OK, so Bouchons's owner (and Asheville's favorite French ex-pat) Michel Baudouin might not be the greatest music lover. But man, has he served some of music's greatest.
"It was totally by accident," Baudouin writes about waiting on Rolling Stones' guitarist Keith Richards. "I worked in a small bistro [in Paris], and time to time, I would help a friend of my boss who managed the Bristol Hotel. The band was in town recording. The rules were that you didn't get personal with celebrities by asking for an autograph or anything like that. But Mr. Richards could not have been nicer."
Since he and his family moved to the U.S. more than 20 years ago, the always-affable Baudouin has fed everyone from The Beach Boys and Neil Sedaka to director Steven Spielberg and tennis star Martina Navratilova (who loves crepes suzette, by the way).
And speaking of crepes, if you haven't eaten al fresco at Baudouin's latest courtyard addition, Creperie Bouchon, you’re seriously missing out. Besides their signature dish, the creperie also whips out some of the best french fries in town.
Hey Michel Baudouin, what’s your spin?
Listening to now: Why are you making me reveal my age? I've never been a music guy. R&B may be at the top, but I enjoy big band, classic rock and, thanks to my wife, I enjoy older country music, before it became pop-country.
Most recent album/song bought: Who can remember that far back?
First album ever bought: Probably a basic popular French artist like Johnny Hallyday or Michel Fugain. But my first American album was Otis Redding.
Most recent concert attended: Delbert McClinton at the Peel.
First concert ever attended: I grew up in that era when mini versions of Woodstock were everywhere in France. It was a weekend of music listening in the fields, camping, and you know the rest. Different language, same fun. Legal driving age at the time was 21, so we traveled on our moped, rain or shine. When you grow up on a farm near a village of 700 inhabitants, music festivals were very exotic.
Favorite local/regional act: I know it's politically incorrect, but I don't have one.
Favorite band/artist of all time: Depends on my mood or what environment I am in. I enjoy different music, including [1960s iconic and controversial French songwriter] Georges Brassens, Louis Armstrong and Willie Nelson (via living over 20 years in Texas). And the Beatles? What can I say.
Guilty pleasures: Really? You expect me to?
what: N.C. Mountain State Fair
where: WNC Agricultural Center, Fletcher
when: Wednesday, Sept. 15 through Sunday, Sept. 20. (Wednesday – Thursday: 3 p.m. – 11 p.m., Friday & Saturday: 9 a.m. – 12 Midnight, Sunday: 9 a.m. – 11 p.m. $7 Adult, $3 Children 6 – 12 years of age, $3 Senior 65 years and older. More info: 828-687-1414 or www.mountainfair.org/mountain-state-fair/general-information.html)
when: Saturday, Sept. 11 and Sunday, Sept. 12 ($50/$70/$100/$125. Day passes and camping available. ralak.com)