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Gavin Convery

Le Cinq in the George Cinq

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I thought he lost the 3rd star a year or two ago. Guess perhaps he was waiting to see if he got it back this year. Will be interesting to see what the hotel does - what direction it goes in. Will it try to maintain the old menu with a new chef - or try something entirely new. It's April now - so it can use the summer busy but somewhat touristy season to come up with something - and hit the ground running in the fall. It's an opportunity to make a big splash - or a big flop. Robyn

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they sya they will have a replacement shortly. The story is like with MacCain: temper. It was the story even before the loss of the third star and it even seems to be the cause of the loss of the third star. I have been hearing rumors that Legendre was leaving for a while, from insiders and people who worked with him. Apparently there has long been a trade-off between hiw bad relationships with the Four Seasons people and the exceptinoal corking conditions he enjoyed there. Maybe they'll offer the job to the neighbour Chef Briffard? He sure deserves it.

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Latest rumors are that Legendre actually left the Four Seasons escorted by the police and handcuffed. They're just rumors but they say something about the bad climate going on backstage for years.

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That's a bit too much if it's true. After all, it's just cooking ... people should be happy and enjoy it. Any history of Legendre's bad temper prior he came to Le Cinq?

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He wouldn't be the first chef with a temper problem. Remember the stories about Tom Aikens? Robyn

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The handcuff story is pure BS. There is a story behind it, and it's been going on for weeks and I have no intention to comment on the reason for the firing. The team will go on as they are under the eye of Lionel, Legendre's second. I guess everyone's heard the Robuchon rumor...but this all had nothing to do with the loss of the third star..

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Thanks for clearing the air fresh_a; if anyone is to be believed on this subject it should certainly be you.

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I would think there would be something more concrete as opposed to these vague rumors. We have a reservation at the hotel in October. Only about 850 euros a night. And one would expect a hotel with prices like that to have the dining room in order. Not stories about a chef being led out in hand-cuffs - or that another famous chef might be interested in taking over. If they can't run the expensive dining room in an orderly fashion - what can one expect of housekeeping? As a future guest - I find the entire matter disconcerting. Robyn

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The dining room is in order. Four Seasons George V isn't the best hotel in the world for nothing. Everything is as it was under Legendre's lieutenant and team. I'm sure the replacement will carry on the same high standards.

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they sya they will have a replacement shortly. The story is like with MacCain: temper. It was the story even before the loss of the third star and it even seems to be the cause of the  loss of the third star. I have been hearing rumors that Legendre was leaving for a while, from insiders and people who worked with him. Apparently there has long been a trade-off between hiw bad relationships with the Four Seasons people and the exceptinoal corking conditions he enjoyed there. Maybe they'll offer the job to the neighbour Chef Briffard? He sure deserves it.

You know the gods listen to me. The website of Le Bottin Gourmand is just announcing that Chef Briffard would be taking over le Cinq. That would be a great news for that man, who was on the verge of getting his third star when he was ousted from the Plaza in 2000 just to make room for el maestro. Few chefs are as talented as Briffard and he knows will -- would have -- the means he deserves to express his talent. This is subject to confirmation, but my bottom line would be this: yipppee!!!!

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You know the gods listen to me. The website of Le Bottin Gourmand is just announcing that Chef Briffard would be taking over le Cinq. That would be a great news for that man, who was on the verge of getting his third star when he was ousted from the Plaza in 2000 just to make room for el maestro. Few chefs are as talented as Briffard and he knows will -- would have -- the means he deserves to express his talent. This is subject to confirmation, but my bottom line would be this: yipppee!!!!

I had exactly the same reaction that you had! Robyn

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You know the gods listen to me. The website of Le Bottin Gourmand is just announcing that Chef Briffard would be taking over le Cinq. That would be a great news for that man, who was on the verge of getting his third star when he was ousted from the Plaza in 2000 just to make room for el maestro. Few chefs are as talented as Briffard and he knows will -- would have -- the means he deserves to express his talent. This is subject to confirmation, but my bottom line would be this: yipppee!!!!

I had exactly the same reaction that you had! Robyn

He won't have far to to either!!

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You know the gods listen to me. The website of Le Bottin Gourmand is just announcing that Chef Briffard would be taking over le Cinq. That would be a great news for that man, who was on the verge of getting his third star when he was ousted from the Plaza in 2000 just to make room for el maestro. Few chefs are as talented as Briffard and he knows will -- would have -- the means he deserves to express his talent. This is subject to confirmation, but my bottom line would be this: yipppee!!!!

I had exactly the same reaction that you had! Robyn

He won't have far to to either!!

Julien, I know it's to be confirmed, but have you heard anything about whether the front of house team will be transplanted as well or just Briffard and cooks?


