the history of bistrofrance

In 2008 the team at La Guillotine closed their doors and opened a smaller but just as delightful french restaurant in Glenside – bistrofrance.

Jacques Naudin was born at Chalivoy- Milon in the centre of France in 1939. His grandparents had an auberge in which he grew up in helping with washing dishes and immerged with the traditional provincial food that surrounded him cooked by his grandmother.
He Immigrated to Sydney, Australia 27/2/1969. His first restaurant in Sydney, La Guillotine was an extremely busy omelette bar in Albion Place behind the Hoyts theatre in George st. The wine bar served twelve different omelettes, one Plat du Jour, fresh homemade baguette and a tart of the day. Together with two partners Jacques opened 12 or so different restaurants including Berowra Waters Inn, L’orangerie and The French Deli.
Bastille Day in Australia is celebrated by French communities and by Francophiles who year in and year out come to the restaurant to enjoy good food, wine and a jovial atmosphere; blue, white and red balloons and celebrate the equal rights to all people. The French flag made up of colours representing liberty, equality, fraternity.
There are no specific dishes that are eaten on Bastille Day. At the bistro we like to offer dishes that are typically very French ; for example escargots. Confit de canard a l’orange is also on the menu as it is a great celebration dish.
We all like to share the cooking at home. Dinner time is always spent around the table with usually a simple entree, main course and cheese. All the ingredients we choose to eat are in season and we love to use our home grown fresh herbs in every dish. Often the vegetables are presented as the entree as for example a soup, simple tomato salad vinaigrette or gratin of leeks, ham and cheese. The main course will be typically served with vegetables and potatoes. All of the dishes are served in the centre of the table and everyone will serve themselves.
This is the same as if we were to live in France. We are fortunate in Australia to have a wonderful selection of imported foods and amazing fresh fruit ,vegetables , meat, poultry and game. In France however cheeses that are unpasteurized and fresh Fois grois are available. The tomatoes in France taste amazing. When we eat in France the mushrooms have been secretly gathered from the forest in the morning as has the “pis en Lie” from areas which are closely guarded secrets handed down from generations.
Provincial French cuisine is what Jacques has lived, breathed for all of his life so for us to share this with our customers is a pleasure and to offer a French experience is unique in Adelaide. We hope that we are helping to keep alive the traditional provincial food which has survived the generations.
French restaurants in the 1980’s were in plentiful supply but by the nineties only a handful existed. This could have been due to a insurgence of nouveau cuisine and modern creative where the size of food was diminished and people found it very expensive to eat. There is demand for food that is flavoursome with fresh herbs and plenty to eat. It is true comfort food using our beautiful fresh produce from South Australia and recipes that have been handed down through the generations.
The techniques of French cookery needed to cook these recipes are a respect for the recipe. All of the ingredients should be measured and the recipe followed as well as possible. In France all woman are great cooks and this is because the tradition is passed from generation to generation.

This is one of the largest and most renowned gastronomical associations in the world. It is designed to share knowledge, and have a respect for culinary history and tradition with chefs, gourmands throughout the world.
“The spirit Escoffier is equality between Disciples, irrespective of rank, the transmission of knowledge, respect for culture and the perpetual evolution of the kitchen, the research and implementation of actions for a cause charity.”
When a new disciple is inducted, he undertakes to respect the Spirit Escoffier saying this oath:
“I am sworn to forward, to serve and honour the cuisine, culture and evolution.”

The ceremony took place at “The French Deli” where there were three other disciples being inducted.
My career commenced in 1978 at “Chesser Cellars” in Adelaide .The only experience that I had gained for this position prior was what my parents had taught me at home which included a lot of drinks parties and entertaining which went hand in hand with politics. This was a very quiet evening restaurant and there was plenty of time for me to be taught all the formalities .One very fond memory is that every night when I got home from work my father would leave me a glass of wine and the bottle so I could become more familiar with all sorts of different wines. My night cap!
I then went down the road to “Los Amigos” which was a very busy Spanish restaurant and learned how to work in a team and be extremely organized. After two years of working I wanted to gain more experience and went to Sydney to see what it was like to work in a big hotel. I was disappointed in the experience and realized after 6 months that I was more suited to small business where people appreciated your work ethics.
I went to work for “The French Deli” where I met my husband and I was managing that business as a 21 year old. This is where I was awarded the honour of “Diciples d’Auguste Escoffier”.
We were married in 1982 and sold the restaurant to move to Adelaide where we set up “La Guillotine” in Gouger Street. We happily ran that business while bringing up a family for 25 years and now together with our eldest are running “bistrofrance”
During my career of 32 years I have thoroughly enjoyed learning and then passing on that knowledge to those who have worked for me.