While deliberating about our end of year blog and how we can best summarise a year of great highs, even greater lows, frustrations and moments of elation we took a look at what inspired us to write each blog this year. What we found was that through it all, we have 6 core business values which have all been testing through the year that was 2015.

1.DISCOVERY – we are always searching for inspiration, innovation, exploration

In January we travelled to a third world country for the first time – Vietnam.  Although a little apprehensive, we were determined to take our love of travel to the next level “once we arrived, all these feelings dissipated and we saw a country with a heartbeat, similar to South Africa (my wife's homeland). I suddenly felt a familiarisation, a country full of life, colour and chaos.” Read on here

  1. PERSERVERANCE - we never give up and keep pushing no matter what

Knowing we ourselves were reaching a huge milestone later in the year, 15 years in business, we reflected on the incredible career of Chef Tetsuya in March. “It moved me to pen my own tribute to a ground breaking, game changing chef that has remained humble despite all the accolades he has received over his career spanning more than 30 years.” Read more here

  1. HERITAGE - we pull back to our roots ... always

In Winter we spent a lot of time looking at our menus and reflecting on our French heritage as we decided to push our dishes even further to reflect a typical French Bistro.  We couldn’t help notice however the influence that Sohani’s South African Indian heritage that never seems to go away … “My family and I regularly eat out. I love nothing more than a traditional French meal however we are always seeking a new culinary experience. Being French and with a South African Indian wife, we also enjoy a melting pot of cooking at home” Read on here

  1. DIVERSIFICATION - we continue to challenge each other and as a business, continue to push the boundaries

In July we were excited to enter into discussions with a possible third partner with a plan to open a second Bitton in 2016.  These plans are still in the making but I know it is going to be a huge year for us.  Both Sohani and I feel incredibly blessed to be able to have found another partner who we work so well with.  What makes it work? “My advice to anyone looking at taking on a partner  in their existing business, or entering into a partnership with a new business, is firstly to ensure you have the same vision and purpose. “ Read more here

  1. COMPETITION - we always keep close to our competition and watch and learn

To be really honest (or perhaps really stupid) frustration is an understatement when we discuss the Australian food media. Again as we were approaching what we consider to be a significant milestone in this difficult industry, we realise how little support we have had from most of the mainstream food media here …”how many times do we have to read about the same venue over and over again?  Why do we need to know about the tenth restaurant serving the best pulled pork sliders or brussels sprouts? Why can’t they branch out, dare to be different and talk about something unique; break from the pack? It would be so refreshing.” Read on

  1. LOYALTY - remembering the importance of friends, family, staff

Losing our chef, friend, colleague and Bitton family member, Gaby in October has been devastating and he will leave a great gaping hole in this business and in our hearts ….“I was lucky to meet Gabby more than 21 years ago, as he started his apprenticeship as an eager young chef, who worked up the ranks and learnt the hard way, a true soldier of the industry! Nothing was too much for him, from doing incredibly long hours to working late then backing up with a morning shift, to coming in on his days off to sacrificing his precious family time as many of us do in this industry.” Read David’s tribute here

Entering into 2016 we have a year ahead of pop-ups, pop-outs and pop-ins! Watch this space for a series of pop-up stores with guest chefs and different cuisines.  The year will bring new alliances, new collaborations and new beginnings …. We look forward to sharing it all with you.

Thank you for your continued support and we wish you all very happy and safe Summer holidays.