La Bergamote Part II and an Interview with Antoinette Willemin

Hello Hello!

La Bergamote Chelsea
La Bergamote Chelsea

As promised in my previous post “La Bergamote NYC”, I went back to La Bergamote few weeks ago to try some of their brunch menu. only this time, I went to their other location in Chelsea area (177 Ninth Avenue, New York).

La Bergamote’s Chelsea location is also really nice and cozy I loved it, but the feeling is a bit different with the one in Midtown West (515 West 52nd st, New York). Different in a good way that is; the one in Chelsea is more spacious than the one in Midtown West and the interior is less casual but not too serious either, just perfect to bring along some friends for a double or triple date ūüôā or to bring your parents to enjoy afternoon wine accompanied (of course) with La Bergamote’s real delicious, i mean seriously, delish and yummy and so so good pastries (believe me I’ve tried not only their heavenly-tasted croissant but also their mini tarts, choux, and more that are really yummy you just want to eat them all).

Ok lets jump to the brunch session because talking about pastry is making me want to go back there now and steal some of the sweets LOL (it is 3.39 in the morning :D). Anyways, that day I tried two of La Bergamote’s brunch menu which were Eggs Baltic ($15.5 – Wheat English Muffin, Smoked Salmon, Poached Eggs, Scallion Cream Cheese, and Hollandaise Sauce) and Wild Mushrooms Scrambled Eggs ($14 – Wild Mushrooms & Herbs Scrambled Eggs, Whole Wheat Toasts, and Mixed Berries). First thing first, the Eggs Baltics is really good and delicious and the potatoes, i don’t know what or how they made it but the potatoes is a winner! delish!! Second, the Wild Mushroom Scrambled Eggs is also really good; the texture of the scrambled eggs is soft and nice and again, the mushroom is also a winner because it’s so tasty (ok now i’m hungry; Zzz).

All in all, I love everything about La Bergamote; the place, the food, the ambience, the bakery (see how convenient it is? you can eat, drink, and then bring home some yummy treats all from one place. Ha!) and the locations.

And just before I show you my photos I took from La Bergamote Chelsea, kindly see below my interview with Antoinette Willemin. Antoinette Willemin is the wife of Stephan Willemin, a co-owner along with their business partner Romain Lamaze of La Bergamote and yep! I had the opportunity to meet her that day and had a brief interview afterwards. Here it is:

Owner and Executive Pastry Chef, Stephan Willemin, in action
Owner and Executive Pastry Chef, Stephan Willemin, in action
  1. Could you tell me a little about yourself? I have been living in Howard Beach, Queens since a child.  I own a home in Howard Beach with my wonderful husband, Stephan and beautiful twin girls, Chloe and Krista.  I attended private schools then worked for a Manhattan Law firms for over 20 years.  I thereafter worked with my husband at La Bergamote until the birth of my children.  I am currently a stay at home mother enjoying every day with my girls.
  2. So you and your husband started La Bergamote? La Bergamote was started by my husband, Stephan Willemin, and his business partner, Romain Lamaze. They were both born and raised in Nancy, France.  
  3. can you shere a little about how you started to open the restaurant? Is it something you are passionate about? or was it like a dream come true?¬†Stephan studied pastry in France and had the ‚ÄúAmerican Dream‚ÄĚ. Romain¬†and Stephan together¬†decided to open a Patisserie. They found a location¬†for rent on 20th¬†and 9th¬†in NYC. The location at the time was desolate and not the best. ¬† Little by little¬†Chelsea¬†developed into a lovely neighborhood. ¬†After 10 years,¬†we expanded to a new, larger location across the street. ¬†There are currently two La¬†Bergamote¬†locations. ¬†277 9th¬†Avenue, NYC and 515 West 52nd¬†NYC.¬†
  4. Could you share a bit of the challenges doing restaurant business especially in New York where a lot of people are also in the similar business? In my opinion, the biggest challenges of La Bergamote is to keep the high quality of the products, the expensive NYC rents, and finding employees who have the passion to work.
  5. What does La Bergamote mean? Why did you decide to use that name? Influences of La Bergamote was the name given to a candy made with Bergamote flavor originated from Nancy, France where Stephan Willemin as the Executive Pastry Chef and Romain Lamaze as the Managing Agent are from. Bergamote is a small tree grown for its sour citrus fruits. The rinds of which yield an aromatic oil. 
  6. From all the menu, what is your favorite one? And what would you recommend for people to have when they first try La Bergamote? My favorite plate at La Bergamote is the steak frites.  My favorite dessert is the Pascaline which is pistachio and hazelnut mousse with almond biscuit. Soooo good! 
  7. I’ve tried your food and your pastries and your tarts, which all are really delicious, do you always use fresh ingredients? Because I think you wild mushroom is a winner ūüôā And how do you maintain the quality of your food?¬†La¬†Bergamote¬†only uses fine ingredients. Stephan is very particular with his vendors and if they do not provide excellent quality, he will not use them.¬†
  8. What is your future plans for La Bergamote? We hope to open a retail market with fine imports from France. 
  9. Can you give us some tips on running/managing a succesful restaurant just like the one you own right now? Some tips; must have the drive to succeed; trust your business partner, only use the best of ingredients; maintain cleanliness; find dedicated employees.
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Stephan & Antoinette Willemin

Hope you enjoyed that and hopefully it could inspire you in a way that you can actually follow your dreams and take actions to make it come true. Because it seems that, American dreams is not impossible after all ūüôā and now, please enjoy my photos of La Bergamote Chelsea:

Eggs Baltic so good :)
Eggs Baltic so good ūüôā
Wild Mushroom Scrambled Egg
Wild Mushroom Scrambled Egg
La Bergamote Chelsea; the ambience
La Bergamote Chelsea; the ambience
La Bergamote Chelsea; the ambience
La Bergamote Chelsea; the ambience
La Bergamote Chelsea
La Bergamote Chelsea
La Bergamote Chelsea; the counter full of goodness
La Bergamote Chelsea; the counter full of goodness
sweettsss
sweettsss

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me in front of La Bergamote Chelsea :)
me in front of La Bergamote Chelsea ūüôā

That is it! Hopefully this post will make you hungry and inspired at the same time ūüėÄ For more information on La Bergamote, kindly check out their website at http://www.labergamotenyc.com, their ¬†facebook page La Bergamote, and follow their instagram @labergamotenyc.

BISOUS!


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