With the holidays seeming to revolve around a traditional feast, what does a man of the restaurant business take home or leave at work? One might imagine that learning to be particular in the food category on a daily basis and working your way to the top with exquisite fine dining may bring on a more critical taste at home, but restaurateur Danny Meyer and chef/restaurateur Alain Ducasse have a few different opinions. However, it seems that their plans for New Year’s are right in sync.
Danny Meyer describes his family as reformed Jews from St. Louis. They would have multiple appetizers, including steak tartar shaped like a turkey, or a Christmas tree, depending on the holiday, and “Fuchsia” which consisted of mashed beats and cream cheese. As a main course, he would have prime rib of beef served with Matzo meal dumplings made in a very non-kosher way. He shows his that he wishes he could have the more traditional and delectable Christmas food that Ducasse describes. Alain Ducasse, instead, describes a traditional Christmas log, a classic French dessert with butter cream in two flavors, chocolate, and coconut, which became his first job in the kitchen as a child. Meyer wished he could reform the Christmas meal, but when he tried to bring the culture of France home in the form of a roast goose with oysters and chestnut stuffing, he was met with only complaints.
The two have a more similar opinion on going out for the holidays. Both Meyer and Ducasse strongly believe Christmas is a family holiday that should be spent at home with loved ones. However, if they were to go out, Ducasse decides he would choose his own restaurant, Le Louis XV in Monaco. Meyer, however, would want to be as far away from work as possible, emphasizing the cozy nature of being with friends at home.
New Year’s is decidedly the night to go out. The chef suggests a trip to the market as a way to bring some luxury home for the celebration. His advised dinner is to get fresh vegetables, such as muschrooms, spinach, root vegetables, carrots and onions, and simmer them in chicken broth with some pork belly. Serve as is with some raw vegetable shavings on top for texture. He recommends a wine like Puligny-Montrachet or Chassagne to start off the night. Meyer emphasizes the concept of “to start,” explaining that he has no intention of working on New Year’s Day.