It’s not just about food.

La Belle Assiette just raised a nice chunk of capital, and for the first time we have real means to match our ambitions. Time is right to tell why I got into this (ad)venture.

I wanted the perfect meal.

(…) Of course, I knew already that the best meal in the world, the perfect meal, is very rarely the most sophisticated or expensive one. I knew how important factors other than technique or rare ingredients can be in the real business of making magic happen at a dinner table. Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life.

(…) I wanted magic. When is food magic?

Anthony Bourdain, A Cook’s Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal, 2001

I know food. I know restaurants. I know chefs. I’ve always been looking for the perfect meal, and I know very well it’s not just about the food.

Five, ten, fifteen years later, I stil remember the perfect atmosphere of some of the luncheons and dinners I was hosting. I remember the private room on the first floor of Taillevent ; le salon Goncourt chez Drouant ; upstairs Comme chez Soi in Brussels ; Smith Barney’s dining room in London, 3 Lombard Street opposite the Bank of England. I can still remember my guest speakers, my clients, my friends. I can still taste Wynants’ Mousse de jambon d’Ardenne” or “La Tarte au chocolat façon Westermann”.

It’s not just about the food.

To be continued…

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