Marin Böhlig’s fate was predetermined: after studying at Sciences Po Bordeaux, a double French-German course and a master’s degree in personnel management, office life opened her hands. But that’s not counting his passion for cooking. After nearly two years of career in HR, Marin Böhlig drops everything and decides to retrain. She swaps files and appointments for an apron and a cap alternately. Having received her diploma, the young cook joined the crew of the Parisian restaurant ANONA as a clerk. Awarded a Green Star by the renowned Michelin Guide under Chef Thibault Spivak, the establishment adheres to strict environmental responsibility in its menu, furniture and kitchen practices. Meeting with the commission agent promised a great future in the kitchen.
“I have always had a passion for cooking”, 26-year-old Marin Böhlig immediately reports to POSITIVR. But as a good student, she is destined to study a lot and occupy important positions in the future. “I really wanted to learn everything related to business management”she recalls. With no specific job in mind, the student then turned to a general course and enrolled at Sciences Po in Bordeaux, and then continued her studies with a master’s degree in business and organization management. “Relationships and the human side of the business world were very important to me”, she said. Resolved: Marine Beulaigue enters the path of HR.
But she quickly becomes disillusioned. “I was a bit disappointed because the course was very administrative and not human enough”, says the one who, after an internship, still finds a job in a company where she works for two years as a personnel manager, as well as the head of the organization. Problem : “Passion for cooking has always worked for me”Marin Böleg explains.
How did she leave the business world for the kitchen? The interested leader replies that it is “coincidence” : changes in the company, the conclusion that allows him “rethink [ses] priorities” and opportunity. “I found an organization that offered to take my CAP in exchange for work and school.”
Problem: At that time, the Covid-19 pandemic was still relevant, as were health restrictions. Therefore, most restaurants are closed. Eventually, the enthusiast finds a place where she can take her first year of work-study: a signature restaurant where the quality of the food on offer is not to the taste of an aspiring chef, but which allows her to practice her skills before integrating. 5-star hotel for the second year of work-study. There, the quality of the cuisine is more suitable for an apprentice. But behind the scenes the practice of this “a large group with a lot of processes and little adaptation” do not match the values of a young woman in terms of ecology, waste management or even food waste and leftovers.
Being a vegetarian is a militant and personal act.
From ecology to human connection, Marin Böhlig wants to develop professionally in an environment that allows her to combine her personal commitments with her professional practice. One day, a young woman went to the website of the label Écotable, which rewards culinary establishments for their responsible attitude towards the environment. It is there that she discovers, among other things, ANON.
This restaurant in the 17th arrondissement of Paris was opened in 2019 by Thibaut Spivak, whose popularity has continued to grow since his appearance in the 13th season of the famous TV show. Best Chef. “I liked the philosophy of the establishment, the menu and the place. I sent an email to the chef and he offered to come to the restaurant the next day for an interview.”says Marin Böleg. “The chef explained to me his values, how the restaurant works, where the food comes from, how the dishes are prepared. For my part, I explained to him my vision, what I would like from my work and under what conditions I would like to realize it.
The candidate also takes the opportunity to taste the cuisine of the restaurant. “Besides the commitment of the chef and the beauty of the place, there was something new. I was served vegan dishes that I have not seen anywhere else. There was real creative work behind it.” The chef’s cuisine touches the taste buds of the future clerk, who has been a vegetarian for two years.
Being a vegetarian is a very personal, militant act that involves only me and my conscience. I do what I can with my means, others do too. I’m not trying to convince them. I can explain why I am like this, but I don’t force it on people. I agree to cook meat or fish and even taste them. I appreciate that here at ANONA we have a real alternative for people who don’t want to eat meat.
Marin Böhlig, clerk at ANONA
Just weeks after joining the brigade, the restaurant unveils its recruit on Instagram: “Marine pays great attention to environmental responsibility. She doesn’t hesitate to challenge the team to go even further in the restaurant’s approach and we love it!”We can read from the publication posted in June last year.
“I felt a lot of intelligence in the Marines, she’s the kind of person I like to have conversations with, and I found that she really has her own place in the brigade.”, Thibault Spivak, 36, tells POSITIVR. The chef adds that he wants to give as many chances as possible “a guy with 20 years of experience in the house than a Marine with two years of experience on the move”. His commitment, his vegetarianism and his observations of practices in the kitchen are of interest to Thibault Spivak. Because it is extremely important for him to surround himself “people like Marin who push us to keep going”especially when you encounter old reflexes and habits in your daily life.
Each of us has our own vision of ecology. I have built the restaurant on a solid foundation, but ensuring that the rest can be improved, in particular through discussions with others.
Thibault Spivak, Head of ANONA
For example, thanks to a new employee, a restaurant now has a more environmentally responsible solution for using pastry bags. “plastic bags into which we pour the drug for a more accurate presentation”Marin Böleg explains. “In conventional kitchens, we use a lot of them because they are disposable.” After talking with the boss, the solution is found: “we bought some gun”, “a large bazooka,” the chef clarifies, “which is washed after each use and which reproduces the effect of a pastry bag well.”.
However, the chief clarifies that, despite the goodwill, more environmentally friendly solutions are not always quickly applied: “In the room service, we tried to ensure that the same cutlery remained throughout the meal, glasses of wine did not change, but the customers did not want this. Despite our Ecotable label and our Michelin Green Star, people are not willing to go without certain things.”analyzes who encourages other chefs to innovate in their establishments. “The more we are, the more we can challenge others and inspire colleagues”he considers. “My goal is not for ANONA to be a one-of-a-kind restaurant. We have a real role: people go to the restaurant every day, we have to conduct passive educational work on the topic of ecology in the dining room and in the kitchen.”
A view shared by a clerk who regrets the lack of advertising for the Green Star in the Michelin Guide. “A big distinction that still deserves to be known”, according to her. Especially in a world where you can say you’re engaged by serving avocado toast: “these products that come from afar and whose environmental impact is not negligible”– emphasizes the novice chef.
We are really at a turning point, the restaurateurs have to play a real card. Not only in order to please people, but in order for us to continue to eat everything, we will have to be careful and especially educate the teams on these issues. There are dedicated chefs, but few employees. It is important that these commitments are valued and not just for publicity.
Marin Böhlig, clerk at ANONA
Marine Beulaigue embodies this new generation of future chefs (and chefs!) committed to sustainability. His journey shows us that it is possible to find a place to reconcile his passion and his values for people and the environment.