Michel Richard’s Asian Bistro Soup with Shrimp
Last month another world-class chef joined Escoffier in the Grand Kitchen up in Heaven. Legendary Chef Michel Richard was 68 years old. I was introduced to the Chef’s innovative style of cooking over lunch with my old colleagues at his restaurant Citrus in LA back in the late 1980s and have been an ardent fan ever since.
After hearing of his sudden passing last month, I immediately pulled Happy In The Kitchen from my bookshelf and spent a good part of the day re-reading his recipes and perspectives.
Before each recipe the Chef writes a paragraph or two about the dish – from where the inspiration came; what is important for the cook to note; or his keen observations on taste, texture, presentation, what-have-you. Yes, he is a most accomplished chef, but he is also a very effective teacher – employing humor and ingenuity as skillfully as he does the knife.
Thomas Keller wrote, “Michel did something that’s almost unheard of in the pastry world: he crossed over and became a chef, opening one of the best restaurants in the country, Citrus, in 1987. It’s difficult to overemphasize how unusual this is. Pastry chefs and savory chefs rely on a completely different set of skills and use their intellects in different ways. Pastry chefs are mathematicians. Savory chefs, we’re like free-thinkers. Michel, amazingly, has been able to combine the precision of the pastry chef’s mind with the freethinking nature of the savory chef in a way that no other chef in America has done.”