Concierge Corner: Nouvelle was the breakaway from the heavy, overly strict and conservative approach to classic traditions in France that they felt hampered creativity. As a true foodie, I would like to acquaint my readers with this type of cuisine. Great European chefs like Paul Bocuse, Andre Gayot and Christian Millau sparked a new view of the dining experience. They wanted the meal to be more creative and lighter and they were, to a degree, shunned by many food authorities as a result. This movement didn’t happen as long ago as you might think, it became official in 1969 and the influence was already hitting the United States in the mid to late 70’s. A huge determining factor that motivated them is the same ‘brass ring’ that motivates chefs today…a Michelin rating. The Michelin Guide has only been in the US for a few years but it goes back for decades in Europe. To achieve a Michelin rating the restaurant MUST have exemplary standards for both their food and their service. Well, back in those days the Michelin Guide did not give even 1 star (the premium rating from Michelin would be 3 stars) for any chef that broke from the traditional standards that in today’s world we simply take for granted. Well the chefs I mentioned thumbed their nose at the Michelin Guide and started their own prized guide that they published as Le Nouveau Guide in 1969. Fortunately, things continue to evolve and oddly enough, chefs that demonstrate creativity and execute their menu with precision are highly regarded by the Michelin Guide today. The thoughtful approach of those revolutionary chefs has truly paved the way to acceptance of creativity and art in cuisine. Today, chefs like Thomas Keller, Eric Ripert, Daniel Boulud and Christopher Kostow all have achieved the highest rating from the Michelin Guide…3 stars, and the influence of Nouvelle Cuisine can be seen across the plates of each of these chefs as well as across the plates of chefs in all parts of the Western world and beyond.
Concierge Corner by Torrence Crable
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