André Daguin Dies at 84; Chef Made Gascony (and a Dish) Famous


Although frail at birth, weighing only four pounds, André developed into a star rugby player at the local lycée. Setting his sights on a legal career, he traveled to Scotland for his studies.

After a year, family tradition pulled him back to France, where he enrolled in a two-year course of study at the École Hotelière in Paris, whose lack of regard for his native region, in the southwest, aroused his ire.

“I was taught nothing about foie gras, nothing about confits, nothing about magrets, nothing about carcasses,” he told Mr. Daley of The Times. “I was taught that goose fat is good for nothing and must be thrown away, but this is false; it can be used in sauces in place of butter. A good deal of what I was taught I later found to be false.”

At hotel school he met Jocelyne Grass, a fellow student. He married her after graduating in 1957, and she later worked at the front of the house at his restaurant. His daughter Ariane said in an email that he had died “peacefully, holding my mother’s hand.”

In addition to his wife and his daughter Ariane, Mr. Daguin is survived by a son, Arnaud, who operates Hégia, an inn near Biarritz; another daughter, Anne Daguin, who owns the pastry shop Le Petit Duc in St. Rémy, Provence; and four granddaughters.

After cooking in game and fish restaurants in Paris, Mr. Daguin performed his required military service. Late in his term of service, he was pulled from duty on an emergency furlough to cook for President Charles de Gaulle, who had stopped in Auch for lunch while making a political tour of the southwest.

Mr. Daguin made it his mission to popularize traditional Gascon dishes, like the thick soup known as garbure, and to act as an ambassador for the region’s culinary heritage.

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