Thursday, October 30, 2008

Who is Richard Olney?

By now many of you who may have read in the New York Observer (Ten Beer Bars for Beer Snobs) that our chef is Richard Olney. This was an unfortunate mistake, but many under 40 don't know who he was.

A painter and great food writer, Olney found himself in Provence in the 1950's. In the 1970's he inspired a generation of Berkeley, CA food and wine folk such as Alice Waters and Kermit Lynch. Olney died in 1999.

This past summer, while searching for inspiration I circled some quotes in his book Simple French Food. One of them has been printed on the menu since then, in the place reserved for the chefs name:

"Simplicity - is a complex thing"
-Richard Olney