I ate Kerry Simon’s food for the first time on August 30, 1988 (in New York City), and the last time a couple of weeks ago (in Las Vegas). He was a brilliant culinary talent who could cook everything from the finest French food to the most fascinating fusion creations to the best hamburger you ever put in your mouth.
But his real talent was in upgrading and tweaking American classics — from mac n cheese, chicken wings to crab cakes — and giving them a gourmet caché that made them fun and fascinating for everyone from food critics to little kids.
Every American bistro, farm-to-table restaurant and American cook or chef who has ever thought about putting a spin on anything from Brussels sprouts to bacon, or salads to s’mores, owes him a huge debt of gratitude.
As does Las Vegas.
Kerry did it first and he did it best.
RIP Kerry Simon.