Thursday, June 25, 2015
Roger Verge died last Sunday in France. He was a very quiet and gentle though formidable force in French Cuisine. He created and idea he called the cuisine of the sun and his menus reflected the sunshine of the south of France. He along with Bocuse were blamed for the excesses of so called Nouvelle Cuisine. An idea that was based on fresh food and lighter sauces as opposed to the heavy meals which were the norm in hotel restaurants at the time that were created by Escoffier. Just as Escoffier in his time changed cuisine from another great chef ' Careme' they changed our ideas on today's food, food presentation and general food knowledge and awareness.
The idea however got hijacked by lot of buckaroos and was soon turned into a farce. . They both opened doors which led to the innovation that exists in the food world today and the improvement in places like the USA. Before them prime rib was the plat du jour, now products are being used that had never before seen the light of in this country and everyone is interested in food. This is also not without excess by times. Neither Bocuse or Verge ever went in for these excesses.
Unfortunately they also created the ' Celebrity Chef ' , something that has gone too far , especially in this country. Bocuse served food favored by his local clientele in Lyon and Verge did the same from the region he lived in in the south of France.
I had very good classic training myself and thought I knew quite a bit ......... until I went to work with Roger Verge. He knew everything and had also worked in the commercial world.
Rest in peace dear Roger and know that you have left behind a great legacy and many grateful and admiring chefs and cooks.