All posts tagged: pursuits

Paul Bocuse, French Chef Who Became Cultural Star, Dies at 91

Paul Bocuse, who became one of the 20th century’s most influential chefs by building on the traditions of French haute cuisine with a distinctive style that emphasized simplicity and freshness, has died. He was 91.

He died Saturday at Collonges-au-Mont-d’or, the Associated Press said, citing a statement from French President Emmanuel Macron. Bocuse had Parkinson’s disease.

In lending his name and advice to restaurants around the world, Bocuse fashioned a template followed by chefs such as Alain Ducasse, Joel Robuchon and Gordon Ramsay.
 
Bocuse “started things for this modern era of the chef as cultural star,” Michael Ruhlman wrote in “The Reach of a Chef,” his 2006 book. “Bocuse was really the first to play to the media and begin to elevate the chef’s standing toward what it is today.’

Yet he never lost touch with his roots, retaining three Michelin stars for more than four decades at his flagship establishment near his birthplace outside Lyon, France. Still on the menu is his most famous dish, Black Truffle Soup V.G.E.

He opened a chain of eateries, Les Brasseries Bocuse, across France. Not content with being a star at home, he traveled the world, lending his name to restaurants from Florida to Hong Kong, and acting as an ambassador for French cooking. He set up a scholarship with the Culinary Institute of America and founded the Bocuse d’Or World Cuisine Contest as well as an institute for culinary arts. He was also the author of several cookbooks, including La Cuisine du Marche, in 1980.

Bocuse said that he hadn’t revolutionized French cooking, only simplified it after a period marked by “the heavy meals and the rich sauces of the Escoffier school,” according to a 1972 article in the New York Times.

“First-rate raw materials are the very foundation of good cooking,” he said. “Give the greatest cook in the world second-rate materials and the best he can produce from them is second-rate food.”

Bocuse was born into a family of restaurateurs on Feb. 11, 1926, at Collonges-au-Mont-d’Or, in eastern France, where the main food market is named after him. It was there that he shopped for produce from local characters such as the cheese maker Mere Richard and the pork butchers Colette Sibilia and Gast. His ancestors had been known for their cooking as far back as in 1765.

He went to work in 1942 in a restaurant in Lyon. In 1944, he enlisted in the First French Division and, in World War II combat, was shot in Alsace, where he received transfusions in an American field hospital. In later decades, especially as he became popular in the U.S., he enjoyed pointing out that he had American blood in him.

In 1948, he began work under chef Fernand Point, whose reliance on the freshest products available each day shaped Bocuse’s views.
 
In 1959, Bocuse saved the family restaurant from ruin and made L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges Restaurant Paul Bocuse a dining destination. It is there that you can still order Soupe aux Truffes Noires V.G.E., which Bocuse created in 1975 for then-President Valery Giscard d’Estaing at an Elysee Palace banquet.
 
In 1966, a year after winning his third Michelin star, Bocuse succeeded in buying back his great-grandparents’ old restaurant and placing it under the family wing. He named it the Abbaye de Collonges.
 
Bocuse was named a knight in the French Legion of Honor in 1975, and a commander in 2004.
 
He was married for more than 60 years to Raymonde, but unashamedly kept two long-term mistresses and enjoyed other liaisons, according to an interview in the Daily Telegraph.
 
“It would not be everyone’s idea of married life, but everyone gets on,” the newspaper quoted him as saying in 2005. “They are all happy, with me and with each other, and if I add up the time we have spent together as couples, it comes to 145 years.”
 
“These days I feel best surrounded by nature, beside my lake, with my dogs and friends,” Bocuse said in the interview at Collonges. “I regret nothing, save perhaps the pain I may have given the women of my life. I hope they will forgive me.”

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/

    adminadminPaul Bocuse, French Chef Who Became Cultural Star, Dies at 91
    read more

    Atlanta Falcons Broke the Rules of Stadium Food and It Paid Off

    When the Atlanta Falcons announced the food prices at their new $1.5 billion stadium — $2 hot dogs and sodas, $3 nachos, $5 beer — fans loved it, and people in other cities started pushing their local ownership groups to follow suit.

    Falcons owner Arthur Blank had made a calculated bet that what the organization lost in markup, it would recoup in volume — fans would come earlier, stay longer and buy enough food to make up the difference.

    He was half-right. About 6,000 more fans per game entered the stadium earlier than they did in 2016, and in general, the venue sold as much food by the end of the first quarter of Falcons games as it did in full games in 2016. Fans also gave the Falcons the highest satisfaction rating in the NFL for food and beverages, up from No. 18 in 2016, and the highest rating for security satisfaction, in part the result of lines made shorter by all the early entries.

    They also bought more food — sales were up 53 percent — and each fan spent, on average, 16 percent more on concessions. It wasn’t enough to offset the drop in prices, though. The team made less on concessions in 2017 than it did the year before, according Steve Cannon, chief executive officer of AMB Group, the company through which Blank owns the team.

    “Sure, we could shake out a few more dollars of margin under the old model, but we believe that the direction we’ve taken, given all the other positive benefits, is the bigger revenue play, period,” Cannon said.

    Atlanta’s pricing, part of a unique partnership with concessionaire Levy Restaurants, is a dramatic departure from standard prices in NFL stadiums. At $2, hot dogs at Falcons home games cost less than half the league average $5.19, according to the 2016 Team Marketing Report. The league’s average price for a beer was $7.38, with the San Francisco 49ers charging over $10.

    While no other major sports franchise has replicated the plan, they are taking note. Cannon said “dozens” of team owners and venues have called asking for more details on the pricing strategy.

    The team’s 2018 goal is to improve efficiency and expand the menu. Cannon said he believes that eventually, the Falcons’ food and beverage profit will eclipse its 2016 numbers. “This is just a first report card,” Cannon said. “And it says that we changed the dynamic inside of an industry that was fairly set in its ways, it’s having an amazing impact on our fans’ satisfaction, and, oh by the way, spending per person did go up. The system-wide impacts are great.”

      Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/

      adminadminAtlanta Falcons Broke the Rules of Stadium Food and It Paid Off
      read more