Alain Sailhac's Death Has The Food World Shaken

Alain Sailhac was a culinary giant in New York and France. Born in 1935 and raised in Millau, France, Sailhac began working in restaurants at the young age of 14 at places like the Capion Restaurant and the Michelin-starred Chateau de Larraldia (via Great Chefs). According to World Today News, he was best known for his culinary skills after the age of 30, when he moved to New York. It was in the United States where his French cuisine had the chance to shine and Sailhac became the chef at Mistral, Manoir, and then Le Cygne, for which he earned acclaim. 

Sailhac bounced back and forth between France and his new adventures in the U.S. and even had the opportunity to serve former American president Richard Nixon on a number of occasions, per World Today News. Heritage Radio Network says that Sailhac received four stars from The New York Times while working at Le Cygne and ended up becoming the chef at Le Cirque, 21 Club, and the Plaza Hotel.

Later, Sailac became the Dean Emeritus and the Executive Vice President of The International Culinary Center.

The impact of Alain Sailhac's death

At the age of 87, on December 1, 2022, Alain Sailhac sadly passed away. According to SNBC, his family has yet to release a statement to the public regarding the specifics of Sailhac's death, but friends of the French chef have posted their respects for him on social media. 

Chef Thomas Keller, proprietor of the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group, which includes The French Laundry, Per Se, and Bouchon, posted on Instagram after he heard of Sailhac's tragic death, remarking that the man paved the way for French chefs in the U.S. and inspired many with his talent and dedication. Michael Zebrowski, a Professor at The Culinary Institute of America, posted on Facebook that his mentor "was the most caring and generous chef" he'd known and noted how honored he'd been to work with the man.

There is no doubt about the sheer effect Sailhac had on the culinary world. He received highly-acclaimed awards such as "Chef of the Year" from the Maîtres Cuisiniers de France, the "Silver Spoon" from Food Arts Magazine, and was awarded the "National Order of Merit Award" and the "Order of Agricultural Merit" by the French Republic (via Luxury Experience). 

His death marks the end of a long and illustrious career.