Paris, 1997 – Reading about the passing of acclaimed French chef, Alain Senderens (1939 – June 2017), brought back memories of my first three Michelin stars dining experiences. “The New York Times called him a founding father of Nouvelle Cuisine. Le Figaro credited him as the inventor of food and wine pairings.”
“Senderens worked at renowned restaurants – La Tour D’Argent and Lucas Carton, which he later acquired….In 1968, Senderens opened L’Archestrate in Paris, and it earned three Michelin stars in 1978. He was the chef at Lucas Carton from 1985 to 2005, when he acquired ownership of the three Michelin stars restaurant and renamed it Senderens. In 2005, he became the first chef to hand back his three Michelin stars. “ (Source: Wikipedia)
My first experiences with three Michelin stars restaurants occurred in 1997. That was the era when one still had to write a fax or phone the restaurant to secure a reservation. I enlisted the help of my French teacher to compose a simple fax in French, and I still recall receiving the fax with elegant logo from each restaurant. Unfortunately, I do not have any photos of the food, but I have a few distinct memories.
Lucas Carton – I had the degustation menu lunch (in French Francs then, but equivalent to Eur100) on a sunny winter afternoon. Every course was delicious, and the service was simply impeccable. I remembered one dish in particular – steamed foie gras wrapped inside a thin layer of Savoy cabbage. It was a dainty green parcel on a plate. I recall thinking, “this is so delicate, just amazing!”
I took a few photos of myself outside Lucas Carton , inside a charming period building which was located at Place de la Madeleine. Whenever I passed by Lucas Carton on my later trips to Paris, the thought of that exquisite foie gras dish always surface in my mind. Senderens’ culinary creations were breath-taking!
All photos were taken by Mrs. King.