A few weeks ago,I had lunch with Regis Crépy, restaurateur, chef and manager at three at three award-winning restaurants, including our very own Maison Bleue in Churchgate Street, Bury St Edmunds.
Sat in one of the most beautifully decorated dining rooms in Suffolk, Monsieur Crépy and I discussed, between mouthfuls of exquisite food, the only thing a bookseller at such a revered establishment can talk about, and began a fascinating discussion about cookery books. This amazing chef has recently established himself as one of the finest people I have ever met for many reasons, but my favourite is one that I am incredibly proud to announce is going to be launched at Waterstones Buttermarket store at the end of the month. Régis Crépy has written a book which has entered the list of my all-time favourites at number one. This glossy hardback is the result of being as good an employer as you are a chef because his book, Bon Appétit, has been created as a thank you to the team of professionals working in his three restaurants, some of whom have been there since Régis first appeared on the restaurant scene and have remained with him for decades. Trying to focus my attention on the immaculate images and recipes I was being shown whilst savouring every second of my rosemary infused crème brulee became one of the high points of my bookselling career. I feel immensely privileged to be able to associate my passion for books with the man whose Maison Bleue recently won the Best Restaurant in The East of England Award in this year’s Good Food Guide and to have the opportunity to celebrate the release of a product of such exceptionally high quality. If you are as excited about this book launch as my colleagues and I are then you have one opportunity to have the book signed by Régis and his four head chefs, whose recipes feature within it, from 6.30pm on Monday, October 29.
The words Bon Appétit used to mean enjoy your meal to me, but now, they mean a great deal more thanks to Régis and his phenomenal team.