Owner of legendary La Tour d'Argent dies at 88

6th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 6, 2006 (AFP) - Claude Terrail, owner of the renowned Paris restaurant La Tour D'Argent, has died at the age of 88, the restaurant announced Tuesday.

PARIS, June 6, 2006 (AFP) - Claude Terrail, owner of the renowned Paris restaurant La Tour D'Argent, has died at the age of 88, the restaurant announced Tuesday.

Terrail took over the family-run establishment in 1947, and under his management it became one of the most prestigious dining addresses in the world, frequented by royalty, statesman and celebrities.

Founded in 1582, La Tour d'Argent is on the sixth floor of a riverside building in the Latin Quarter with an unrivalled view of Notre Dame cathedral. Its best-known dish is 'bloody duck' which has been served since the late 19th century with an identifying number-tag.

For more than 50 years the restaurant had the ultimate gastronomic accolade of three Michelin stars, but since 1996 it has lost two of them — the second earlier this year.

Terrail was born in 1917 and initially hoped to be an actor, before being persuaded to enter the family business.

In World War II he saved the restaurant's vast stocks of wine — some 300,000 bottles — by secretly walling up part of the cellar to hide it from the occupying Germans.

A dandyish and imposing maitre d', Terrail said his aim was to "conserve the elegance of the past" and in latter years lamented declining dress standards among his clientele.

Terrail was married twice, first to Barbara Warner, daughter of Hollywood film producer Jack Warner. His son André by his second wife took over the restaurant in 2003, on the occasion of the one millionth "bloody duck".

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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