So you came back here and...
Then, what to do? I had to get a job. And at the time I think it was kind of a beat [time] in New York. Here I had really good credentials. I was young and hungry, and I had first in my class, and I just worked for the greatest chefs in the world. It wasn't clear really where was the best place for me. And I ended up working up at the Westbury Hotel on Madison Avenue at the Polo Restaurant, which has a very interesting history because some of the great chefs happened to work there, so that was great. Daniel Boulud was the sous-chef and the consulting chef was Senderens or I don't remember who...one of the Michelin guys...but he didn't have a lot of influence in the restaurant. Thomas Keller worked there. I worked there. I think David Pasternak might have worked there. And then there's a handful of other important guys, so it made sense going there ultimately. But I didn't last very long there. I was hired to replace Daniel. It was a sous-chef position. But Daniel, he had come from France, this was his first job. He was the sous-chef there and he was hired to be the chef at the Hotel Plaza Athenee, which was under construction, and they hired me to replace him. So that's what happened. I didn't last long -- I lasted six months.
Of your own volition?
No, I got fired.
For being too good, basically.
We'll leave it at that. Daniel went to Le Cirque after?
Daniel went from the Polo to Plaza Athenee to Le Cirque. I mean, I've known Daniel that long -- I mean I'm talking '83 or '4 -- and we became friends right away. He was living in the hotel... The good news is that when I had worked in NYC after school, I had worked with this sous-chef of the Chantecler restaurant in Nice where Jacques Maximin was making lots of waves and noise. At the time he was the highest-rated chef in the world. He had three toques in Michelin, but he had 19/20 or 20/20 [from] Gault-Millau? So he had the highest rating of any chef. And he was doing really innovative stuff. So he got hired to come, he had a consulting contract here, and they opened a restaurant. And the chef, they called me, they were looking for a crew, and he got my name somehow. They got my name because of the past relationship. So I went over there. They called me right after I went to the Polo, but because I had just made a deal with them, I had to respect my commitment. But when that job was over, I was free to go. So I went there, and I went to work for Maximin. And he was there a lot. Basically for 12 months he was there four or six times for a whole week at a time. He really loved NY. We really saw a lot of him. But he had a whole crew from France and it was extraordinary.