Yes, Jean-Louis Palladin died on Sunday. He had been suffering from lung cancer for some time. I think he was a rather polarizing personality, either you loved him or... The obit in the New York Times was quite flattering. Click on his name to read it.
Today I feel sad. It was only 2 days ago in a post that I wished for Christmas that my hero Jean Louis get better so that I might selfishly get a chance to taste the food that inspired my own career. When searching out information on becoming a chef one of my first stops was the Watergate Hotel. At that point I wasn't that familar with him. But I met him and he encouraged me to go to school. He became my culinary hero. Most of my cooking was patterned around his inspiration if not his style. I received his book "Jean Louis Palladin Cooking with the Seasons" for a birthday present. I also bought a video from the photagrapher of the sessions in his studio kitchen. I took the book to Jean Louis and got him to sign the book as well as a handwritten menu from him. I always treasured them and now more than ever.
We have lost in my opinion th greatest modern chef of them all. One of my great regrets in life will now be that I never actually got to taste his cooking as it was too expensive for me. A lesson perhaps as was the events of 9/11 perhaps. Just do it, you may never get the chance again.
And as a former smoker I am angry that we lost him most likely because of his smoking. If you smoke QUIT!!! you didn't need it to get along when you didn't smoke you don't need it now.
Thank you Jean Louis for everything.