How to open a popular restaurant in Moscow. Secrets of Alexander Rappoport
Famous lawyer Alexander Rappoport took up the restaurant business relatively recently, but he can rightfully be called one of the main actors on our gastronomic scene.
Rappoport restaurants vary in cuisine, concept, interior, but they have something in common that makes Alexander’s projects recognizable. And his ideas always cause interest and heated discussion.
— How do you select menus for your restaurants?
— The menu is a secondary product. The main thing in the restaurant is the concept. Of course, there are so-called atmospheric institutions, where everything is beautiful, but it is not clear what they are about.
I even like some of them, but I myself am not able to create such projects.
I open restaurants with a clear — and necessarily gastronomic — concept.
And based on this, I create a menu.
— Come up with yourself?
“Ninety percent.” It is easier for me to explain to the chef, as I see it, to give him my ideas, and then, as Yeltsin once said about the regions, “take as much freedom as you like!”
If the cook wants to change something and it seems to me that this is talented and consistent with the concept, then it’s great!
If a person feels just a performer and is ready to clearly implement my ideas, also not bad.
— Does the name of the food matter to you?
— Of course! The person who first came to the restaurant must be impressed. This may be the ingenious name of the institution, the interesting appearance of the waiters, unusual interior details.
As for food, the person gets the first impression when he reads the menu. Therefore, I try to appetizing the names of the dishes.
Soup of fried chanterelles stewed in milk — does it sound good?
If you have looked through the menu and nothing hurt you, it is a failure.
— How important is the feed?
Do you agree that a person eats eyes?
— The restaurant has no minor details. What kind of music sounds, how the light is picked up, how the food looks on the plate — everything is important. The main thing is to find a balance: the dish should be stylish, modern, but not elaborate.
I do not like, for example, when cooks take some fancy grass and let’s add it where necessary and not necessary.
— In all your establishments, the waiters have a very stylish form.
Is this really an important element for a modern restaurant?
— It is impossible to succeed only because of the beautiful form, but improper clothing can ruin the whole impression. Moreover, even the floor of the waiters is important — it also creates a mood. Say, in “Geraldine” I can hardly imagine the young waiters.
And in “Beluga” you are met only by young people, and you have a completely different attitude.
What the waiters look like, what they are wearing is also part of the concept.
— Your restaurants are not like one another, but nevertheless they have something in common.
How would you characterize the style of your institutions?
— Many people say that my projects are recognizable, but it surprises me — I don’t see it. I will try to explain my style like this: it’s hard for me to do something in half tones.
It’s hard for me to take one note.
I need powerful chords.
— You said that in a restaurant it is important to strike a balance between your own preferences and what the public likes.
But in the design of your establishments your personal tastes are clearly felt.
Is there no contradiction here?
— I always take an active part in interior design. I have my own ideas about style, and in this matter I’m quite hard defending my principles. I will never make a restaurant that I don’t like, even if I’m sure that many will appreciate it.
The style of my institutions may not correspond to the universal concepts of beauty, but design is a subjective thing.
— In the design of your restaurants a lot of eclecticism.
And how do you feel about the mixing of styles in gastronomy?
Is fusion close to you?
— Eclectic — the most interesting style, but also the most dangerous. It is very important sense of proportion, a sense of taste.
C food is the same story. I like to mix different products, but I’m wary about fusion. For too long, fusion was an element of fashion, and today this word sounds almost indecent.
And dishes in this style, like everything else, can be talented, but they can not.
— Do you follow trends?
— Trend is what helps to move a business. Meals that you offer in a restaurant are not at all like you cook at home.
The food in the restaurant should be not only delicious, but also modern.
— You do not like to push your elbows and prefer to open projects in unoccupied niches.
What niches in Moscow are empty?
— I think that everything related to a healthy diet will soon be in demand. In America, now everyone goes crazy on the paleodiet.
In essence, this is the culinary treatment of what people ate a thousand years ago. It is fashionable, it can be beautiful and it is quite a good power system. In general, the whole world is now coming to understand what is harmful and what is useful.
We can say that there is already a general trend in the evolution of nutrition, because it is a question of life extension.