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Restaurant Industry News speaks with new Chef at Brasserie Urbaine at The Molitor: Martin Simolka

1) Have you always wanted to become a Chef?

Yes, I’ve always had a great passion for food, from an early age I started growing vegetables in a vegetable patch and making cakes for birthdays and special occasions.

2) Tell us about your journey into the industry.

I started with an apprenticeship at the Hotel Adlon in Berlin, before moving to France to workat Martinez, then the Ledoyen pavilion (3 stars), Shangrila (Phillipe Labbe 2 Etoiles), George V (Eric Briffard 2 stars). I then moved to the Peninsula where I spent my best years as first souschef alongside Chef Christophe Raoux (MOF 2015). I have spent most of my career in France (since 2008).

3) What are your plans in revamping the menu at Brasserie Urbaine?

Revisiting the classics of a typical Parisian brasserie but with a touch of modernity and originality. At my table you will find a beef tartare but with a hint of sesame…

4) What flavours will be present and where is the inspiration drawn from?

I work with different spices, cereals and citrus fruits from around the world to bring pep and originality to each dish. My inspiration comes from seasonal produce, and I always try different combinations.

5) Can you give us a small reveal of a new dish you are currently working on at all?

One of my latest dishes is a twist on the French classic – Pâté en Croute which I’ve always wanted to revisit. I’ll be creating my own version made with foie gras, heathland poultry, duck breast and pistachios, served with a Pear and Timur pepper sauce, picked onions and watercress. This modern twist on a French classic will be created entirely with poultry, no pork and without a chopper and mould.

6) Tell us how Covid-19 has impacted your new role, have any changes had to be made?

We changed the whole organization by adapting the way we work to adhere to the new sanitary rules and regulations. Today we are working on a buffet brunch while respecting social distancing and the service that is done by our hands.

7) You have worked in an array of top restaurants and alongside different chefs, has this helped you expand your knowledge and cooking techniques?

Yes absolutely, I have worked with a lot of starred chefs who taught me various cooking techniques and shared their expertise. Today I bring my experiences to Molitor, with a focus on rigor, consistency and communication.

8) What are some unique features/elements to the dishes?

I like working with spices from around the world and I always try to add a surprise to each of my dishes.

9) Is it important, in your opinion to create an experience with food?

It is very important to create a story with your dish. This is how we create unique dishes.

10) In a few words, why should people come to The Brasserie Urbaine at the Molitor and what can be expected?

For conviviality, eating at the Brasserie Urbaine is a unique experience with revisited brasserie dishes, professional service and a fantastic view of our legendary swimming pool.

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