A local Master Chef and Restaurateur will soon receive a great honor.
On February 18, Boston's Consul General of France, Francois Gauthier, will bestow the medal of the French Order of the Mérite Agricole (agricultural merit) upon Raymond Ost, Co-Owner and Chef of Sandrine’s Bistro in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The French government will award this honor -- the equivalent of a knighthood -- to Ost in recognition of his 35-year-plus career promoting French cuisine, especially the gastronomy of his native region, Alsace.
“In less than 15 years, Sandrine’s Bistro has become an institution in Cambridge,” said Consul General Gauthier. “Its cuisine, its atmosphere and its staff all reflect the warmth and high quality of Alsatian cuisine. Raymond Ost is a tremendous ambassador for Alsatian gastronomy in New England.”
Born in Strasbourg, on the French-German border, Ost began pursuing a career in the food industry while still a teenager. He cooked full-time while earning a degree from the Ecole Hôtelière.
In 1977, Ost was recruited by Le Meridien Hotels and was subsequently posted in hotel kitchens from Martinique to Abu Dabai to San Francisco. In 1988, he was named Executive Chef of Le Meridien Boston, where he oversaw its award-winning Julien restaurant, as well as café, catering and pastry operations. He partnered with his Meridien colleague Gwen Trost in 1996 to open Sandrine’s Bistro, named after Ost’s only daughter.
The Order of the Mérite Agricole was created in 1883 for service to the agricultural sector of France. The first recipient was Louis Pasteur in 1884. The Order is one of four Ministerial Orders in France. It includes 3 ranks: Chevalier, Officier and Commandeur; Ost will be made Chevalier.
In the United States, the honor has been awarded to Julia Child, Paul Prudhomme and Jacques Pépin.
Let us offer a hearty congratulations to Chef Ost for their achievement! If you have not been to his restaurant, you definitely need to go and see the wonders he is creating in his kitchen.