Opening its doors a decade ago, Bistro Guillaume has since become a culinary institution in the Melbourne food landscape – providing locals with a considered selection of French classics that take inspiration from culinary traditions in Paris. An achievement not many restaurants have been able to attain, it is with great honour that we celebrate 10 years of Bistro Guillaume.
To commemorate the occasion, we sat down with celebrity chef, author, Audi ambassador and Knight of the National Order, Guillaume Brahimi to discuss the heritage of bistronomy, how it is applied to the restaurant and what he considers his greatest achievements for the venue thus far.

What is bistronomy and what does it mean to you?

Bistronomy is a movement that was created in France in the 1990s by young chefs who had been training in 3-star Michelin restaurants. Upon completing their training, they were ready to start their own venues, but realised that running 3-star Michelin-regarded restaurants in Paris was too expensive. They decided to use the techniques they learnt but with more accessible produce. So essentially, they would execute simple dishes, but with the training of 3-star restaurants. 

How is bistronomy applied to Bistro Guillaume?

Having worked in three-star restaurants and running my own restaurants, as a chef, my philosophy hasn’t changed – we use outstanding seasonal produce and let the produce talk. At Bistro Guillaume, I might make a simple salad but execute it with the best fresh asparagus in spring. I will try to outsource the most incredible chicken and make a beautiful roast chicken with Paris mash. With the teams we have at the bistros, we try to teach them how to prepare dishes using this classic 3-star Michelin training but using humble and seasonal ingredients.

Why did you think bistronomy was important for a Melbourne audience?

We’ve been very lucky to be well received in Melbourne because 10 years is a great run for a restaurant for Australia, or anywhere else in the world for that matter. For me, Melbourne was definitely a great choice. I go to Melbourne and my biggest pleasure is to eat at the bistro (laughs) but also to go to the South Melbourne market. An open food market is something that pairs very well with bistronomy.

How does being in Melbourne inspire the food offering at Bistro Guillaume?

The great thing about Victoria is that it has some of the best produce in Australia. For me, it’s really easy – we have great seafood coming from the doorstep of Melbourne and great vegetables, fruits and berries – everything. It’s very easy to cook here because of Victorian produce!

Is there a certain dish that you want to eat as soon as you get here?

I’m going to be a bit boring but I just love having a roast chicken, Paris mash, rocket salad and a nice glass of wine.

What would you love people to say when they walk away from a meal at Bistro Guillaume?

It’s a very simple word – happy. Because that’s what we do!  

What is the thing or moment you are most proud of in Bistro Guillaume’s 10 years of existence?

I think for me it’s arriving at the bistro and seeing my team (some who have been there since we opened) and seeing them grow as the years go on and becoming better in their skill. I look at Lauren who started as a food runner and now she’s my restaurant manager... I think of Aaron my head chef who started 10 years ago in the kitchen. I love their enthusiasm - they are as excited now than they were on their first days. It brings me a lot of happiness to see people grow into the business and succeed. We have become family.

What is the evolution for Bistro Guillaume from here?

I hope we can continue to showcase Victorian and Australian produce the way we have for the last 10 years. We have regular guests who come to the restaurant and don’t need to look at a menu – they already know what they want. They have been coming for the last 10 years and want the classic dishes on the menu. This, to me, is a great satisfaction.  
As the restaurant celebrates 10 years along the Riverwalk, Bistro Guillaume will be offering a number of exceptional culinary experiences for the occasion. A ticketed birthday party hosted by Guillaume Brahimi will encompass four courses, canapes, cocktails, matched wines and live music for $250pp. Guillaume’s classic favourite dishes will return to the menu, and music lovers will be delighted with Fete de La Musique celebrations across weekends in June.
Join us for a bonne fete no food lover will be able to forget!

Click here to reserve your seat now.