We celebrated Chris’s mom’s birthday tonight at Bouley at Home, which has a test kitchen setup and is quite the departure from the former Bouley restaurant, which was further downtown in Tribeca and felt extremely formal and even a bit imposing. Many of the dishes were made right in front of us, and the entire place felt very casual and easy going. We even had the pleasure of enjoying a reasonably priced bottle of wine that was aged for 20 years. It’s rare to get a “deal” on something like that so easily at a restaurant that is as fancy as Bouley at Home.
The chef who was preparing some of the dishes in front of us had some chit chat with us, and we found out that he’s originally from Spain and just spends part of the year here. As Bouley at Home very recently opened, he spends a few months a year working here, and also spends a few months a year during the summer time working at another restaurant on a small island near Ibiza in Spain. He said he’s planning to open his own restaurant shortly, and so I started following him on Instagram to get his updates. What a nice life – to live a bi-country experience and not to call just one place home. Working in the restaurant business is hard and sweaty, but I’d love to have that experience where I could live a few months in this country and another few months in that country. That’s when I’d know I’ve “made” it.
But then again, my main “home” country is the U.S., and this country sucks when it comes to work-life balance. I know for a fact my current company would never allow that type of setup for me in my role.