Roger Vergé: 3-star Michelin chef, A simple Man.

In the sad mourning weeks of July, Newspapers spread bad news on the French Riviera, the chef Roger Vergé passed away in early June. A deathly piece of information which froze gastronomic Southern people in the first scorching heats.

The chef set up the finest mediterranean tasty creativity in IMG_7392RMougins and seduced worldwide tourists and many stars in top notch charity dinners, but also some national chefs.
In the wake of the funerals, some ex apprentice chefs or eternal lovers express their grief on social media or hanging his coffin in the snail look village. Their names? Gilles Goujou, Daniel Boulud, Alain Ducasse, Jean-François Piège, Denis Festisson

Roger Vergé un grand de la cuisine s'en est allé…

A post shared by Jean François Piège (@jeanfrancoispiege) on

But the burial was not a VIP event as lots of unknown individuals came for the last goodbye of the French Riviera yummy king who had been seen walking in the region. As a local, I met him once. A French teacher keen of regional culture organized an educational project with our school.
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We were invited to our future secondary school to visit an exhibition about olive tree. I was about 10, so my memories had been blurred with time but it reminded me of a very nice « grandad » with bright White hairs like a Santa Claus in tweet suit. At that time, I didn’t know that the French teacher was so close to the chef. Years later, she remembers this sweet meeting:
« Oh yes that was about olive trees… You don’t remember, my class searched for one year all vintage documents from the 50s about olive, oil and Moulin de Mougins, at the time when it was a real mill, a simple factory. He came and ate some dishes prepared by mum’s schoolboys, that was so sweet. » 
Oh yes, I had a flashback playing the piano about traditional stuff like « rôties » slices of garlic roasted bread …
« He spent dozens of minutes staring at pictures of the Blue collar people in what was going to become his restaurant. You know, this famous place kept its industrial atmosphere with original pond and wheel. »
How could she know in details this place? Well, smiling and whispering she admits that her family was the last owner of the mill before its transformation in restaurant. A familiar place that was special in her heart, she celebrated her wedding there…
Most of people will be-come again a stranger or famous cold celebrity. But Roger Vergé was not one of them.
« We keep writing for big celebrations and share some news about daily life. When I went to Florida, I told him, just because I thought having a look to his Disney World restaurant. And he deeply kept it in mind… » 
At the French lodge, they felt expected and had the surprise to spent the night with a deep view over Epcot lake and champagne thanks to the chef. It was the 14th of July, the most perfect Bastille day, the day of every French person feel French abroad, even in the state of Mickey Mouse. And his meditative silent the whole discretion and generosity of the chef appeared, like a gracious tribute…
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Let’s hang out together ! 

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