What becomes a legend most? A pretty face never hurt, an interesting history goes a long way, and toss in a scandal or two for good measure. The Ritz-Carlton, Boston, has that and more, making it one of Beantown's most celebrated spots for legendary occasions. And with Richard Rayment overseeing food and beverage operations throughout the hotel, each event is certain to be a mouth-watering celebration.
Rayment, a London native who graduated from Westminster College, is the recipient of Monaco's Grand Cordon d'Or de la Cuisine Franáaise. He has fired the stoves at a number of high-end establishments, including the exclusive St. James Club and the Hamilton Princess Hotel in Bermuda. But before we get to the main course, how about a little dish? The Ritz-Carlton, which was converted into a hotel in 1927, has housed some famous guests over the years, including Oscar Hammerstein and Richard Rodgers, who worked out songs in the shower and penned the lyrics to Edelweiss during an overnight stay; Joan Crawford, whose penchant for peppermint Life Savers prompted the Ritz staff to fill her room with them in anticipation of her arrival (there's got to be a scandal there somewhere); and Moe Berg, the relief catcher for the Boston Red Sox during the 1930s. Berg later left the sport to become a spy for the U.S. government.
And while this may not be the juiciest stuff you've ever read, it's positively scandalous compared to the things that get Rayment going. Here's a guy who, after years in the business, still gets a charge out of slicing, mincing, and kneading-exploring the tactile sensations of food. Direct contact with his ingredients is as thrilling to him now as it was years ago, when he started out in the kitchen of East India and Sportsman's Club in London. Back then, one of his tasks was to ready game birds for cooking. Plucking, drawing, and cleaning doesn't sound like a dream job, but Rayment has fond memories of those days. In fact, to this day he often goes to the on-premise butcher shop at The Ritz-Carlton to do his own boning and trimming. "I enjoy getting the meat neat and clean. Whole fish that needs to be boned and filleted, cleaning raw vegetables, anything prepared from scratch, I like. It's therapeutic."
Looks like one man's treatment is another man's treat.
Maine Crab Profiteroles
Onion Jam Toasts with Foie Gras
Cod with Olive Oil on Polenta Cakes
Pappadam Cracker Topped with Chicken Tikka and Cucumber Dressing
Black Olive and Parmesan Palmiers
Thai Prawn Cakes with Mango Salsa
Whole Tomato Salad with Basil, Black Olives, and White Anchovy
Pan-Roasted Fillet of Cod with Clams, Corn, and Potatoes
Loin and Epigramme of Lamb
Marinated Reblochon in Crisp Bread with Radish Salad
Chocolate Dome with Passion-Fruit Crème Brûlèe and Passion Fruit Sorbet