Chefs, like Jedi Knights and Sith Lords, begin their careers apprenticed to a master, whom they eventually grow to replace. In the case of European chefs, these masters might cast a shadow over their whole career — especially given that, unlike New York circa 2008, a chef might not get his own major restaurant until middle age. So Crème de la Crème, a huge benefit being held for Citymeals-on-Wheels on June 16, is particularly special for any student of transatlantic gastronomy. Our great chefs will be paying tribute to their mentors by cooking one of their signature dishes, and in some cases the chef will be there in person. So Bill Peet, of Patroon, will make a smoked-salmon mousse in tribute to his mentor, André Soltner, as well as a dish representing his own mastery — in this case, smoked prawns with roasted tomato and mango vinaigrettes. Charlie Palmer will pay homage to Jean-Jacques Rachou; Daniel Boulud to George Blanc and Paul Bocuse; Tom Colicchio to André Daguin. Obviously, this is a can’t-miss event for devotees of the old school, and we’re told that tickets are still available. They’re $600 a pop and can be had via the event’s Website.
André Soltner and Bill Peet at Lutèce, back in the day.