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Dec 23, 2011 10:32 AM

Peter Cipra Died

My friend and fellow Chowhound Randy Brook just informed me that Peter Cipra died. Those, like Randy and me, who have been around long enough to have known Peter and eaten at his restaurants, both Prague and Labuznik, can appreciate this loss and the massive contribution Peter made to the culinary scene in Seattle. I think the following Seattle Times article does a good job of capturing Peter, his talent, his intensity, and his way-paving contributions:

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  1. I posted this on my FB page a few days ago. I loved his roast duck with dumplings and sauerkraut. I loved it so much that I could never eat anything else in his restaurant (unless I sat in the cafe part and had his wonderful soups with bread and salad), and that's not like me. I would kill for the recipe, but all hope is now dashed. He was known to be difficult but his talent in the kitchen was unsurpassed. He will be missed.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PAO

      I had a friend who worked in the kitchen at Labuznik for a while. He was hard to work for, she said, but so demanding in every way that you could even eat off the floor. Suppliers made their deliveries shaking while he examined their wares.

      Ah, PAO, that duck. As a poor student at the Sorbonne, a great fantasy of mine was the duck at the Tour d'Argent. This is the venerable, once 3 Michelin star restaurant where they gave you a card with the number of your duck. I could barely afford couscous for 5F (a dollar) in those days.

      Many years later, as an employed grownup with an employed partner, I finally went to the Tour d'Argent. The restaurant was georgous, looking out over Notre Dame cathedral. The presentation of the meal was pure theater. The amuses buche and appetizers wonderful. As for the world famous duck, it was too late. I had been spoiled by Peter Cipra's roast Bohemian duck.

      Like Bethwick and many others of you, I can still taste, in my mind's mouth, many of his wonderful dishes. But never more than three different ones per table!

    2. Thanks for posting Tom. Labuznik was a truly great restaurant it had it all, ambiance, great service and outstanding food. I can still taste the perfectly cooked veal chops, creamed spinach and wonderful soups. Always meant to try the fried cheese but never did. Peace to Peter Cipra's family and friends.

      1. Tom, I think very few restaurants in Seattle either then or now could rival Labuznik. He definitely set a standard few others have come close to achieving. Labuznik was truly like dining in Europe both in the food and the service. I hope his family realizes how much he was loved and admired and that his legacy lives on in the hearts of others.

        1. Where a potato was treated with the same reverence as a lobster.

          1. Just saw that Tom Douglas is doing a Labuznik cooking class as part of his "Hot Stove Society". Hopefully a nice tribute.


            2 Replies
            1. re: GreenYoshi

              That's a little creepy, right? Has he already made $175/pp channeling Carmine?