Anthony, Jose and Michel

  • Posted on November 17, 2006 at 9:34 pm

Last night we went to a lecture offered by the Smithsonian Resident’s Associates program entitled Three Chefs and How They Learned to Cook, featuring Anthony Bourdain, Jose Andres and Michel Richard. I learned about the event from DC Foodies, a local blogger who writes about his adventures with food. Larry and I are are really big fans of Anthony Bourdain–he hosts a show on the travel channel called No Reservations. It’s a gritty, down-to-earth travel and food show where Anthony, a chef and author, travels to exotic locales looking for “real” food experiences. He eats what the locals eat, whether it’s kimchi (spoiled cabbage) in Korea or foie gras in Montreal. And speaking of foie gras in Montreal, his visit to Au Pied de Cochon on the Montreal episode is what inspired Larry and I go to Montreal this past August and visit that exact restaurant and eat foie gras. I am designing a Midwest episode for the show that I will soon propose to Anthony and his producers, where Larry and I will be his hosts as we take him to some uniquely Hoosier-style restaurants. So as you can see, we really are big fans. Oh, and Jose Andres and Michel Richard are local chefs who own a handful of fabulous restaurants, some of which we have yet to try. We’ve been to Minibar, one of Jose’s restaurants, and that was an experience we’ll never forget–it was 30 courses of experimental one and two-bite dishes.

The lecture was amazing! I was in awe when Anthony Bourdain walked on stage, larger than life–and large he was, at probably around 6′5″, tall and lanky, looking a bit nervous and out of his element. The three chefs bantered back and fourth, and Jose Andres didn’t miss any opportunity to herald the glories of his homeland Spain. These three chefs are truly masters of their art. And to them, it really is an art. What amazed me was the true passion that these three have for their profession, Michel Richard especially. Richard stated that the worst part about being a chef was delivering the bill at the end of the meal. This man loves cooking so much that he wished he didn’t have to charge people, because his gratification comes in seeing people truly enjoy his food. He wakes up every morning and he is excited to go to work, to cook and to feed. At the end of the lecture, I asked Larry if it made him miss being a chef and surprisingly, he said no.

After the lecture, we headed up Pennsylvania Avenue to Brasserie Les Halles, Anthony Bourdain’s D.C. installment of his NYC French-bistro style restaurant. We had a bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau, Steak Frites and Profiteroles (me) and Molten Chocolate Lava Cake (Larry). The atmosphere did remind me of a bustling Parisien cafe, with close tables, brisk servers and dim lights. The Steak Frites was just okay–the unidentifiable cut of meat was chewy and gristly. The fries were delicious though, and the desserts were fabulous. Although Anthony, if you are reading, the menu says the profiteroles are made of puff pastry–since when are profiteroles made of puff pastry? The server confirmed that it was puff pastry, but when I received the dessert, it was in fact made from a pate a choux dough, the standard for profiteroles everywhere else.

Jose and Michel, we’ll be visiting your restaurants very soon!

2 Comments on Anthony, Jose and Michel

  1. Jose Andres

    I will love to see you in any of my other restaurants!

    thanks foryour comments and I really hope you really enjoyed!

    Jose Andres

  2. Maya

    Thank you for that story. I am a fan of Anthony Bourdain’s writing and really enjoyed hearing about the food at Les Halles.

    I recently moved to Hawaii and am looking for good food. It’s here, we just have to find it. If you have heard of anything, send a message.

    Thanks again, maya

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