Georges Perrier Once Spent $6,000 on a Single Meal

Plus, the 69-year-old Le Bec-Fin founder—now without a restaurant for the first time in decades—dishes about the city’s best chefs, Philly’s hurtful press corps, and the last time he ate at McDonald’s.

Le Bec-Fin founder Chef Georges Perrier interview.

My name is … Georges Perrier. My last name is very common in France.

I live in … a two-bedroom apartment at 23rd and Walnut. I finally sold my big house in Chestnut Hill.

My mother … was my mentor. She was a doctor, but she taught me to cook. I still can’t make hare the way she made hare, finished with blood and red wine. Delicious.

When I started out in Philadelphia … it was 1967. So different. W.C. Fields said that this was the worst fucking city on Earth, and he was right. But then Philadelphia woke up.

The most talented chefs in Philadelphia today … are all around us. I’m glad I’m not in the business anymore, because there’s so much competition. And now the chefs from New York are coming. That says something.

My family thinks that I should … relax. I’m going to go to France for a couple of months. I’ll be on Top Chef there in September.

One thing that really bothers me about Philadelphia … is the press. I never hurt anybody. I took care of my employees. But I get attacked. It hurts. It’s sad.

The last time I ate at McDonald’s … was 20 years ago, with my daughter. I had a Big Mac, and it was good and juicy. I asked for mustard on it. No ketchup.

My favorite Philadelphian of all time … was Richardson Dilworth. He was a wonderful man. And he had class.

If you’re pouring me a drink, make sure … it’s red wine. I don’t like white wine. Big reds. Bordeaux is the best wine in the world. Some people say burgundy. It’s a question of love.

Philadelphia’s best restaurateur is … Steve Starr. He found out what the people wanted, and I have a lot of respect for him.

The most I’ve ever spent on a meal … was $6,000. It was at the best restaurant in New York at the time. Everyone was going there, but it’s closed now. I can’t even remember the name of it. My memory is going.

The chances of me ever marrying again … are never.

Philadelphia needs … better leadership. I like the mayor we have, but City Council makes things very complicated. Getting rid of it may be the key. They’re passing laws but not doing what the city needs to make the city better, because they are fighting all the time for power.

Moving into the city has meant … that I have to walk my dog, a bichon frise. And pick up the poop. That is a big change for me.

In the end, the problem with Le Bec-Fin … was that it had run its course. But did you ever see in your lifetime another restaurant that lasted 42 years? It’s quite an accomplishment, especially in Philadelphia. But this is a Quaker city. Conservative. They don’t like to spend money and go out like they do in New York. But you are in the city you choose because you love it. And I love Philadelphia.

When I want to decompress … I play golf, although I shoot a 92 or 93. It doesn’t matter. I enjoy it.

The most common misconception about me … is that I am cocky. I’m not. I never take myself too seriously. People love me.

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