The Culinary Institute of America may have closed down the 40-year-old Escoffier Restaurant, but only to pay tribute to Paul Bocuse, the 87-year-old Lyonnaise chef.
Reopening the restaurant space as The Bocuse Restaurant in Hyde Park, N.Y., the CIA has reworked its curriculum to advance Bocuse's teachings, highlighting French cuisine with contemporary twists. On the menu: "Chef's signature" dishes like roasted rack and epigram of lamb, potato-crusted lemon sole, as well as regional dishes like cripsy frog legs and lobster bisque. Bocuse's own dish, the V.G.E. truffle soup, will also be prepared by students.
The New York Times got a glimpse of the grand ceremony, where Bocuse himself was the guest of honor (also celebrating his 87th birthday last week), and it looks like the students will be learning some very Zen lessons. "When you think you have succeeded, you have already failed," Bocuse reportedly said.
The space takes on a traditional French brasserie feel, instead of the formal dining setting of Escoffier, featuring a chandelier made from V.G.E. soup bowls and porcelain figurines of Bocuse (plus a curated gallery of photos of Bocuse). Lunch and dinner service are offered Tuesday through Saturday, where the classic basics of culinary success will be practiced by students: "good products, good seasoning, and perfect cooking," per the words of Bocuse.