The culinary world lost another great one this past weekend when Jean Banchet passed away from cancer. For those of you not familiar with Chef Banchet, he almost single handedly elevated Chicago from a Steak and potatoes town to the culinary city that it is today when he opened Le Francais, in a suburb of Chicago back in 1973. In 1980 Bon Appetite magazine named Le Francais "America's Best Restaurant," and many chefs, that went on to greatness spent time working under is tutelage. I had met Chef Banchet while working in Atlanta and was good friends with a number of people who studied under him. We both also relocated back to Chicago at about the same time. While I never had the pleasure of working under him I had a great respect for his drive, his passion, and the food he created. I was very saddened to learn of his passing and I'm sure that many, in the culinary world will mourn his passing.
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11/26/13 at 4:29pm