But Roger Fessaguet, the eatery’s first chef and former owner, still knows how to cook.
Fessaguet, who retired in 1988 and now has a home in Maine, crossed my path one day when I was working as a reporter at the Lincoln County Weekly.
Once I realized who he
was, I convinced him to grant me an interview.
I met him at his
seaside home, which was complete with a professional kitchen equipped with every pot and pan imaginable, and he
told me about his
The most important thing to him at a restaurant, he
said, was the greeting.
said the food was just as important, but that without a proper greeting at the door from a pleasant host or hostess, the rest of the dining experience was meaningless.
said the kitchen and the dining room had to run like a well-oiled machine -- and the customers were his
He told me about the time he chased at least one president out the door in theater-crowd traffic to return a jacket, and about his worst moment in more than 20 years at the restaurant.
said it was the day he
accidentally seated two movers and shakers at adjacent tables not realizing they were engaged in a lawsuit and couldn’t stand the sight of one another.
still shudders at the memory.
A classically trained French chef, Fessaguet loved to talk about food, running the kitchen and dining room, managing staff and the many friends he made during his career.
As Roger Fessaguet
would say: “Bon appetit!”