Channeling the culinary cornucopia of Southern France, kitchen staff at Mikette Bistro (1757 Plymouth Rd) aim for the flavoral trinity harmonizing sweetness, salinity and acerbity in each menu item. That Mikette formulates rotating menus for lunch, dinner and brunch service renders this feat even more impressive. The two-and-a-half-year-old restaurant’s Chef de Cuisine, Robyn Corvin, maintains order in the kitchen on a nightly basis. He discloses what separates prep cooks from kitchen managers and how graduating with a zoology degree prompted his foray deeper into the hospitality industry.
Describe the moment you decided to cook for a living.
When I realized I was working in restaurants the whole time I was putting myself through college for my zoology degree, I figured why not keep working with food?
Do Mikette menu items make their way into your home kitchen, if at all?
Although ideas are always there to implement and create new things with new methods, what works in the kitchen professionally sometimes may not work at home, and vice versa.
How would you characterize the appeal of Mikette’s Southern French cuisine for diners in the Ann Arbor area?
Mikette is very Southern France and Riviera Mediterranean with influences from Northern Africa and Japan.
Which Southern French ingredients set Mikette’s cuisine apart?
Duck, Mushrooms, Moroccan spices and ingredients from Asia.
Where do you eat in the Ann Arbor area aside from your restaurant?
Around Ann Arbor, I like Slurping Turtle (608 E Liberty) and Mani Osteria (341 E Liberty). Outside of Ann Arbor, it’s Urban Ramen (4206 Woodward Ave, Detroit) and GreenSpace Cafe (215 W Nine Mile Rd, Ferndale).
How has your relationship with cooking evolved since you began cooking as a career?
From being a prep cook, you learn basics like counting items, timing and urgency. Line cook and management means my focus on detail, flavor, smell, color and sounds needed to be heightened.
What dishes comprise the perfect three-course meal at Mikette?
The French Onion Fondue, Big Green Salad and Beef Bourguignon. That would absolutely be a most complete meal.