Morning Rituals explores the intimate thoughts, routines and habits of creative people around the world. Written in the form of diary entries, each writer is paired with an artist to bring their rituals to life.
6:00am I really love the morning light. I love mornings, actually. But you know, when you finish at 1am or 12am, it’s not easy waking up at 6am. When you go to bed at 2am, there is just no way to wake up at 6am.
7:00am It’s the moment of quiet, where Mrs. Royer and I see each other we talk about what happened yesterday, talk about anything, really. We were talking about politics because of what was going in France.
7:30am Black coffee… sugar for me, no sugar for Mrs. Royer, Agnes. OK, we also have orange juice, and sometimes yogurt and cereal, too… WAKE UP!!!
8:00am Butter. Is. LIFE!!! Always have good artisanal butter, like Echire. Even Lescure and President make good butter
8:14am How to make perfect toast a la Julien Royer: Toast bread in the oven. Wait for it to cool, spread a very thin layer of Echire butter (unsalted for me, salted for her) & quite a generous amount of blueberry jam (for me!). Dip a little bit in the coffee & eat… Use only the best sourdough bread, OK? Mine in Singapore is from Grilo Christophe of Baker Artisan Original.
8:45am Christine Ferber jams! She is the one who makes all the jams for Pierre Herme. It’s amazing. It’s like homemade jam, and it’s really outstanding.
9:21am Thinking of Singapore kaya toast and kopi with condensed milk. Should I have a second breakfast?
8:00am QUIET MORNINGS ARE THE BEST!!! No TV, no phone, just talking with Agnes… She likes telling me about our plants, like how the bougainvillea is growing.
8:16am Planning a surprise trip for Agnes… And in August, we will be at a friend’s wedding on the west coast of France by the Atlantic Ocean. I’m going to visit Alexander Couillon at La Marine… We always go to Basque country because Agnes’ family lives there.
9:07am Getting organised for the day. Emails, rosters, planning my travels, calling suppliers… Checking why the butter didn’t come when it’s supposed to be delivered two times a week. BUTTER IS LIFE!!!
10:10am Saturdays are always busy! But lunch service is no problem. It’s our last workday of the week so it’s ALL OR NOTHING!!!
10:47am Looking forward to Sunday. OUR DAY OFF!!! Sometimes, we go out to breakfast. We like P.S. Cafe in Dempsey and pretty much any nice alfresco place. Because we like to sit outside. I will order something savoury like eggs Benedict. With Bacon. BACON!!! Agnes will order something sweet, like pancakes or waffles.
11:24am Can’t wait to go surfing with Agnes again! We took lessons last summer. She’s better. But she has surfed before #betterhalf
8:00am I usually have a cappuccino when I’m traveling. I like the cappuccino from this one place in Melbourne, they put nutmeg into it, very subtle.
8:10am I don’t like my coffee to be too hot. It has to be drinkable, almost instantly. Because you don’t want to wait three minutes or five minutes before the coffee gets colder.
8:23am SO NICE AND QUIET IN THE MORNING… I don’t usually check emails until I get home at night. The first thing I do is read the sports newspaper L'Equipe online. See what my favourite football team, Paris Saint-Germain is doing.
8:43am Sometimes I like to see what other chefs are doing. I really like Aaron Turner from Igni in Sydney, Cedric Grolet (amazing pastry chef), and David Toutain — I like his style.
9:17am So, this chef contacted me on Instagram and I met him in Manila. He is going to cook with Odette next year… GUESS WHO!!! Can’t wait to work with Gert De Mangeleer.
6:40am Up early and thinking about Odette, It’s been almost 2 years CAN YOU BELIEVE IT??? Feeling inspired after reading Danny Meyer’s book “Setting the Table: The Transforming Power of Hospitality in Business”, he has such an amazing understanding of hospitality.
7:10am I like the quietness and the beginning of the day. You think the day is going to be long. So, there is time to do a lot of things.
8:00am Missing maman’s homemade jams, she does THE BEST wild blueberry and rhubarb jams!!! SO GOOD with this amazing artisanal butter, les éleveur du pays vert (farmer from Greenland) we get at home. They don’t export anywhere in the world.The quality is just insane!
9:00am Am in THE OFFICE (Odette) and ready to roll! Love the sound of the kitchen, water boiling. Equipment being moved, crew setting up…
9:13am Prepping fish, scallops and meat in the cold room. Mornings are the most important part of the day. It’s the moment that we are going to make a difference. Do a bit of advance planning, and organise the day.
10:17am Remembering how I used to help my dad on weekend mornings when I was a teenager. Like when he cut wood for winter. That built me as a man. You know how to work from very young age.
8.07am Agnes is out so I’m having my morning coffee on my own today… Gonna check my phone and order my supplies. Some of our suppliers list ingredients early in the morning on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And we get them delivered the following day. The faster you check what’s available, the faster you can get it.
9:00am Got smoked eel on my mind… For June, I wanna do a smoked eel dashi, BBQ dashi…
9:14am Popcorn from Hokkaido corn? What do you think, guys?
9:37am June menu planning in progress… Tender Pluma (a very small part of each pig, from Spain), medium rare, for our lunch menu. Yes! So tender, so delicious.
10:03am Rhubarb for pre-dessert And I’m gonna do dry aged duck with peach for July. And monkfish…. Maybe I will cook both dishes at Chef’s Club in NYC, 10-12 July. My first time cooking in The Big Apple!!! WHO’S HUNGRY???
9:43am Thinking of one of my heroes, Alain Passard and his poulet au foin – CHICKEN COOKED IN HAY!!! Genius.