Jonathan Capitaine is owner and chef of Le Boeuf Volant in Paris. His ‘micro steakhouse’ keeps things very simple: great meat, cooked on the plancha then rested over beech wood in a custom smoker.
“It’s a small restaurant with just a few tables,” says Jonathan, who opened Le Boeuf Volant in 2013 after a career cooking in Michelin-starred establishments. “We are about simplicity: no sauce, salt and pepper on the plancha, focusing on the flavour of the meat.”
“We are about simplicity...focusing on the flavour of the meat.”
Simple can be outstanding, as recognised by the World’s Best Steak Restaurants, which ranked Le Boeuf Volant 37th in the world.
Australian Wagyu dominates the small menu, partly because Jonathan worked in Sydney for a period with top Australian chef Luke Mangan. “I saw that the way beef is raised in Australia is quite serious,” says Jonathan. “I am looking at the scene in Australia all the time.”
He was introduced to Westholme Wagyu a year ago and it’s now a fixture on the menu. “In France, we want flavour,” he says. “You can tell straight away that the balance of the marbling and the beef is going to make it perfect. It will make a perfect crust, it will make the flavour perfect. It’s tender and silky, it’s fatty enough, and you have that Wagyu richness.”
Jonathan has a special fondness for the Westholme tomahawk. “My philosophy is that I like to do something big and cook it slowly on the plancha,” he says. “I really enjoy cooking slowly. Start it hard, then take your time.” A 1.2KG (2.65lb) tomahawk takes about 40 minutes from ordering to hitting the table. “You have to wait,” he says.
Here's a quickfire quiz to get to know Jonathan little better.
Favourite salt for seasoning steak? French sea salt from Camargue
Favourite grilling cut? Tomahawk
Favourite secondary cuts? Chuck tail flap, oyster blade, flat iron, and onglet
Chef you admire most? Australian chef Tetsuya Wakuda, famous for his Sydney restaurant Tetsuya's
Kitchen footwear? Birkenstocks
If I wasn't a chef I'd be... An architect