Lasserre, Paris 1940s
This Parisian institution continues to be a bastion of elegance, expense, and culinary excellence. Number 17 Avenue Victor-Emmanuel III (renamed Avenue Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1945) was a run-down bistro until René Lasserre took it over and, in 1942, opened his eponymous restaurant. During WW2, he and the restaurant staff protected resistance fighters at the same time as its reputation for fine dining spread.
In 1948 he founded his Club de la Casserole, whose dinners became a must for Parisian celebrities. Dali, Dietrich, Hepburn, Malraux and Chagall, were all regulars. Now British Royals and super-models have become Lasserre loyalists who are on occasion lucky enough to dine under the stars when the restaurant’s roof opens during accommodating weather.
This delightful menu cover celebrates the cherubs of the kitchen – the hard-working kitchen staff in every restaurant that customers never see.
The whimsical artwork was created by E Naudy, a French commercial artist whose creative period was at its peak from the 1930s to the 40s.There is some suggestion that his name was a pseudonym for artist Alfred Renaudin (1866 to 1944) who was well-known for landscape paintings (E. Naudy) uses some of the middle letters of his last name. However, we have not yet been able to confirm this.
Either way, this charming menu cover of cherubic cooks busily preparing meals is a tribute to everyone who works in a kitchen.
Courtesy The Culinary Institute of America Menu Collection
Each print is accompanied by a copy of the interior menu where available.
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