As Flo Fab reported yesterday, dismissed Le Cirque toque Pierre Schaedelin has landed at Alain Ducasse's egotistically overblown misfire, Bistro Benoit. His role there will be of executive chef, and one assumes this means, basically, if the place is still open in six months he gets to keep his job. The Cuozzo is pleased, and, as he's insisted that the restaurant has always sucked ass, is vindicated. But here's a little something that you do hate to see: in these dark recessionary times, poor sweet former executive chef at Benoit, Sébastien Rondier, having no place to go, has to stay on and take a demotion to sous chef. While yesterday it was assumed he'd stay on as co-exec, with today comes the alt reveal; where once he was running the show, now he's the number two; oof, right in the applebag; etc. It shall be interesting to see how the Schaedelin-Rondier relationship shapes up—and who stabs whom first.
Anyway, and for the sake of tying a bow on this act of the Alain Ducasse Follies, here's the full press announcement on the transition. Schaedelin, for his part, is, indeed, "thrilled."
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
GROUPE ALAIN DUCASSE ANNOUNCES PIERRE SCHAEDELIN
AS NEW EXECUTIVE CHEF AND PARTNER AT
BENOIT BISTROT IN NEW YORK
NEW YORK, N.Y. (December 8, 2008) – Groupe Alain Ducasse announced today that Pierre Schaedelin will assume the roles of Executive Chef and Partner at Benoit Bistrot in New York in January 2009.
"Pierre Schaedelin has a wonderful understanding of the food and traditions that make the classic French bistrot so distinctive," says Alain Ducasse. "Pierre's great talent lies in his ability to create dishes that remind me of some of the finest, most authentic bistro fare of my memories. It is a pleasure to be working with him once again and we welcome him to Benoit. "
Schaedelin previously spent over six years as the Executive Chef at Le Cirque, one of New York City's most iconic restaurants. Prior to his time at Le Cirque, Schaedelin spent several years working with Alain Ducasse in Europe, at Le Louis XV, his three-star Michelin restaurant in Monaco, and then at Mr. Ducasse's Monte's, a private club in London, where he spent four years. His time at Le Louis XV helped Schaedelin to further hone his technique and reinforced his appreciation for working with only the finest, impeccably fresh ingredients. Most recently Schaedelin has spent the last two years working as Martha Stewart's private chef.
"I am thrilled to be working once again with Alain Ducasse," said Pierre Schaedelin of his new role. "Mr. Ducasse has been a tremendous source of inspiration to me over the years, both in the kitchen and in the office, acquainting me with the business skills necessary to operate a successful restaurant. I am really looking forward to my role both as Executive Chef of Benoit and Partner."
Pierre's first mentor was another great chef, Chef Paul Haeberlin of the three Michelin-starred restaurant, Auberge de L'Ill in Alsace. It was here that Schaedelin first refined his technique and learned to trust his own instincts about creating new and innovative dishes.
Chef Schaedelin draws his inspiration for cooking from the flavors and foods he tasted as a child growing up in Alsace near the French-German border. Schaedelin learned to cook by watching his mother, grandmother and aunts prepare meals for family and friends, experiencing their rich social and cultural traditions and the specialties of the region before finally taking his turn at the stove.
Sébastien Rondier will remain at Benoit as Chef de Cuisine. Chef Rondier first worked with Alain Ducasse in Monaco, where he served as chef de partie of Le Louis XV from 2000 to 2003. Thereafter, Sébastien moved to New York City to work as sous chef of Alain Ducasse at the Essex House, and then at Adour Alain Ducasse at The St. Regis New York when the restaurant opened in January 2008.