King Georges, a documentary on the final years of Le Bec Fin

I imagine this documentary is only showing (briefly and in very limited distribution) in the Philadelphia region. However, it is available via Amazon and, I hope, on demand some day.

It’s a fascinating look at the final years of Le Bec Fin, a classic French restaurant opened by Georges Perrier in Philadelphia in 1970. It went on to be named the best restaurant in the US and has been the flagship of fine dining until its close in 2013. OK, maybe it wasn’t much of a flagship since 2010, when this documentary first started shooting.

The best scenes were from a dinner for 80 fine dining club members. There’s a problem with the gas in the main kitchen, so all of the cooking has to be done from the downstairs prep kitchen. Fascinating to see the entire brigade and service staff scramble. And then one diner wants to swap out one of the courses for steak tartare . . . cooked medium rare :open_mouth: Perrier wants to go out to the dining room to confront the crazy bitch, but chef Nicholas Elmi discourages him.

Perrier is famous in Philly as a crazy, yelling, demanding chef. And you see some of that in this movie. But you also see his human side (he is personally very charming). And it’s an interesting look at the changes in fine dining with the likes of Keller, Boulud and Ripert contributing.

It’s also an interesting look at the bond between Perrier and his last chef Nicholas Elmi (he of Top Chef fame who, Perrier confirms, does not like salt :wink:

1 Like

Thanks! I just added to my amazon list.

I was born in Philadelphia; grew up in the Phila burbs.

way back yonder, there were two biggies -
Le Bec Fin
and
Bookbinders

…the original Bookbinders - not the same name joint down by the river…

checked a list of ‘the best restaurants’ in Phila - I think I recognized one name.

they come, they go. I get hungry a lot more often than they get famous.

The Philly dining scene is fantastic these days.

1 Like

I just saw this, and thank you for the heads up! I went to school in Philly in the 90s, and Le Bec Fin was certainly the grande dame of the dining scene. Sadly, as a poor college student, I was never able to realize my dream of dining there before it closed, but I always wish that I had saved and scraped enough to give it a try. I will definitely have to look this up on Amazon. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it might pop on on Prime Video too.

1 Like

That’s worth the “price of admission” right there :smile:

1 Like
“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold