Chef at French Window Brasserie and Bar
My name is Matthieu Bonnier, I’m the Chef de Cuisine of French Window Brasserie and Bar in Hong Kong.I was born in Nantes in 1978. I grew up in a middle class family. My mother and father were teachers, so you can imagine my childhood was based on some fairly strict rules thus my environment was rich and open-minded. It is from my grandparents I got the inspiration to become the chef I am today. My grandfather was a wine amateur and used to own a massive cellar underneath their house although he was also a fine cook. My grandmother in the other end made her kitchen the main room in the house. It is where she was spending most of her day. Times were different back then, nothing but family mattered the most. Making an apple pie was a way to communicate and spend time together… It was a great way to learn!
I’ve been working in the field for almost 20 years… The most important day in my career is the day I met my Chef and mentor in France while on apprenticeship. He set the way for my career and he had a huge influence on me.
The most important day in my life is when my daughter was born last year.
Well, believe it or not, becoming a chef wasn’t too easy in fact. I started working in restaurants on a part time bases at a very young age. My first job was for me to make some pocket money. I was making pizza with one of my parents’ neighbor. Then I went to cooking school, which wasn’t the best move in my case as I wasn’t very studious and being in a classroom for too long hours didn’t quite fit with the idea I had of becoming a chef. All that led me to my apprenticeship, which for me was an absolute blessing. It is where I met my mentor when I was 15 years old.
Well, I love all sorts of cooking and eatery. It’s hard for me to pick one as I do have a lot of respect for every single one I’ve been introduced to over the years.
If we are talking about my field of expertise, then my favorite dish would have to be French of course! But then again, there are so many dishes that deserve a stand!! Although I’d have to pick the mussels as they are representing my menu in so many ways.
If we are talking about my taste(s) as a sitting guest, I tend to go for Dim Sums on Sundays, Japanese during the week, with a bit of Italian here and there. Oh, and my wife (who’s Chinese) cooks at home, so a lot of Chinese dishes too.
Overall I’m very open-minded when it comes to culinary matters, but I do have a secret: “I’m a Sweetaholic”… I love my desserts.
I love playing my guitar… when my schedule allows me to! Also, I played rugby for many years too and still love watching the game.
Maybe not a wish, but an advice: “Did you know? Numerous amounts of French recipes, if not all, are known for coming from mistakes made by their maker. A little bit too much of this, then a little bit too much of that… As you’re expecting things will go wrong, next thing you know, things turn out to be perfect in fact.
My point is: in order for a dish to be perfect, and before it came to fruition, you should never feel disappointed when your recipe doesn’t turn out quite the way you wanted it, because you might just have found another one of those classics.
French Window Brasserie and Bar
3101, Podium Level 3, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong
Tel +852 2393 3812
French Window Brasserie and Bar is a place for a little romance and good times; for a celebration of ‘joie de vivre’ with the French; also for those who want to try authentic Parisian-style eating. The menu is fun and designed for sharing, which features a host of traditional French comfort food like Coq au vin, Beef bourguignon and more.