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Aveyron: Death of Millavois Alain Sailhac, prestigious chef in New York

He was celebrated in the United States and died on Thursday, December 1, 2022 at the age of 87.

A true culinary adventure that Alain Sailhac experienced. Born in Millau in 1935, it was New York that brought him recognition after a career filled with gastronomic praise. He died there on Thursday 1 December aged 87.

It was at the age of 14 that he cut his teeth at the famous Capion restaurant in Millau. He then refined his art behind the stoves in restaurants in Corfu, Rhodes or Guadeloupe. Until he became assistant chef at Château de Larraldia in Villefranque (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), which received two stars in the Michelin guide. Ironically, this castle has been rising from its ashes since November, after suffering a fire and being abandoned.

A Millavos in New York

It was in 1965, at the age of 30, that Alain Sailhac moved to New York, where he spent most of his career. He was chef at several restaurants, Mistral, Manoir and then Cygne in 1974, for which the New York Times awarded him four stars 3 years later. After brief escapades in Paris, New Caledonia and Chicago, he was then seen directing the kitchens of Cirque from 1978 to 1986 (for which he received three new stars from the New York Times). An establishment frequented by stars, artists and politicians of every persuasion. After the Watergate scandal, “Richard Nixon came almost every day. It must be said that he had nothing more to do“, he confided with humor in 2008 to French morning. He also became the culinary director of the famous Plaza Hotel, while also being a consultant for the Régency hotel.

A whole plate of accolades

He was also the resident chef of the Trump family,”generous people“. In 1991 he entered the French Culinary Institute, of which he became vice-president and dean until his death. Member of the Master Chefs of France (MCF) since 1984, in 1997 he received the coveted Cueillère d’ silver, awarded by the magazine Food Arts That same year, he participated in Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America, which recognizes the best gastronomy professionals in the country.

Finally, in May 2010, together with other chefs from the French Culinary Institute, he organized a one-of-a-kind meal worth $30,000 per person. couple to raise money for Barack Obama’s campaign.

French cuisine is music theory. The French spirit invented the techniques.
Alain Sailhac

Tribute to a fantastic chef

After the death of Alain Sailhac, the American chef Thomas Keller, one of the best chefs in the world, pays tribute to him on the spot Food & Reason :”Chef Sailhac was a great cook and his culinary lessons will remain in my memories for me and many others. He was part of the first generation of acclaimed French chefs in America in the 1960s and 1970s, the ones who ignited the culinary movement in America and influenced many chefs like me.”.

Thomas Keller asked Alain Sailhac what memory he would like to leave in the world of gastronomy. The latter replied: “I would like to be recognized as a good, organized cook who had good taste. I also want to be remembered for never throwing things away. Don’t throw everything in the trash, use everything!“.



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