It was with bittersweet emotion that I read your editorial on the passing of Lucien Robert (“Revolution on a plate,” March 1). As an undergraduate at Boston University, I worked at Maison Robert as a busboy for more than a year. It was a fantastic experience for many reasons, not least of which was the opportunity to be held to the high standards of top-class restaurant service, elements of which stand me in good stead today.
Before each lunch or dinner shift, the rest of the wait staff and I were transformed by the crisp white aprons, black ties, and white shirts into the epitome of professional service.
Robert, his wife Ann, and their nephew Jacky all showed a personal interest in my French studies by addressing me in his native language or explaining some of the finer distinctions between written and oral French.
For my graduation dinner, I was proud to return to the restaurant with my family and friends for a wonderful meal.
Robert’s influence remains strong in areas beyond the kitchen.