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Trouble at Robuchon: Lunch Service, Chef Suga Doneski?

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According to a worker at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, trouble is afoot at the famed chef's New York counter. He passes along some pretty unsettling rumors, some of which, if substantiated, would put the restaurant into Deathwatch territory. He alleges that a) the restaurant will be closing for lunch in two weeks, b) chef de cuisine Yosuke Suga plans to follow sous chef Gregory Pugin out the door and is interviewing for jobs in LA, c) there is some serious understaffing/turnover right now, and d) they have employed cost cutting strategies including substituting frozen peas instead of fresh and using bad meat for stock. Since the employee is a fairly trustworthy source, we're guessing more than a couple of these rumors are true. But of course, the restaurant vehemently denies. Let's see what they say.

With regard to lunch service in L'Atelier, we have not yet made a decision as to whether we will discontinue lunch service. A variety of factors are being evaluated to ensure that we make the best business decision for our owner, guests and employees alike.

The tremendous success of L'Atelier is a result of our commitment to providing the highest level of quality and service. This is the hallmark of both Chef Joel Robuchon and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. We have never implemented cost savings initiatives that would cause our standards to be comprised, and we are certainly not doing this presently in L'Atelier....Re: Chef Suga, this is nothing that I have any knowledge of and therefore cannot confirm it.

We'd say get your lunches in now people, and don't count on Suga to stick around forever.
· Gregory Pugin in at Veritas [~E~]

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