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Longtime chef Claude Segal dies

November 4, 2011 |  2:55 pm

SegalClaude Segal, a chef in Los Angeles for almost 30 years, died at his home in West Hollywood last week, according to his family, after battling lung cancer for the last 15 months. He was 61.

After working in France at such notable restaurants as Maxim’s, Alain Chapel and Alain Senderen’s L’Archestrate, Segal moved to California in 1982, replacing Wolfgang Puck as chef at Patrick Terrail’s celebrated Ma Maison. From there, he moved on to such Southern California restaurants of the moment as Bistango, Café Four Oaks, Ma Be, Picnic and Drai’s. He also was a consulting chef for the restaurant L’Alliance in Tokyo, which earned a Michelin star.

“He was one of the top and most creative chefs in Los Angeles,” says Jean Francois Meteigner, chef at La Cachette Bistro and a longtime friend. “He loved to mix other cuisines, not just French. He loved Asian food and Japanese in particular. Mostly, his food was tasty but not pretentious, just like him.”

Whichever restaurant he was working at, Segal was one of the hubs of the local French chef community. “Everyone loved Claude because he was always the same,” Meteigner said. “He was always happy; he was always excited; he was always full of life. I remember him riding around on his motorcycle with a great big grin. He was really a cool guy.”

Segal is survived by his wife, Meiling Chang-Segal, and his daughter from his first marriage, Sandrine Segal, who lives in Paris.

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-- Russ Parsons

Photo: Claude Segal at Ma Maison in 1983.  Credit: Los Angeles Times

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