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Lucas Carton → Alain Senderens


Mao
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A toast to Mr Brown and Mr Talbott. Very nicely put, glad you said it and I didn't.

Finally, given your binational knowledge and experience, do you share my sense that Italian places feel less pressure than French ones to keep moving forward and are more committed, in the best of senses, to maintaining their tradition and focus?

Possibly because France is an old hat for fine dining to some and Italy's fine dining scene is in the discovery sense for travelers I mean. I don't know much about Italian dining on any level. I've only been to the country once. I've never had simply fantastic Italian food outside of Italy that even comes close.

So the old toque in order to continue being written about for those who care about reading about such things has to continue to pull new tricks out of the toque. I'm being a bit playful here with words. I don't mean to imply that they are all 'simply' tricks or that new things are bad. But I have said in the past that I do not believe in pursuing innovation for it's own sake.

But the essence of dining in Italy at the restaurants that have the qualities you refer to above are those that have proven themselves over generations and respect the traditions while often having a refreshing degree of sober modernism or interpretation.

I am thinking of Lyon when I read this. The traditional mold is a bit too tight for some. I believe that a sense of tradition is necessary before a chef can fly (not to close to the sun). Lyon barely changes, generations go to the same places. I don't see this in America where the audience gets tired after 5 years if it can last that long.

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I hope I'm not pouring gasoline on the fire or goring too many oxes when I second your opinion about the paucity of informed folk in France (and maybe in the US too).

I think we can engage in such discussions without it degenerating into an Internal food fight with flames thrown all over the place. I don't see any gasoline or goring in anything that you and Mr Brown have said.

Perhaps touching on the historical aspects regarding the restaurant scenes of various countries are needed to understand what is going on now. It's too simplistic to say that the French chef is bored. Why is he bored or boring? (I can be exceedingly boring at times, but I don't agree that French cuisine is boring) How can he move out of this so called boring International Style? Why is he there in the first place?

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It’s interesting how the good Spanish and Italian (and Swiss) chefs just bop along doing what they want to do, or have to do, without anyone getting all hot and breathy. If a chef in those countries gets a star or loses a star, relatively few followers of the food scene really care.

Michelin is after all, a French publication. It's not just that its effect is greatest in France, but that it mimics the French concerns with restaurants. Thus there may be some problem separating the chicken and the egg here.

I don't know dining and eating in restaurants in Italy well enough to say much and certainly not enough to say anything bright. In Barcelona, I was taken aback to discover Ca L'Isidre after a casual mention by a trusted source. I had expected a much simpler bistro and even lower prices from a place not even mentioned in Michelin. Later I learned that Ca L'Isidre has two "suns" from Campsa which awards one to three "soles" to restaurants it deems worthy. Campsa also has a "recommended" category so the number of suns is at least the equivalent to Michelin stars. Ca L'Isidre is too good and too well known to have escaped attention of Michelin. I suspect there's a story there.

Otherwise, throughout Spain chefs bandy their Michelin stars if they've been lucky enough to get some. I suspect those stars mean more to the international tourists than they do to the local connoisseurs. I'm hampered by not speaking Spanish, although my wife's first language is Spanish and she has her professional travel contacts in Spain which offer some insight into tourism. I wear a few blinders as well in Spain simply because of the accessibility I've had to selected local connoisseurs. That's broadening largely as a result of being able to meet eGullet Society members of different stripes.

What I sense is Spain, when I can get away from the tourists, even the gastrotourists, is a profound interest in food that's quite different from the one in France. I see a greater tie to the local traditions running parallel with an inquisitive acceptance of new ideas. We heard one woman at a local but respected country inn describe a dish to her five table companions as "'nouvelle' cocina," the other week in a way that implied the sixty something year old was telling her companions she was hip.

Spain's best restaurants are not usually located in nice country inns. It doesn't lend itself to neat touring packages suitable to the motoring gastronome the way France does. It's basically not Michelin country. Now that the drive from Paris to Nice no longer requires stopovers let alone multiple stopovers, France is changing too. Saulieu and Vienne are no longer ideal places in which to have a restaurant, unless there's local support. Spain is however, mimicking France in the R&C properties and the luxurious three star restaurants.

I think the "food scene" is relatively new in Spain in terms of the French model, but yes, to get back to your premise, the gain or loss of a star seems to mean far less to a restaurant whose trade is local and not dependent on foreign tourism. The most astute three star French chefs have long realized they are playing to an international audience whose attendance is predicated on high scores from Michelin and, for a while, GaultMillau. Michelin doesn't have that power in Spain, but as the best restaurants in northern Spain become more and more the targets of traveling foreigners, things may change. We've heard an awful lot of English and French spoken at Can Roca located in an odd location in the suburbs of Girona. Roca seems to be his own man, but so too has Bras. In fact, Bras is the French chef who seems to be most revered in Spain.

