Thursday, February 17, 2011

Family jewels

Half way through my "At Home With" Francois Latapie I started getting very nervous...

The stuff that Francois (of the new restaurant Lyon) was telling me was so damn good that I started to get very worried he'd start trying to tell me not to use the stories.

Francois and Suzanne Latapie's apartment is a real treasure trove of amazing goodies -- some illicit, some not. Francois' grandfather is Louis Latapie, and the grandson has at least three or four of his grandfather's works up on the walls. Francois also has a few stolen paintings (read the article), skulls from crypts, and much, much more. It was one of the most fascinating tours I've ever taken of an apartment.

But like most reporters who are not on deadline, I always like to double-check my notes, and I decided to bite the bullet, make sure that I got everything right and risk a confrontation in which he'd say something along the lines of "You can't print that!" (Which leads to an argument where you say, "You never said that before!")

I called Francois up and asked him a few questions about a painting that his grandfather had lifted from a cathedral in Alsace that was firebombed during World War I. "That painting that your grandfather got from the cathedral in Alsace..."

"Yes," Francois said, "it was in Colmar. C-O-L-M-A-R."

I loved this guy. (And his utterly charming wife, Suzanne, and daughter Sophie!) I only hope the French government doesn't read the piece and make him give his art work back!