Yesterday we spoke with Lyon chef Chris Leahy about what makes Lyonnaise cuisine distinctive and what it was like working for Gordon Ramsay. Today, in honor of Bastille Day, Chris explains why the French macaron, is, in fact, superior to the cupcake.
What is the restaurant doing for Bastille Day?
We’re going to have music playing all day and serve a special menu. We’re participating in French Restaurant Week. We’re doing a French option with Beaujolais and pâté or an American version with Kronenbourg and our hot dog, which is truffled and served in a pretzel bun. It’ll be $17.89 to commemorate the storming of the Bastille. We’re going to rock all day long!
Do you think the macaron is superior to the cupcake?
I think that they are both equally great. There’s something nice about both of them. I enjoy a really good macaron, but they are few and far between. A good cupcake is good, but sometimes people mess it up by putting the wrong frosting on it. They don’t put the right proportion.
What is the right proportion?
I dunno, I guess whatever you can put your mouth around. Not too much frosting, but not too little, either. There are so many variables with the cupcake and so if I could only choose one, I guess the macaron.
What is your all-time favorite thing to eat?
Barbecue food and Thai. I don’t make Thai food, but I do cook barbecue all the time.
What kind of cooking advice can you give home cooks?
I think that it has to do with being organized. I’m trying to get better with that when I have company. It’s not all about being in kitchen. Be organized so you can enjoy time with your guests.
What’s your favorite summertime activity?
Going to the beach. I live in New Jersey so I go to the Shore, but I try and get away from where they’re partying.
Do you ever watch food TV?
I watch Top Chef and some cooking programs, but I’m working a lot these days. If it’s early morning or late at night, I might watch some. I like the Cooks Illustrated show. PBS has good programming. It has Rick Bayless and other great chefs, and it’s not product placement. It’s Rick on a boat in Mexico cooking great food.
Who’s the worst food personality?
Guy Fieri. I don’t hate him. I’m glad for his success. He took it to making it as a star, but the general public looks to him as an authority on food and I think there are better people for that. I’ve never had his food, though.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 14, 2011