Chef and restaurateur Rene Verdon has died at his home in San Francisco. He was the chef for President John F. Kennedy, and, along with Julia Child, helped popularize French cooking in the United States. Verdon wrote five cookbooks and his San Francisco restaurant, Le Trianon, set high standards for French food.
Host Cy Musiker talks with chef Roland Passot, owner of La Folie about the mark Rene Verdon made on the American culinary scene.
Cyrus Musiker is the Evening News Anchor at KQED Public Radio. But he also worked for a decade in the wine industry in Massachusetts, New York City, San Francisco, and Napa Valley.
Cyrus sold wine retail and wholesale in New York, supplying Roederer Crystal and French Burgundies to celebrities in the Hamptons who didn’t appreciate how good they had it.
He moved west in 1978, and worked as a cellar rat shoveling pomace, and pumping over for some of Napa’s best winemakers. He also did public relations and wine tours at Robert Mondavi Winery in Oakville.
Cyrus has traveled and tasted through Champagne, Burgundy, Beaujolais, and the Rhone Valley, and up, down, and sideways in California’s great wine regions. His one great regret in life is not buying land in Yountville when he lived there in the late 1970’s, when vineyards were “just $15,000/acre.”
Cy’s most memorable wines—a 1904 Lafite Rothschild at a Heublein tasting in Boston in the late 70’s, a Nuits St. George “Les St. Georges” 1953 with Henri Gouges in his cellar in the Cotes De Nuits.
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