Hundreds Gather to Pay Tribute to French Chef Michel Richard
- Left to right: Chefs D. Boulud, J. Andres, A. Bajaj
On October 16, 450 gathered to honor the life of French chef Michel Richard at the Embassy of France in Washington D.C. Guests, including many renowned chefs, traveled from around the country to pay tribute to the pioneer of the D.C. culinary scene, who died on August 13 at the age of 68.
Richard was known for his creativity in the kitchen, especially when it came to infusing classic American dishes with a taste of his French heritage. He put D.C. on the map as a culinary destination by opening two restaurants, Central Michel Richard and Citronelle, which was one of the first east coast restaurants to feature an open kitchen, where food is prepared in full view of restaurant-goers. Richard had a great influence upon his peers in the culinary industry and won the prestigious James Beard Award in 2007.
Patrick Lachaussée, First Counselor of the Embassy of France, gave a speech honoring Richard, in which he recalled: “Michel Richard was not only a great chef – he was also an artist and designer whose works reflected his great sensitivity and enormous talent. He was a creator, a poet, a composer, an orchestra conductor, and for most of us he was a generous, loyal and enthusiastic friend.” Lachaussée praised Richard’s character, his dedication to charity, and his joie de vivre, claiming, “In his own way, Michel Richard was an ambassador of France.”