I was shocked the other day when I learned that Chef Fabio Trabocchi was no longer the chef at The Four Seasons. I felt that the combination of Chef Trabocchi and The Four Seasons had the potential for true synergy. The meal he served me there was utterly outstanding. I believe, that in searching for the basis behind the "philosophical differences" noted as the cause for the split, evidence can be found here, in a comment to my first Trabocchi/Four Seasons post by Cocolovie, who happens to be Keiko Niccolini (based on her Twitter user profile), the daughter of The Four Seasons co-owner, Julian Niccolini:
"It is a
restaurant with a soul of it's own, not a new place seeking an image or
identity. If Mr. Trabocchi intends to bring a revolutionary climate to
a restaurant and is seeking a great stage to promote himself, it should
be at a restaurant that he owns himself. The Four Seasons has thrived
as New York's arbiter of taste for the last 50 years. The duck, and
crab cakes and sole and the rest of the seasonally driven menu are
timeless and revolutionary as is the room, the service, the attention
to detail and the unwavering commitment to the customers and the
culture that is The Four Seasons."
What I don't understand is if that was the feeling within the restaurant, why would the restaurant hire a creative chef of the stature of Trabocchi in the first place? I know Chef Trabocchi will land on his feet and rise again elsewhere. He and his food are simply too good not to. The Four Seasons will continue to be what it has been. I feel very, very fortunate to have experienced what I did there, when I did. It was magic. However, the fact that neither I nor any one else will be able to experience that very same magic again saddens me greatly. I do look forward to Chef Trabocchi's next iteration, wherever that will be. I'm sure the food magic will still be there even if the environment is different.