Inaki, Jégo and Camdeborde, head of the line at Shake Shack. When your day starts with breakfast with Pierre Gagnaire at the Mandarin Oriental, you might imagine it’s all downhill from there. Not so fast. At lunchtime, there I was standing on the long line at Shake Shack in Madison Square Park with three of Paris’s coolest chefs: Yves Camdeborde of Le Comptoir, Inaki Aizpitarte of Le Chateaubriand and Stéphane Jégo of L’Ami Jean. They’re in town for Le Fooding D'Amour, a France-comes-to-NYC event that brings together 12 chefs, three mixologists, two butchers, two DJs, a vintner and lots of Champagne at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center this Friday and Saturday night, September 25 and 26. (Tickets, which cost $30, are still available at the door at the event.) Yeah, it’s going to be amazing.
At Shack Shack, Inaki (who is generally considered to be Paris’s rock star chef) dipped his fries in mustard; Camdeborde preferred the Shack-cago Dog to the Shack burger; and Jégo ate everything on the table and called it a tasting menu. Afterward we decamped to the new Ace Hotel, had some Stumptown mochas and got a tour of the upcoming Breslin space from co-owner Ken Friedman. Momofuku chef-owner David Chang, who’s an Inaki groupie, tagged along, too. Their friendship goes back to a sustainable food conference in Copenhagen that, from what little I heard, sounds like it was the basis for The Hangover.