Michel Bras' Capuchins: transforming simple meals into real feasts


Black pudding, aligot and sausage or truffle, estofinado, retortillat and beef,... a whole "gourmet geography" for these 21st century "Capuchins" made in Aveyron by Michel Bras, the great starred chef of the region. Not fast food, but fast cook! 

Originally, the Capucin is a very old cast iron kitchen utensil made of a long stem ending in a conical funnel, pierced at its tip. Once reddened in the embers, the cone is filled with bacon which, melting on contact with the hot walls, will slowly flow out. This is enough to baste the pieces of meat or poultry to make the skin or rind crunchy and softer. 

From now on, it's a buckwheat paste cone, which restaurateur Michel Bras had put on the menu of a small restaurant in 2007 in the Aire de Brocuéjouls near Paris. of the Millau Viaduct. A preparation that can be eaten on the spot or that you can take with you on your way. The reason for this is that motorists would stop to taste it. The idea of Michel Bras was to offer a fast and quality cuisine, where only the products of the department would be used. "The idea, recalls Michel Bras, was that the people stopping there should take the Aveyron with them".  
The Bras family decided to move to the heart of Toulouse at the beginning of January 2014, a stone's throw from the Victor Hugo Market. 

A three-star sandwich shop in Toulouse

The people of Toulouse will no longer need to gallop so far to taste the "Capucins Bras". A fast-food restaurant has therefore been created near the Victor Hugo market in Toulouse. On the menu, hot or cold capucins in all sauces, with soups (the white one, with milk and truffle is particularly delicious), and some other sweets, the menu varying according to the season. All cooked before your eyes. There is no need to worry about the wallet as the prices vary from 5 to 15 euros.

Great success again! The Michelin-starred Chef, surrounded by his son Sébastien and his brother André, have therefore created a pilot concept for fast food, offering the public the pleasure of Bras recipes at an affordable price. The family entrusted the project to Minale Design Strategy which created the identity of the new fast food concept. 

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The promise: the cuisine of an accessible chef

With two objectives: recipes signed Bras and quality local products.
The concept is based on an assumed mono-product which allows to address everyone and all day long, breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner: a cone made with a buckwheat flour paste, and embellished with a selection of the best Aubrac products. It is available in both sweet and savoury versions, and is embellished with "miettées", delicious bread-based preparations imagined by Michel Bras to personalise each Capuchin.

The identity of the project is the expression of the Bras family and the universe of the concept.

The triptych logo takes the shape of the Capuchin and symbolizes the Three Arms family. This identity is reflected in the bag and all the graphic elements of the concept.

The agency has also devised a clever and aesthetic system of modular packaging that can be adapted to both on-the-spot and take-away sales. The identity is applied to the whole range of restaurant accessories, coffee and tea cups, syrup bottles, menus, etc.

The architectural concept: a modern and minimalist expression of Aubrac, the terroir of origin of the 3-star restaurant.

The place of almost 200m² on two levels is entirely made up of solid beech wood blades, marked by different shapes and on which the Bras have engraved their history and vision. These beech slats are sporadically punctuated with light sources reminiscent of daylight. In this "impression" is a wall of expression: Michel and Sébastien tell us about the Capuchin through sketches, writings, anecdotes ... The book is open. The clear and colourful graphics on a black background of the expression wall contrast with the raw wood and give it a deliberately modern touch.

This wall will be unique to each site and personalized according to the region.

Between fast food and fast-food, a human concept: made to order and cooked in front of the customer, interacting with the customer, but with simple products and quick gestures.

Snack bar! The product is designed for mobility (100% hermetic, all in one) ideal for VAE, and is combined with a warm space for tasting on site. The whole architectural concept is based on the principle of "servuction": a winning combination of service and production in front of the customer, ensured by the central island, located at the heart of the architectural concept. A team of about ten people thus ensures the production and service of the Capuchins.

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The entire customer journey is centred around this central island. The concept is embellished with slate guest tables dressed with an extract from the expression wall. For those who prefer to enjoy their Capuchin cheese with their partner, there is a "tête à tête" furniture for those who prefer to taste their Capuchin cheese together.

Capuchins all over the territory?

The Bras family initiated this project in 2008 in response to a call for tenders from the Aveyron department. "It all started with my brother Andre. We are both adventurers and we found the challenge interesting in view of our professional experience. Millau was a laboratory that was going well and the frequent requests to open others pushed us to think about development. And why not franchising? »evokes Michel Bras.
A development that must also make sense. This concept from Aveyron can be implemented in all regions. But for Les Bras, 30% products must originate from the territory where it will be installed and with the same demand for quality. In terms of format, the 60-seater Capucin Toulousain allows you to imagine variable geometry versions, including food-truck versions. Everything is ready to go.  "We've always taken risks and we've always gone to the end of our delusions, assumes Michel Bras. « 

Le Janus du Commerce 2014 has just been awarded to them by theFrench Design Institute. Label of excellence that rewards companies and communities that have made lasting progress in the service of people, industry and the community. This Janus because the concept, hasassociated with the slowfood movement, demonstrates the possibility of creating a quality fast food restaurant, with local products, original recipes made in front of you and a welcoming environment.

The strong positioning and architectural concept, implemented by the agency Minale Design Strategyare the expression of the high standards and excellence of Michel Bras projects. This concept can be developed throughout France and internationally.

Photo credit: ©The Food Eye

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