This is a photo taken after a gala in the new Meridien Hotel in Nice on December 6th 1974. The Chef was Maurice Brazier and he is on the right. I had worked with him previously in Abidjan, Cote D'Ivoire and two years later I worked with him again in Paris and Belgrade in what was then Yugoslavia. He sent me to Brazil and I came back to Paris for about 18 months after that. Leaving Paris was a big mistake.
He was the only one of my chefs to recognize whatever good I had in me and make me use it. Many a time, during the first couple of years together he would have to call me into his office and calm me down. In turn I was able to do the same thing with my own employees later in life. He showed me the way to make people better at their work.
He was good enough to send me on mission to East Berlin, Corsica , Tours and Yugoslavia. I almost made it to India but it fell through at the last minute. I couldn't complain because there was nothing to complain about. I had already been everywhere else.
It is really only when you go to different places that you appreciate the professionalism of a Chef like Monsieur Brazier. No one has ever quite come up to his standard that I have seen. I do , however , have the satisfaction of having learned enough from him to be able to raise shoddy hotels to the level that he would have been proud of.
Maurice Brazier had plenty of polish and charisma. He was the calmest chef I had ever worked with and for. He ran a very organised and professional operation and I learned a lot from him.
He was one of the first chefs I knew who really brought out the best in people. He had a largesse of spirit and a great talent for knowing what the important things were and to ignore the petty. I never heard him raise his voice in the ten years I was with him and he treated everyone with respect. This was how he got the best out of his staff.