Edited by Julian Teoh (log)

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Sethd, you're right. They're so close he could run both restaurants at the same time.

Julian, I'd love to play insiders like some do. But while I did have a few fascinating talks with chef Briffard because we share a passion for food (and a dedication to his restaurant), my source is the website of le Bottin Gourmand and those big chefs guys just don't call me when they make big choices. I don't know why that is.

Based on Internet forums as well, it seems that the news is actually subject not only to confirmation, but to chef Briffard accepting.

When I talked with him last month about this kind of opportunity, he highlighted the need to find a balance between your freedom and the means you have, and that he bewared of too glowy offers. At les Elysées, he has little means, but at the same time it is a small team, he only deals with the restaurant, which is only open mon night thru fri night. At Le Cinq, he will never be short on staff or means (never a tarp on the roof again, like in les Elysées these days), but he will have to deal with an 80 persons brigade, oversee room service, banquets and private dining rooms, as well as the bar and gallerie, not to mention a 365/7 top restaurant. So I'm not surprised that he would hesitate and negotiate, as focusing on top dining is his life, not running a luxury factory.

Hell, I don't know what I wish he chooses -- if he goes to le Cinq, having his food will cost twice as much as it does now.

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Hell, I don't know what I wish he chooses -- if he goes to le Cinq, having his food will cost twice as much as it does now.

Maybe I'm a little bit too much down-to-earth, but that's exactly what I thought when I read your post about Briffard going to Le Cinq. Or, more precisely "time to pick up the phone and have dinner at les Elysées ASAP!".

I had a reservation at les Elysées last year that was cancelled at the last minute (it was when they renovated the dining room, it took longer than planned, apparently), and haven't tried to go there ever since, as I thought I would have plenty of time to do so. Looks like I was wrong, and I still want to taste Briffard's cuisine.

Any idea of the timing? I mean, if he indeed goes to Le Cinq, would it be in the next few weeks, or in a few months? I guess it's the former, but I don't know anything about this kind of job...

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I think we're talking days if the news if confirmed. But in my experience, last chance dinner are already too late.

So, that raises another question: who is gonna take over Les Elysées' kitchen?

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Nothing confirmed yet, but looking more and more imminent..

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At Le Cinq, he will never be short on staff or means (never a tarp on the roof again, like in les Elysées these days), but he will have to deal with an 80 persons brigade, oversee room service, banquets and private dining rooms, as well as the bar and gallerie, not to mention a 365/7 top restaurant. So I'm not surprised that he would hesitate and negotiate, as focusing on top dining is his life, not running a luxury factory.

Hell, I don't know what I wish he chooses -- if he goes to le Cinq, having his food will cost twice as much as it does now.

Your first point isn't certain to to me. When I go to luxury hotels - sometimes the chef in charge of the main dining room is also in charge of everything else (from room service to banquets). Sometimes - he's not. Depends on the hotel - and the chef.

The second point is. We'll be staying at the Four Seasons this fall - and it is definitely expensive compared to other places (more so in terms of dining than rooms - I read an article somewhere that the top hotels in Paris had been accused in recent years of fixing the prices of the rooms - no matter which top hotel you stay at - you can expect to pay X euros - give or take a few). Robyn

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About what the chef has to do: My argument was based on the fact that Legendre used to do what I describe, as do their obvious competitors Roth at le Ritz and Fréchon at le Bristol. Maybe that's precisely what Briffard is negotiating right now. In les Elysées he clearly does not care about room service or the bar and is entirely devoted to the restaurant.

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About what the chef has to do: My argument was based on the fact that Legendre used to do what I describe, as do their obvious competitors Roth at le Ritz and Fréchon at le Bristol. Maybe that's precisely what Briffard is negotiating right now. In les Elysées he clearly does not care about room service or the bar and is entirely devoted to the restaurant.

I had heard that one of the challenges that Gordon Ramsay Holdings (GRH) had had in London was that one of the requirements of taking over a hotel kitchen like the Connaught, Claridges, The Savoy etc is that the kitchen has to do breakfasts and room service. Obviously a challenge for a chef focussed on the lunch and dinner service no matter how large their kitchen brigade. Rumour has it that this is one of the reasons GRH gave up on The Connaught and Angela Hartnet moved on.

As a result we can now look forward to Hélène Darroze opening at The Connaught in June.

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Do Alleno and Piege do the same thing as Frechon and Roth at their respective hotels?

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I don't think so -- their restaurant is not open 365/7 anyway, but like a more traditional restaurant. Alléno oversees the new brasserie, though, and I don't know what role he plays for room service and breakfast. If you go to l'Obelisque, the brasserie of the Crillon, it does not feel like Piège is directly involved, though he must have some kind of involvement.


Edited by julot-les-pinceaux (log)

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