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Meet Cindy Q and Alex Steimer of LE FRENCH ROOSTER in Burbank

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cindy Q and Alex Steimer.

LE FRENCH ROOSTER© opened its door on May 6th, 2019 to the community of Burbank. Since then, it has earned a reputation of high quality authentic French bites & pastries made from scratch and with fresh products. Established by French Chef and founder Alex Steimer and his wife, Cindy Q, they have created an authentic, warm and cozy French Shop-Café atmosphere in “The Valley” with a TAKE-OUT ONLY concept; nowadays costumers can place their order online at their website – www.lefrenchrooster.com – for pick up in order to avoid lines and crowds.

Chef Alex was born in France, son of restaurateurs in the city of Strasbourg; he always enjoyed cooking and baking with his grandmother at an early age. While studying marketing, he realized that his dream was to embrace a career in food business. He opened an Italian Pizza & Pasta restaurant with his dad and combined with his passion of welcoming people & costumers to make them feel like home in his restaurant.

After ten years running its business and learning cooking basics alone, as an autodidact passionate about pastry, traditional French food & Alsatian food is now bringing a European touch in California, precisely in Burbank with his first French “Boutique” Shop-Cafe, LE FRENCH ROOSTER©.

When Chef Alex arrived to the US, he missed French Pastries & the freshness of the food prepared in France, his menu is based on things he loves & prepared with the respect of the French tradition cuisine. While waiting for business project to develop, his menu developed too in what it is today: with Viennoiseries like Kouign Amman & Brioche, Patisseries like tartelettes & pâte à choux with different flavors, the typical European sandwiches like Le Parisien, Croque Monsieur among others, the typical French crêpes, quiches & salads.

His wife, Cindy Q, born and raised in Mexico City, moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in Performing Arts & Production. She has paused her dream job to commit to LE FRENCH ROOSTER©, and welcome costumers daily with a warm welcome “Bonjour”.

After one year of its opening, LE FRENCH ROOSTER© has put together a small team with 2 California young men: Julian, passionate about cooking and starting his studies in culinary school this year has become the Chef’s assistant and Raul who used to be a bartender in DTLA is bringing his multitasking skills back in house & as a barista; both of them have brought their positive energy in this fast pace food industry.

Since the beginning, LE FRENCH ROOSTER© serves Groundwork Coffee Co., known for being local, organic and known for its freshness.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Cindy: We believe that there is no smooth road for success; opening a small business is a big challenge; specially with a menu that most Americans are not very familiar with. So, the biggest challenge has been to keep the freshness & consistency of the quality with only 1 Chef and 1 Oven in a 400 sq foot. And make sure we provide authentic French food. When costumers arrived; I love to welcome them with a warm “Bonjour” as my husband, Chef Alex told me he would like costumers to feel like they are in France once they enter our doors; this is not difficult as the exquisite smell of the morning pastries or whatever they cook in the kitchen invites anyone who walks in by.

When costumers walk in; I like to explain the menu and tell them what it is, we kept the French names but there are no rules, you can call Le Parisien Sandwich: The Parisian, Jambo Beurre, the sandwich with the ham, El Parisino…etc. L.A. is such a multicultural city that I believe there are no rules. I love to hear the stories of customers who have visited France or those who dream of traveling to Europe one day; with the masks and online orders, I have not time to chat with costumers now, but every time we can, is  great to catch up.

One of the biggest struggles is that it’s hard to explain to costumers that we are not a factory. Chef Alex arrives daily at 4.30am to prepare morning pastries, and the only way to have an authentic Brioche is to give it time to proof; weather and temperature in the kitchen changes and in a small kitchen (not a laboratory) Chef Alex’s has to adapt to the conditions to make sure to have it ready by 9am. From 9am to 10am, brioche, chouquettes, pastries start to come out… is amazing how he alone prepares everything while I start to welcome costumers, making coffees and taking online orders. By 10am all pastries are set up and fresh, including our most popular and famous “Kouign Amann”, we don’t display a big bunch, we are not machines; and that is what makes us different. We display a few pastries of each and after 10am, Chef Alex is ready to make sandwiches, salads, crêpes and refill the pastries in case we sell them instant, etc. And by 1pm he starts to produce and prepare for the next day.

When we opened, there where nights we left at midnight and came back to the shop earlier to prepare the day. We had no sleep, there was a moment Chef Alex with no day off, injured his feet. He didn’t expect that with no advertisement his pastries would be so popular instant. We feel so grateful, but it was hard. Gladly Julian joined the team, this young Californian man who learned so quick and has the same precise, passion and dedication as the Chef. Nowadays, it still is a challenge, but now Chef Alex can go home by 6pm, still it is sometimes 12 to 14 hours of work a day. But we believe this is how a small business will grow. For me, it was not easy but the dedication of my husband gave me the daily motivation to keep going.

When the pandemic started and stay at home orders took place in California, we had to close. But during that time, we were able to prepare our Online Orders Menu and prepare with the new CDC health guidelines to reopen. We missed dearly the morning coffee costumers from the offices in the media district, but we are happy to be here for the community of Burbank and for those who had to stay home and work. Offices are reopening and is always a joy to see our costumers coming back.

We still have loads to learned and grow, but gladly costumers love what we do and keep spreading the workaround.”

What else should our readers know?
Cindy: Multiple hats: manager, barista, customer service, shopping, packaging, social media, marketing, admin.

Chef Alex: Chef

We are known for authentic French Food. We don’t do croissants and we do different variety of French Food.

Proud of the freshness and authenticity.

Food made with love, we are not fast food, but orders online tell you at what time the order is ready for pick up.

What were you like growing up?
Chef Alex: Very smart, not very good at school, but he loved his English class and was very social. Since he is 12, he makes Quiche and Crêpes for his friends and family, he loves nothing else but a good chat with a friend, with an espresso coffee and a cigarette.

Cindy Q: Very social and always organizing parties, loves to dance.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

Angel Castellano

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