Revolutionary Chefs

New York's best French chefs celebrate Bastille Day.

If the New York food world had royalty, then Jean-Louis Palladin, the chef and proprietor of Palladin, would be among its crown princes. So it was ironic when Palladin, along with his executive chef, Jean-Louis Dumonet, organized a recent get-together with his equally preeminent chef pals to celebrate a peasant revolution. The lineup of guests for the July 14 Bastille Day party--Alain Ducasse, the Michelin Guide's most-starred chef, who is opening Alain Ducasse at the Essex House this summer; Jean-Georges Vongerichten of Jean Georges; Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin; and Christian Delouvrier of Lespinasse--left almost every major French restaurant in New York in the hands of a sous-chef. For a few hours one rainy afternoon, the modern penthouse at The Time Hotel in Times Square, where Palladin's restaurant is located, was turned into a Place du Village. Instead of cooking the ultrasophisticated food he's famed for, Palladin put together a buffet of country dishes: artichokes with an olive-anchovy dip, a chicken-liver terrine, tuna with a chunky vegetable sauce and a clafoutis of summer berries. The chefs celebrated the anniversary of the French Revolution by eating, drinking and, of course, playing boules, the traditional bowling game of the French provinces.

PUBLISHED July 2000

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