I don’t have many heroes, but if I was ever inspired by an individual’s story, character, humor, accomplishments, lust for life — and yes, food — George Lang would be one of those heroes.
Last year, not long after I started this blog, I posted George Lang’s recipe for an American Bistro. It was the introduction to one of my favorite cookbooks, and it seemed to capture the essence of the man and his beliefs:
Although I have eaten well at Cafe des Artistes, and even had bought his notable Hungarian cookbook years earlier (after exploring this cuisine with my friend and fellow fisherman, Miklos Kozo), I never knew Mr. Lang in person. But as I read some of the written material about his extraordinary life, I thought it was appropriate to share the highlights of those articles with you here:
- Full article reporting from today’s N.Y. Times
- Beautiful feature from The New York Restaurant Insider magazine, written in 2007
- The Village Voice piece about his thoughts on a Last Meal
I think most of all, I take away a message about an indomitable spirit, the ability to innovate and work through any obstacles (and successes) he encountered, and the ability to do it all for many years with resilience, love, humor, good taste, and a balanced sense of self. That is a message that should be helpful for us all.