Posted 06 August 2002 - 10:26 PM
Leslie, this is sort of a follow up to a response you gave where you noted that you felt the establishments you visited in France paled in comparison to Daniel--both in terms of service and the food itself. Although we had eaten in the first Restaurant Daniel not long after it opened, I first recall meeting Daniel Boulud in 1995 or so and it was late in that year that I had a chance to talk to a few of his cooks. I found that opportunity very interesting. One of my questions asked of a cusinier who had come from France was about how his experience in the kitchen of what was one the most highly respected French kitchens in New York, would look on his resume. His response in 1995 was that in terms of his career back in France, his opportunity to improve his English would be an asset especially if he moved to management or the front of the house, but that the time he spent in the kitchen would be seen as if he had stopped working in a restaurant. No one in France had any interest or respect for restaurants in America. Some five or so years later after a recent visit to France, we were talking and he spoke of the respect and vip treatment he had received at some of the great restaurants in Paris and the provinces--by this time he had been executive chef of Daniel's catering division and executive sous chef at Daniel. I asked him if he remembered our first conversation and he said he did and that the attitude of French cooks towards American restaurants and chefs had changed drastically. By the time you were writing your book a tremendous change had occurred in the way French chefs viewed their counterparts in America. Was this evident and was it evident that this was a new thing, or had the new status become taken for granted so quickly?
Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.
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