Many years ago, the chef Damon Wise was regaling me with tales of his days in the kitchen at Philadelphia’s famous French restaurant Le Bec-Fin, under the direction of its charismatic long-time proprietor, Georges Perrier.
“I saw Georges Perrier on the TV, and I was like, ‘Man, I gotta work for that guy — he’s fucking crazy,'” said Wise, who went on to work for Perrier at Le Bec-Fin for two and a half years. “He is a maniac,” Wise continued (using the word in the most complimentary sense). “He still is. There’s one guy who’s committed his entire life to the restaurant. It’s unbelievable.”
Perrier, who has been called “the equivalent of Paul Bocuse in America,” eventually hung up his toque in 2012 after 42 years at the helm of his legendary restaurant; the place ultimately closed down a year later.
Today, a new documentary about Perrier’s life and his illustrious restaurant opens in select theaters in New York, Los Angeles and the chef’s adopted hometown of Philly; the film is also available via iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Prime.
Directed by Erika Frankel, King Georges includes footage of the frenetic chef in action, as well as commentary from fellow famed chefs Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Eric Ripert.
Here’s the trailer: