Maguy Le Coze is the co-owner of New York City’s highly acclaimed Le Bernardin, along with Chef Eric Ripert.
1. One thing you don’t know about me is that I walked 1,800 km (1,119 miles) to Santiago de Compostela (a city in northwestern Spain), eating everything I could find on my way there. It was a very memorable experience.
2. If I could trade places with one chef it would be Eric Ripert, of course. I would love to be able to cook fish the way he does. He’s the best in the world at that.
3. One of my most memorable meals was at Frédy Girardet in Switzerland in the early ’70s. I was blown away by the meal. My palette wasn’t as developed as it is now, but I still remember every bite.
4. If there were no fish, I’d have no reason to live. I eat it every day.
5. My go-to drink is Champagne. I could drink a bottle of Champagne as if it were a bottle of sparkling water.
6. If I were on death row my last meal would be hot oysters with truffle—a dish created by my brother Gilbert in the 1970s. I’d follow that with Hare à la Royale and the best chocolate cake for dessert. And, of course, a bottle of the best Champagne.
7. My worst culinary creation was roast veal. I failed miserably the first time, did no better the second time, so I did not attempt a third time!
8. If I could change one thing about me I would be more forgiving.
9. My favorite junk food is chocolate. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, good chocolate and not-so-good chocolate . . . all chocolate!
10. If I wasn’t a restaurant operator, I’d love to be a dancer. Ever since childhood I’ve dreamed of being a dancer on stage.