NEW YORK, NY.-
In France, Maxims is a restaurant as strong and essential to la vie Parisienne today as it was when it opened more than a century ago. The legend begins in 1893, when Maxime Gaillard, a waiter, opened a small bistro at 3 rue Royale. The ravishing Parisian Irma de Montigny stopped by one day, was immediately charmed, and returned with her friends, their admirers, and their patrons.
Soon, Maxims claimed a fabulous clientele: stars of society, elegant and brilliant. Eventually Gaillard handed the reins to Eugène Cornuché, who would transform Maxims into a masterpiece of Art Nouveau. The maître dhôtels secret weapon, however, was bringing in a new flock of courtesans, who attracted the cream of French gallantry crowned heads, great fortunes, and the most prominent names of the Parisian elite. By the 1950s, the place became even hotter, attracting such luminaries as Maria Callas, Martine Carol, Aristotle Onassis, and even the Windsors.
One festive evening in 1981, the designer Pierre Cardin, who owned a share of Maxims, took the plunge and bought Maxims. Since then, Maxims has seen growth of its international brand, an expansion of its top-tier entertainment, and elaborate parties for the young and fashionable set. Today, evenings at Maxims blur into fantasy, with a mixture of creative patrons young and old, from fashion, the contemporary art world, and film.
A captivating history of this mythic place, the book Maxims also features an elegant collection of illustrated recipesfrom Quail Confit to Fruit Charlotteso gastronomes may try Maxims classic dishes at home.
Historian Jean-Pascal Hesse is the author of a number of books. A close collaborator with Pierre Cardin, he published a survey of the famous couturier's creations, Pierre Cardin: 60 Years of Innovation (ASSOULINE), last year. A city council member in Paris, he also directs cultural events for the mayor of the sixteenth arrondisement. Iconoclastic French designer Pierre Cardin is an elected member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, lInstitut de France.
Year after year, Maxim's remains the prestigious symbol of a certain way of life.
Maxim's is available for purchase at ASSOULINE Boutiques worldwide and through www.shopassouline.com