The Heroine’s Journey of Rachel Allswang

What is the best thing that I love about my work?

It’s a constant battle, a daily challenge. Therefore, it makes me stronger by overcoming issues and thinking on my feet right away, which is basically using my instincts on the spot, not over thinking, there is no time for that. The emotions I get when I find the solution to the problem is very rewarding, it gives me hope.

Allows me to get better at what I do to help me grow as a person. It’s almost like I am looking forward to the next glitch that needs rescuing.

What is my idea of happiness?

Not thinking of what I could have or what I don’t have.

To be content with what I do have.

Living in the present basically and a good night’s sleep!

What is my greatest fear?

To fail, to not be good enough and disappoint myself and the people that count on me.

To not be able to achieve my expectations.

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?

Paranoia. It stops me from going forward to achieve my “goals”.

The fear of not being loved/liked by others, not being recognised for my efforts.

Which living persons in my profession do I most admire?

Being a woman in the restaurant industry is very hard because it has always been recognized as a male profession, it’s a constant battle, which is ironic, given that throughout history, who was the one cooking at home?!

• My mother, who is my partner in crime at the restaurant.

She showed me the ropes and helped me grow and be the “boss/patron” the way I wanted to be, independently from her.

• Julia Child, french food for Americans! (I am French & American)

Yes she is no longer living, but she still lives throughout her cookbooks and let’s not forget her tv show! She inspired women, not only to achieve the best roasted chicken, but especially inspired us women to be the best at what we do and that you can be successful in a man’s world. And she always did it with a light heart, it’s not the end of the world if it does not work out the first time, just keep trying, have a glass of wine and you’ll find your way!

What is my greatest extravagance?

I am very blunt, I just say what I think with no filters. I do not hold back my thoughts, which sometimes is not always a good thing.

I can hurt people’s feelings, even though I had no bad intentions.

On what occasion would I lie?

I can’t lie, it’s very hard for me. The guilt is too strong.

I would call it a “white lie”, an innocent lie. Let people have it their own way and avoid conflict when unnecessary. Have them feel good about themselves.

What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?

Communicating with your employees is very hard.

Sharing your vision of the restaurant, the way you want it to be and feeling they do not hear you at times.

When and where was I the happiest, in my work?

At my restaurant, when everything goes smoothly, when all my employees are working with a smile on their faces, are proud of their work and make fun of me with a kind heart.

If I could, what would I change about myself?

Be more patient. Be more confident and recognize what I’ve achieved.

What is my greatest achievement in work?

Opening this restaurant 7 years ago in New York, which is a very tough industry in this city.

Still being here strong, with its ups and downs and having survived the covid pandemic.

Where would I most like to live?

Back to Europe.

I’ve been in NY for 15 years now and it’s a city where you just keep surviving, it’s exhausting.

It’s time to start living!

What is my most treasured possession?

• A T-shirt my Dad got me 35 years years ago: we walked across the Golden Gate bridge for its 50th anniversary in 1987. I was 10 years old.

A reminder of what I’ve achieved throughout all these years and that I am still able to cross the “bridge” everyday…

• These sweet little gold earrings my mother gave me from the Island of Formentera in Spain.

They feel like no headaches and give me confidence on a daily basis.

What is my most marked characteristic?

Straight forward, straight to the point.

What is my most inspirational location, in my city?

Alone on Rockaway beach in the summer, the sound of the waves, a light breeze and the warm sun kissing my skin & soul.

What is my favorite place to eat and drink in my city?

These establishments are “old school” and based on moments I’ve lived, my memories and where you can feel how unique NYC is.

• Eat:

Russ and Daughters in the Lower East Side, a historical NY establishment. “…touchstone in the lives of generations, and the torchbearer of Jewish food in America”

• Drink:

The Brooklyn Inn in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn.

“Old-school watering hole with a 19th-century wood bar”

What books influenced my life and how?

• Le Voyage d’Anna by Henri Gougaud.

Obstacles over and over again in your journey. Believing they are stopping you from going forward when actually they are only there to help you arrive in a better place than where you’ve started. It’s all about how you see things.

L’invention de nos vies, (the age of reinvention) by Katherine Tuil.

The story of a man who creates his own character in life. Wanting to be what he is not and hide the truth about himself to others. We all have masks we hide behind, it’s easier that way: only show the world what you want them to see, but hide your true self, your weaknesses, your vulnerability, live a lie basically… The fear of being judged for who we really are.

You Only Die Once. What music would I listen to on my last day?

Geez that’s a sordide question.

I wish the question was, what is your last meal before going on the electric chair:

“du pain, du vin et du boursin” (sans oublier le beurre).

The opera Carmen de Bizet.

It’s full of life and passion, and will keep me going till I wake up in my death…

Who is my hero or heroine in fiction?

Lili, the french heroine of a series of comics, also known at times as mischievous Lili.

She travels around the world, goes through many adventures, overcomes them and all that with a whimsical way of living!

Who are my heroes and heroines in real life?

Of course, my mother and my father!

They created an actual human being, they brought me here.

Shall we call Freud?!

Which movie would I recommend to see once in a lifetime?

Time of the Gypsies from Emir Kusturica and the music is exceptional, Goran Bregovic.

A whirlwind of emotions, traditions, absurdities, passion, beauty…

What role play stories in my life and work?

I play the role of a caregiver, kindness. I take care of people, I make them laugh, I give them a good glass of wine with a good steak, I listen to them, I help them, I hold their hand, I give them a heartfelt hug. I support them in any way I possibly can.

What do the words ‘You are the storyteller of your own life’ mean to me?

You make your own life throughout the decisions you make and the choices you take.

You’re on your own. It’s up to you, good luck and don’t F*^” it up!

Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?

My husband, he overcame a lot in his life and he is an inspiration and a motivation to always go forward and overcome whatever disaster or miracle comes your way. There is no turning back and don’t forget to keep goofing around!

Which people or companies would I like to work with in 2022?

The future is unknown and with so many options, it’s overwhelming, especially when you are not sure where and when to make the next right or the next left.

What project, in 2022, am I looking forward to working on?

Thinking of where to live next.

Where can you see me or my work in 2022?

Come eat and drink at Le Garage in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY

What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me?

As long as my blood keeps running through my veins, I am alive.

Knowing that, is passionate enough for me.

Which creative professionals should Peter invite to tell their story?

• Sarah Pailhes (speech therapist) • Alicia Allgood (Behavior Analyst)
• Marlene Paindestre (Senior Dubbing Manager)

How can you contact me?

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