A talk with Nick's Airport Inn executive chef Francis Verdier

December 18, 2012|By CHRIS COPLEY |
  • Francis Verdier, executive chef at Nicks Airport Inn, grew up in France and earned his cooking degree in Paris. He has been executive chef at Nicks Airport Inn for 26 years.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

Editor's note: This is part of an occasional series of profiles of local restaurant chefs.

As executive chef for Nick's Airport Inn — one of Washington County's top dining establishments — Francis Verdier is responsible for maintaining high culinary standards.

You might think Verdier's job would be simple: Make the favorite dishes of frequent patrons over and over and over.

You would be wrong.

"We have people who are looking for new things all the time," Verdier said.

Really? What about traditional, classical French cookery? Coq au vin? Ratatouille? Beef bourguignon?

"Who's making beef bourguignon anymore? Nobody. Who's making those whole classical foods now? Nobody," Verdier said. "We always look for new ideas."

Verdier sat down with The Herald-Mail recently at the bar at Nick's. He talked in his thick French accent peppering the conversation with his very dry sense of humor about coming to America, the right way to raise kids and the best way to learn to cook.

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