customers and friends she has made in her 12 years in Perth.

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Paula chats about why she loves to hate, and hates to love, this reviewing giant.

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Paula looks back on an incredible 2013 and plans for the year ahead!

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An online click and collect service in December? Only Herve Tabourel!

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A Very Happy First For The Team!

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The Modern / Veteran Restaurateur

The Chefs at Large!

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The Missing Piece!

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!