27 June, 2009

Living Legend

For anyone out there who doesn't know who Paul Bocuse is, he's basically the original celebrity chef. He's the first chef-owner to name a restaurant for himself and step out of the kitchen and into the spotlight.

The Bocuse d'Or, an international cooking competition dubbed the "Culinary Olympics," is named for him.

He is a living legend.

Last month, my friend Gayle went to France with a friend who had won this really cool river cruise vacation, and one of their stops was Bocuse's restaurant in Lyon. She had e-mailed me before she went and asked if I had ever heard of the restaurant, and I basically sent her back 500 words with no punctuation breathlessly explaining who Bocuse is, and how freaking lucky she was. ("oh yeah, and I hate you.")

Upon her return, she sent me another e-mail about her lunch, and how her friend had told everyone about how Gayle used to work at The Restaurant. She struck up a broken-English conversation with one of the waiters, who had worked for a time at Chefs de France at Epcot (which is run by Jerome Bocuse - his son), and was familiar with The Restaurant as well as The Chef. My name came up somewhere in there, as in "my friend Jamie works there..." And when the waiter asked if she'd like a signed menu to take back to her friend, she jumped on it.

Gayle says she guesses the waiter didn't understand as much of the conversation as she had thought, and she debated whether to send the menu to me at all. I'll call it a happy accident, that my husband and The Chef should share the same first name, and therefore HE got a really cool gift from France. It's actually better, because Scott loves cooking so much more than I do. I think he almost misted up a bit when he pulled the menu out of the envelope.
Plus, the menu is cool enough looking (all those circles are the same shiny gold as the edge) that I'd actually consider framing it and hanging it in our kitchen...when we have a kitchen with actual wall space! Our autograph from a living legend definitely deserves to be seen!

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