Few have had the chance to interview a culinary authority such as Remy, let alone writers for a niche-satirical undergraduate publication. But this afternoon, Federalist Reporters were able to catch the busy chef following the shuttering of his most recent project, Koronet Pizza. As we stood outside the iconic storefront, Street Rat-turned-Chef Remy struggled to hold back tears as NYC Health Department officials plastered their scathing condemnation of the beloved Columbia establishment. His miniature bags, packed to the brim with kitchen utensils and expensive spices, sat almost defeatedly beside his small toes. “This was supposed to be my slice of the American dream,” he whimpered in a heavy French accent, taking a drag of his cigarette. But it wasn’t always like this.
Following the smashing success of his biopic film, Ratatouille, Remy endeavored to take on a new business venture in America. “It was all Emile’s idea,” he mutters, “I never meant for any of this to happen.”
Emile, while on an exchange year at NYU, found himself to be dissatisfied with the iconic Prince Street Pizza. In his letters home, which have been seized by the New York Health Department for further investigation, Emile writes of their “substandard crust and poor understanding of the delicacies of aged cheese.”
Inspired by his dear brother’s plight, Remy found himself boarding a direct flight to the Big Apple. “As soon as I saw the New York skyline, I was in love. I thought to myself: If only Gusteau could see me now!” Remy exclaimed.
In fact, it was Auguste Gusteau (GS ‘83) himself who led Remy to 2848 Broadway Street. In his acclaimed cookbook, Anyone Can Cook, Gusteau cites Koronet as the source of his beloved red-sauce recipe, as most Columbia students may already be familiar with. Yet, when Remy tasted the classic Jumbo slice, he was let down. “I found myself questioning my hero,” Remy admitted, “but I knew what I had to do.”
And so the transformation of Koronet Pizza began. Remy sought to bring opportunity to the previously neglected talents of New York City Rats. “At first,” Remy says, “I could not comprehend the brutish nature of Americans, but I soon realized I had much to learn.”
In the following months, Remy and his Yankee colleagues found themselves at the precipice of greatness. Anton Ego wrote, “In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. But last night, I experienced something new, an extraordinary meal from a singularly unexpected source. It is difficult to imagine more humble origins than those of the genius now cooking at Koronet, who is, in this critic’s opinion, nothing less than the finest chef in Morningside Heights.” (Chef Mike declined to comment.)
From Remy’s perspective, that was the beginning of the end. “We got sloppy,” Remy admits. Ego’s review skyrocketed Koronet Pizza to global stardom, leading the young chef to test the limits of his ability. Their fear of the law was lost in a flurry of American money. No one expected the commissioner of health and mental hygiene to pop in for a slice. It was not long until a thorough investigation would ensue, leading to the eventual demise of Koronet Pizza.
So what’s next for our beloved chef? “I think Chicago,” Remy muses, “I’d like to try my hand at deep dish.”