Jaques Pepin for the New York Times - When word spread that the last Howard Johnson's restaurant in New York City, in Times Square, would probably close, there was something of an uproar. Though plans are uncertain, brokers say it is likely that a big retail chain will replace it. The idea that this icon of American dining will disappear from the city landscape made me particularly sad, since it was at Howard Johnson's that I completed my most valuable apprenticeship.
I had been in America only eight months when I started working at Howard Johnson's. I moved there from Le Pavillon, a temple of French haute cuisine, where I had been working since my arrival in the United States in 1959. Howard Johnson, who often ate at Le Pavillon, hired me and my fellow chef, Pierre Franey. Read more.
Max Eternity - Jaques Pepin, a Dean at the French Culinary Institute--colleague and good friend to Julia Child--author--artist--former Chef of Charles de Gaul--wrote in 2005 about the legacy of Howard Johnson's in America, specifically about how it shaped his understanding of the US. Pepin, known for his simplistic approch to Haute Cuisine was hired personally by Mr. Johnson, turning down the job as Executive Chef for John F. Kennedy's White House. Writing for The New York Times: