Happy Birthday, Frenchie

lefoodingguymarchandparisblogGreg Marchand has had quite a year. I remember meeting the young chef last May, when his restaurant Frenchie had just opened. He had a pile of bills, a new baby at home and not many customers in his seats. We assured him, after an inspired meal, that the place would be full in no time. He looked worried.

I returned last week for the first time since September and found the scene entirely changed. I was lucky to even be there, having been added to a friend’s existing reservation after failing several times to score my own. At the end of our meal, which was every bit as good as I remembered, I booked the first available table… in May.

lefoodingguymarchandblogparisSo what had changed? During the months between these visits, Frenchie had been celebrated in hundreds of reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations. Then in January, after being open for only nine months, Marchand was named by Le Fooding as Chef of the Year. That kicked off a period in which the chef was so put-upon (with requests for reservations, interviews, etc.) that he had to stop answering his phone. It’s a situation that Daniel Rose from Spring could well-understand.

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