Vivid, revealing, and delicious--an insider's social and cultural history of the American restaurantEveryone feels he knows the restaurant business, the next hot restaurant, the celebrity chefs, the latest trend. But how did we get here? With passion and humor, The Last Days of Haute Cuisine traces the evolution of la bonne table AmÉricaine from the 1941 opening of Le Pavillon to restaurants such as Le Cirque, Spago, and Danny Meyer's Union Square group.Chef and food writer Patric Kuh brings us inside this high-stakes business through its untold anecdotes, its legendary cooks and bright new stars, and his own reminiscences and reflections. Old-timers from Le Pavillon recount the rise, glory, and fall of Henri SoulÉ. Chez Panisse originals tell how the Berkeley counterculture propelled its creation. Here are all the personalities, the visionaries, and the writers--from Julia Child to M.F.K. Fisher to James Beard--who created our modern gastronomic world. The Last Days of Haute Cuisine is the story of the liberation of ethnic cuisine and what happened when haute cuisine came to America and its elitist principles met our populist beliefs.