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Retirement of Le Bec-Fin's George Perrier


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Reading of the recently-announced retirement of Le Bec-Fin's George Perrier prompted me to recall a truly memorable evening at Le Bec-Fin in 1985, and to wax slightly nostalgic about the place.

I was a senior in college, and my girlfriend's affluent and cosmopolitan father took us to dinner at Le Bec-Fin. Even then I loved eating out, and tracking down great new places or those long treasured by locals. But until that night I viewed the restaurant experience as primarily craft and not art.

While I don't remember the details of the meal, I do recall how widely that night opened my eyes to the artistry, inventiveness, finesse, and passion that a great chef could bring to bear in creating a fine dining experience, and I believe it had a permanent and enriching effect on the way I've viewed and sought out such experiences ever since. I do still remember the moment toward the end of the evening when George Perrier came to our table to say hello and inquire about our meal, and how he was simultaneously witty and charming but intent on ensuring that it had been as superlative as he intended.

I still seek out great restaurant moments, and love the perfect diner in many ways just as much as the finest 4-star. But Le Bec-Fin expanded my horizons dramatically, and I'm still grateful to George Perrier for that.


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