Palladin Meets Richard - Central Michel Richard

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Palladin Meets Richard - Central Michel Richard
INSIDE: 2011 FSM Equipment Directory
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Volume 10, Number 9 Q September 2011
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The Newsmagazine Foodservice Professionals Rely On
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Palladin Meets Richard:
Mentoring Serves the Future
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INSIDE:
SEPTEMBER 2011 Q3
FSM PEOPLE PAGE 10
VOLUME 10, NUMBE
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SEPT. 2011
Classifieds and Ad Index ............................................................. 33
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FEATURES AND PROFILES
Foodservice Equipment: The 21st Century Model .......................... 18
Life Work: Verveine Palladin ......................................................... 34
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Randi Rom ..................... 26
Dara Bunjon..................... 27
The Latest Dish
by Linda Roth Conte ............. 28
CALENDAR PAGE 31
ON THE COVER:
Verveine Palladin and Michel Richard
in Central Michel Richard.
Photo: Michael Birchenall
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Member of the Year Award and the RAMW Joan Hisaoka Associate Member
of the Year Award: the highest honor for a non-restaurant member.
H&M WAGNER PAGE 25
34 Q SEPTEMBER 2011
The Newsmagazine Foodservice Professionals Rely On
Palladin Meets Richard
.FOUPSJOH4FSWFTUIF'VUVSF
BY MICHAEL BIRCHENALL
I
f I were a historian writing a
book on the modern food scene
of Washington DC, I would
want to define a beginning point
from which one could mark the
nation’s capital’s evolution into a
city of fine restaurants. It wouldn’t
take me long … I would go back to
1979 when the thirty-three-year-old
Jean-Louis Palladin opened JeanLouis at the Watergate hotel.
When he died at his McLean
home in 2001, at the age of 55 of
lung cancer, the world lost a great
chef way too early. Reading the
tributes that appeared from the
luminaries in the food world that
he had so richly influenced, you
find all the references to his using
the best ingredients of the region:
cooking with the finest scallops
from the Atlantic, the freshest crabs
from the Chesapeake Bay, the
best produce of the Mid-Atlantic.
His brilliantly bright personality
touched so many of the chefs we see
credited with today’s vibrant food
scene in Washington and the U.S.
… Michel Richard, Daniel Boulud,
Eric Ripert, Roberto Donna.
All of these thoughts and
memories swirled about my head
when I recently visited a young
assistant general manager at Central
Michel Richard in Washington:
Verveine Palladin. The young
woman who has worked at Central
for a year is the daughter of JeanLouis and Regine Palladin. Verveine
has always felt a kinship to the
restaurant business having been
raised in it her whole life.
As a young adult she started as
a waitress at Pesce, owned and
managed by her mother. During our
first conversation she told me how
she had relished the opportunity to
work with her mother and soon she
was in charge of managing the floor,
and helping to run the restaurant
on P Street.
As she is developing her
restaurant management skills, I
asked her for her best quality. She
told me, “The most valuable lesson
I’ve learned is to treat my staff
with respect and they will in turn
treat me with respect.” Then she
continued with what I had always
thought was what I looked for in
myself and my restaurant managers
in my operations days: “ … to
stay calm in situations you cannot
control.”
Before returning to Washington to
enter the restaurant world, Verveine
went to West Virginia University
and majored in French.
While interviewing Verveine,
we saw Michel Richard and he
motioned for us to come over and
we continued talking, this time
with Michel Richard the mentor.
We talked a little about the close
relationship of Michel and JeanLouis and how he sees his role in
her career development. He smiles
and says, “I knew her before she
knew me.” She was born four years
after the opening of Jean-Louis
at the Watergate. He continues,
“Jean-Louis was the father of my
daughter.” The playful twist on
words ala Michel reveals his love
and commitment for Verveine,
daughter of his best friend and
Washington’s greatest chef.
Verveine added a story of being
the daughter of a famous chef and
his late restaurant hours. She tells
us, “When I was little I would
always wake up and go downstairs
hoping that my father was home.
When I saw him I would approach
him and always scare him because
his hearing wasn’t the best. I would
fall asleep with him while watching
TV and he would always carry me
up to my bed.”
When asked about working for
Richard, she says, “For me working
for Michel is having a little piece of
my father with me, while working
for someone who is also a father
figure. It keeps me close to my
dad.”
Verveine has her own life, her
own dreams and Central Michel
Richard is one step along the
way and she moves with a quiet
confidence and awareness that will
form the structure for her future.
Her duties span scheduling, service,
training as well as expanding her
wine knowledge.
What does Michel Richard want
Verveine Palladin to take from
Central Michel Richard, “I want
to give Verveine the spirit of her
father and continue to teach her
what her father started: the love of
restaurants, respect for our diners,
to do a wonderful job pleasing the
guests.”
But more than that he
says, “I want her to be
happy in her work. When
we love our work, we
make our guests happy.”
Verveine Palladin
Assistant General
Manager
Central Michel Richard
1001 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington DC 20004
202-626-0015
FOODSERVICE MONTHLY