I received this message the other day from someone who's father long ago worked at Longchamps, the sophisticated eatery chain whose restaurants once papers the city. It's a lovely memory:
My father was one of the chefs for Longchamp's. He worked there from around 1940 to 1952, where he had a heart attack and was disabled after that. I believe he worked mainly at the one on 79th street in NYC, however, I seem to remember him going to help out at 34th and 59th street. It is a little vague since I was born in 1940. His name was John Motta. I do remember when I was about 8 or 10 he had come home one day and said he had been promoted to head chef. He had created several recipes for the restaurant and one I would like to get my hands on was for a special vinaigrette sauce, thick with finely chopped peppers, onion, garlic and basil. On my birthday, he would buy and bring me home their special Hazelnut cake with the mocha icing and of course once or twice I got one of their dolls that the restaurant sold for a birthday or Christmas. Reading about this brings back memories. He sang opera at home and loved Enrico Caruso and even tried out at the Metropolitan Opera.Which makes me wonder: Dolls? How can I get a Longchamps doll?
If you're interested, here are some of my past posts on Longchamps.