“Create a life that you don’t need a vacation from”

We have been programmed over the years that more work equals a bigger paycheck, more success, promotions, recognition and the dream life that was promised to us. A factor of life that if you don’t put in the hours, success will elude you.

What if they got it wrong? That only hard work isn’t how to gain our dream life. After all, we only have one life to live. That 80 hours a week with little vacation isn’t all it’s cut out to be for achieving a beautiful life. We constantly forget to step back to look at our work. Where it’s gotten us and where we should be going.

“REST is where genius lives”


Rest and vacation mean two very different things. The latter is taking a break from work. To escape to another city or country to try our best to forget about our lives at home. A time that for the most part, is more exhausting than we even think. Vacation for the most part is to plan as many activities as possible in the longest allowable time is given to us.

Rest is a habit that can be formed to allow your body and mind to reset, provoke thought and re energize so that you can return to your day to day life with intent, growing more efficient and doing the things that are important.

Scheduling rest in your routine will change the way you think. It will enable you to work so clearly that you won’t need to work longer, you will work with clarity to achieve your goals. We live in a world full of distracted schedules and we mostly forget to schedule a time for self care. Time for us so that we have the ability to focus on our lives and what matters most. Time to shut things off and dive into our thoughts to balance how our lives are going.

It doesn’t have to be lavish. Go outside, walk, read, write or go for a quiet drive. Book a hotel room in your city and block off the outside world for 24 hours. Order room service, have a dip in the pool. Turn off your tech and bring a book and a pen so that you can write your work down and truly think about what is going on around you.

Rest requires time, but way less than you think.

Yoga. Physical and mental. Perfect way to rest your mind.

Yoga. Physical and mental. Perfect way to rest your mind.

This is why we work in seasons at Barolo & Co. The BLACK RABBIT team works in four seasons with a week of rest in between. We all work relentlessly during our period of work and allow ourselves to rest so that we can continue to grow and create for the following season. We have weekly meetings to dive into what is happening, we have team yoga activities, monthly activities to activate our senses and creativity so that when the time comes to work at 100% capacity, rested and ready for battle.

There is of course a cost associated with all this. But the cost of not resting greatly outweighs the cost of doing it. As businesses, leaders and parents, it’s our duty to create environments where our people thrive. The people around us are our greatest asset and we want to make it one of our top priorities to ensure that they have the ability to lead their great life.

It all starts with you. Rest with so much intent that the rest of your life becomes clear. Allow yourself and those around you the benefits from a rested life.

Luc Doucet, CEO and Executive Chef

BAROLO & CO Creative Group

Practicing Creativity

Practicing Creativity

Change is the one thing that makes us grow. Change is difficult, messy and pushes our limits of creativity. Putting yourself in constant change with the intent to learn will allow you to create things you never thought possible. This is why with every single thing that we do, we push ourselves to change, to adapt and to let go.

Creativity doesn’t always happen when we want it. Sometime’s it feels like a never ending battle to come up with new ideas. How do you push yourself to be more creative? How do you come up with that next great idea, write that article, create a new menu?

By practicing your craft….

Practicing with intent will allow your mind to wonder to places that are hidden deep within you. Having intent, a clear message to yourself of why you are doing what you’re doing will completely change the way you grow and create. It will start building new pathways in your mind and within a short period you will be creating everywhere you look. Shapes, noises and all of your senses will become parallel with your creativity.

Focus, patience and dedication…

Focus, patience and dedication…

Our group is here to create an experience. To deliver an experience, we have music, atmosphere, service, food, cocktails, wine and drinks. They all have been done before and you can consider them a commodity that anyone can deliver. We needed to think of every detail with such intent that the work that we do before opening the doors is where the creativity lies. The show is only put in front of guests when the practice is done in the background. We practice creativity every single day. We deconstruct, we test, we play, we write, and we get inspired by the world around us. We surround ourselves with beauty, books, ingredients, pictures and we start small. The nugget of an idea can morph into something that is bigger than all of us.

Creating a new menu usually starts with one word per dish. Whether it be protein, an ingredient, a technique, or just a color. We let this sink in for days or weeks and start building flavors. Sometimes it works and sometimes not. Some dishes take minutes and some take weeks. Some dishes are taken off and some are morphed into something completely different then the original idea. Then we practice until we are happy with the result. Adding and subtracting until the dish is perfect to us.

Our chicken wing dish from March 2019 at Black Rabbit used so many practices that it built our framework for how to tackle our menus. It all started with a basket of wings at a sports bar. The thought was brought up and we broke the dish down into every component

  • Chicken, the fatty silky part

  • Skin, the crunchy salty part

  • Sauce, the hot stuff that finishes the wings

  • Garnish, the parsley to get some color

  • Freshness, the carrot sticks on the side to cool you down

Deconstructing helps us understand the smaller details and lets us think of individual elements instead of the bigger picture. We know the flavors work together in this case, so how do we transform these flavors into something unique and delicious. The important part for us is to turn everything around while still keeping the integrity of the original idea.

So this is what came from a few months of fiddling around with the idea

Chicken wing….deconstructed

Chicken wing….deconstructed

  • Chicken, 3 day brine of local chicken breast. Butterflied, stuffed with chicken patee from the end pieces (because we don’t want to waste) and rolled into a roulade. Cooked sous vide for 90 minutes, seared for service and mounted in butter

  • Skin, baked chicken skin, adding chicken stock and tapioca flour we made a dough that was rolled thin and dehydrated for 36 hours. Then baked at low temp to make our crunchy chip

  • Sauce, our friends at VALK fermentation made hot sauce from local carrots, we mounted it in butter to tone it down and accompany the dish

  • Garnish, some parsley was juiced, brought to 90 degrees Celsius, adding agar agar and setting it in zero degree vegetable oil made the mixture set into beads. Parsley caviar to garnish

  • Freshness, our friends at VALK also made us from fermented carrots with a hint of cayenne. Salt water brine that fermented over 10 days allow us to have fresh and funky on the plate.

This dish was hard to let go after March. We debated keeping it on because we loved it so much. Constant change needed to be adhered to so we could create even more amazing things, so we let the entire menu go at the end of the month and started from scratch. Which allowed us to develop other flavors and styles.

The practice of change is such a part of our culture that every team member looks forward to change. When we changed our menu in April, everyone was already anxious to start creating the May menu. We now have files for dishes in July when Tomatoes come into season and every month of the year. Something incredible happens when you push yourself to a limit you didn’t think you could get too. You get used to the stress of change. It doesn’t really become easier, it just becomes normal to create, to change and to let go.

Luc Doucet, CEO and Executive Chef Barolo & Co Creative Group