Devoted and self-taught restaurateur Yazid Haddadou runs La Violette, a restaurant certified for quality by the French Culinary College. Offering customers high quality cuisine made with fresh produce is the hallmark of the house. Here, we tell you more about this warm and welcoming, and highly recommended Paris eatery, near Parc de la Villette, where the D-Vine has been in place for two years now. Interview with Yazid Haddadou, restaurant owner, La Violette
Can you tell us who you are and how you got here?
I don’t have a diploma in hotel or restaurant management. A great deal of my family work in the restaurant trade, and so it has been a passion for me since the age of 11. I have always gone to brasseries and cafés and am a self-taught restaurateur.
What is your main daily challenge?
Maintaining a top-class level of service and ensuring the continuity of the business which has existed for 18 years.
Our goal is to do a great job and to surprise customers.
Could you describe your restaurant to us?
La Violette is certified for quality by the Collège Culinaire de France (French Culinary College). I ran a family-owned brasserie just next door for five years and then I felt that it was time to spread my wings, with an excellent opportunity for a juxtaposed acquisition. The aim was to have two very different areas: a brasserie on one side and an up-scale restaurant on the other. The long existence of our establishments is due in particular to the development of the district, thanks to the businesses which have headquarters nearby and who have appreciated having access to quality cuisine.
How would you describe the cuisine at la violette?
We are a quality restaurant where the cuisine is prepared with fresh, locally sourced produce. Our goal is to do a great job and to surprise customers with our three ‘surprise’ set menus (with three, four or five courses). This allows us flexibility in terms of our everyday purchasing and to work with produce that is in season.
What will be your signature dish for this summer?
Whole sole prepared meunière style, served with a very nice Meursault!
Why did you choose the d-vine for your restaurant? what added-value does it bring?
Quite simply to give this business clientèle of ours the possibility to enjoy premium wines, without us having to open expensive bottles and avoiding the day-to-day hassle this brings. In other words, loss of quality or wasted goods. Given that we cater for 40 guests a day, this system is manageable and at the same time allows us to offer quality by-the-glass wines.
The possibility to enjoy premium wines, without us having to open expensive bottles and avoiding the day-to-day hassle this brings.
How have you managed this unprecedented situation?
As for everybody, it has been very tricky. We are rather lucky to have had a very good year in 2019. Financially, the business is viable so we have a solid position. The government support has been a welcome help. We are looking to the future to see if we can reach our sales figure of last year again, which is still difficult to say.
Do you plan to adapt your offering in any way?
We have done so by reducing the menu to avoid wastage on food products, and to allow us to keep part of our staff on partial unemployment until business takes off properly again.