In November 1995, a series of general strikes against the new French government’s agenda was paralyzing the country’s transportation. There was no postal service, no bus, no metro. At the time, I was working at Smith Barney, Place Vendôme, and every morning I would hitch a ride to work. One morning a car stopped and the driver told me he was on his way to Drouant, where he was “chef adjoint”. His name: Yannick Alléno.
Yannick Alléno got his first Michelin star in 1999 and his second in 2002. In 2003, he took over the kitchens of Le Meurice -my old stomping ground for entertaining clients- where he received a second Michelin star in 2004, and a third in 2007. After 10 years, he left Le Meurice for Ledoyen.
Chef Alléno strives to reinvent sauces, “the expression of an evolved cuisine”, the French culinary exception. Over the years, he has perfected a technique of extractions that results in intense and ultra-pure “jus” that celebrate great products. At the beginning of the month, Chef Alléno was once again crowned with three Michelin stars.
Today, I tip my hat to a great Chef, and a good sport.
La Belle Assiette chefs may not be as decorated as Yannick Alléno, but I’m sure a private chef experience would make a great Valentine’s Day dinner.
L.T. Sachs is a sauce-loving member of La Belle Assiette board.