Gayot, with French Ambassador to the U.S., Jean-Daniel
Levitte, addresses a distinguished crowd of
French and American chefs.
© Abaca US
American, French and European chefs and other luminaries
of the food and wine world were present at the Consulate
General of France in New York, upon the invitation
of the Consul Général François
Delattre, when the French Ambassador to the U.S.,
Jean-Daniel Levitte, bestowed on André Gayot
the ensigns making him an officer of the Légion
d’Honneur, France's highest decoration.
French ambassador said that this very high distinction
was granted in recognition of André Gayot’s
exceptional services in his fight for freedom of the
press and international understanding.
a moving speech, André Gayot explained the
reasons why this very French affair took place in
New York rather than in Paris.
my family and all of these French and European chefs
present, I want to express our respect and admiration
for this great country of yours and say how much we
feel we are a part of it. The community of chefs ignores
borders and prejudices, and through their work these
men and women, who come from such diverse horizons,
honor their country as well as the U.S. In their lives,
in their minds and in their hearts, the two homelands
are merged. They illustrate how we can live together
in harmony and happiness when we share the same values."
Gayot and top chefs such as Marisa May, Jean-Louis
Gerin, Odette Fada, David Waltuck, Olivier Muller,
Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Mario Maccioni, Christian
Delouvrier, Roland Passot, Gabriel Kreuther, Thomas
Henkelmann, and Rita Jammet receive a round of
© Abaca US
Fada of San
Domenico presented this plate to André
Gayot in the name of the European chefs of New
Gayot said he shared the honor he was receiving with
them. “In this particular, distinguished community,
Americans and the French have never found a ground
for dispute. They are peers, they are friends, they
learn from each other.”
conclusion was: "I want Alexandre, my ten-year-old
grandson, to remember the splendor of this American
night and this song of brotherhood and liberty we
are chanting; and when my voice will be extinct, in
my place he will pronounce the same words from the
bottom of his heart and of his convictions."