Each week SHESAID features an inspiring woman who has been kind enough to share her story with our readers. She might be a leader in her chosen field, someone still on their own path striving to make a difference or simply someone with a remarkable story to tell. These women contribute their own knowledge, expertise and life lessons in order to truly inspire others.
Name and role
Josephine Perry, owner of Missy French restaurant.
What is your average day like?
I’ve just opened a brand new restaurant called Missy French in Potts Point. We’ve been open for three weeks, so at the moment I’m completely overwhelmed and exhausted but I have one of the best jobs in the world!
I host at the restaurant and I think welcoming people into this wonderful space that’s mine is such an incredible feeling! An average day for me is coming into the restaurant, replying to emails, answering the phones, taking reservations, helping the guys set up the restaurant, making all the menu changes for the day, briefing the staff and then service!
An unusual day for me could be dealing with difficult customers, dealing with very unglamorous issues in the restaurant or a day off is pretty unusual for me at the moment too.
When did you know this is what you wanted to do as a career?
I started working with my dad, Neil at Spice Temple when I was 14 and a half. I started out just very innocently wanting to help a couple of nights a week and fell in love with it! I enjoyed every aspect of the restaurant.
I loved chatting to people and meeting new people, I loved my relationship I had with regular customers, who now come and dine at my restaurant. I loved working in a team environment, I loved the training and the knowledge we were given on food, wine, spirits! Since then I’ve never thought about anything else.
Where do you find your inspiration?
I find inspiration in all different places and people. I’ve had a lot of incredible dining experiences around the world which have inspired me greatly. My staff inspire me, my customers inspire me! I’m very lucky that I get to work with a whole bunch of extremely talented and creative people.
Do you have a mentor?
My dad has been a huge influence in my career.
What were the stumbling blocks, initially getting started on your career path?
I was so young when I started working with Dad. I found working with people a lot older than me my biggest challenge. Trying to prove yourself at 15 is pretty tough!
When I decided to undertake the responsibility of my own restaurant at 20 years old, I don’t think I knew what I was getting myself into. It’s been a huge learning curve for me and I’m working seven nights a week while my 21-year-old friends are out, so it can be tough sometimes, but so rewarding.
What are your goals for the future?
I want to be the best possible restaurateur I can be. I’m still learning every day and that’s what I love about what I do. I would love to do some travelling as well. My dad’s proved to me that hard work pays off so I want to work as hard as I possibly can now to give myself a head start to the best possible future.
What is your favourite ingredient at the moment and why?
We’re using a lot of juniper berry at the moment at Missy French. Blood oranges are coming into season as well which are so versatile! I think we’ll have a killer blood orange cocktail on the menu for spring!
Who are you enjoying on Instagram at the moment and why?
I love Dan Pepperell’s food shots – he’s the head chef at 10 William St and he takes these amazing shots on a black table with natural light coming in, they’re really nice! I love Margaret Zhang too, she takes incredible pictures.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to follow the same path as you?
If you have the passion for it, give it all you’ve got! It’s not an easy industry to succeed in, it’s hard work but it’s worth it!
To find out more about Missy French head to the website: missyfrench.com