Robert Buxbaum

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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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Today's IHT has an article by Roger Cohen on the Senderens proposal.  To those who have followed the coverage, it probably offers nothing new, but it is a nice summary in English.

Senderens says it's not about the money, but that "he has had enough of the stress of perfection." I don't know that it's not about the money and things are never as simple as anyone wants to paint them, but I'll buy the bit about having enough of the stress of perfection. It doesn't negate perfection, even as it recognizes that perfection is not necessarily going to make a dish taste better. Much of what he's saying seems to mimic what Robuchon has been saying since he first announced his intention to retire.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

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.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Michelin is after all, a French publication.

I hope I'm not wandering into marshy waters here but I think your point is the reason one turns to other sources (Gambero Rosso, Campsa, TimeOut, etc) outside France. On the other hand, as you also said, one can find interesting food at Bib Gourmands outside the main cities in, say, Spain.

John Talbott

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Michelin is after all, a French publication.

On the other hand, as you also said, one can find interesting food at Bib Gourmands outside the main cities in, say, Spain.

We, all of us, myself included, fall into a trap when we think of Michelin's purpose as simply a guide to the stars. Precisely because Michelin has failed to locate the stars in Spain to my satisfaction we traveled without it there recently and missed having a copy to locate a restaurant near a hotel when were tired at night, to guide us to our hotel or through town while driving on and in other not so subtle ways that had nothing to do with restaurants worthy a voyage or even a detour. On several occasions we might have paid twice the price had someone on the side of the road had one for sale. When you want a book, you notice that there are no book shops by corn fields and no parking near where there are books for sale. Once you're safely parked and able to ask directions at the front desk of your hotel, you forget or think you won't need the guide again tomorrow. How quickly we forget.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

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.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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It’s Macy’s and Gimbels time all over again. In today’s New York Times, Elaine Sciolino has an article called “Whose Stars are they anyway” which repeats the Senderens/Gaertner story as well as Jean-Luc Naret’s repeated insistence that Michelin owns the stars. New to me (or at the least, demonstrating failed memory time), Maxim’s tried the same thing (successfully) in 1977.

John Talbott

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It’s Macy’s and Gimbels time all over again.[...]

I'm from New York and remember Gimbel's, but I still don't know what you mean.

Monday the WSJ-Europe ran an article so like the NYT's today, which was so like the IHT last week that it reminded me of Macy and Gimbels' competition. Sorry for the obtuseness.

John Talbott

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Monday the WSJ-Europe ran an article so like the NYT's today, which was so like the IHT last week that it reminded me of Macy and Gimbels' competition.  Sorry for the obtuseness.

John, I believe the similarity with the IHT and the NY Times is due to the fact that the Times owns and publishes the IHT...

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The NY Times and the IHT often run the same articles. Across the page from the article Whose Stars Are They, Anyway? was an advertisement from Sherry-Lehmann, the established upscale wine merchants on Madison Avenue. It featured Champagnes from Alain Senderens' Michelin three star Lucas Carton. Will Chef Senderens be marketing Beaujolais next year or tea? There are some marketing perqs that come with owning a three star restaurant.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

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.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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The NY Times and the IHT often run the same articles. Across the page from the article Whose Stars Are They, Anyway? was an advertisement from Sherry-Lehmann, the established upscale wine merchants on Madison Avenue. It featured Champagnes from Alain Senderens' Michelin three star Lucas Carton. Will Chef Senderens be marketing Beaujolais next year or tea? There are some marketing perqs that come with owning a three star restaurant.

The three bore different bylines.

Edited by John Talbott (log)

John Talbott

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...
John Talbott said:
Tony Higgins said:
walked past lucas carton on saturday - the front is all boarded up

 

 

 

 

This morning in the Wall Street Journal's first weekend edition in over two decades, Stan Sesser announced that the new version of Lucas Carton will open Monday Sept 19.  Here's a picture from a menu during the heydays!WP_20160207_001.thumb.jpg.087865de9296b1

 

 

 

 

Judging by the new website (still at old address www.lucascarton.com) the restaurant will no longer be called Lucas Carton, it will instead be named Senderens.

Edited by mdibiaso (log)
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...and I'll be eating there today for lunch!

Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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...and I'll be eating there today for lunch!

Let us know what it is like and how it is please!!

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

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...and I'll be eating there today for lunch!

Almost two weeks later and no report. Should we assume it was a meal not worth mentioning?

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

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.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Sorry! I didn't go because the reservation was given to my by someone else, however , as the restaurant didn't answer their phones, I couldn't make the switch!! I'll be going very soon, however, and a few of my friends and clients have given Senderens excellent reviews. A few pictures may be found on this blog, for those who are interested:

Food Hack

Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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