365 Things to Do in Memphis #228: Find Out Why Chez Philippe Doesn’t Serve Duck

Posted by Holly Whitfield | August 16th 2012 910 0

The Peabody Hotel's four-star restaurant, Chez Philippe, is possibly the only French restaurant in the world that absolutely refuses to serve duck. Assignment #228 in the 365 Things to Do in Memphis is to visit the hotel's memorabilia room to read the letter explaining why.

Memorabilia room, Peabody Hotel, Memphis, Tenn.

The memorabilia room is a tiny mahogany, glass and paper shrine to the hotel's 143 year history that's loaded with ephemera that's found its way home through the generosity of past guests and important documents that were saved by hotel staff, like a contract that Elvis signed written on Peabody stationery and the aforementioned letter about the duck.

I don't have a decent photo of the letter, and I really think you should go read it for yourself, but I can't help but tell you part of what it says, because it's exactly the sort of smack down – blunt, and delivered with piercing accuracy – that the world needs more of.

The letter is from hotel manager Gary Belz to Charles Roseman, the executive chef at Chez Philippe that addresses the issue of serving duck at the hotel thusly:

“We are basically taking our logo, slaughtering it and serving it, and I’m not sure how this is to our benefit.”

Gary just basically slapped Charles in the face with his gloves and said "Good Day, sir."

You can read the rest of the letter and see a ton of other artifacts from the Peabody (like photos, vintage toiletries and more in the Peabody's memorabilia room. It's free, open to the public and located in the northwestern corner of the the second floor mezzanine.

Go there:

Peabody Hotel Memorabilia Room

Peabody Hotel
149 Union Avenue
Memphis, TN 38103
(901) 529-4199

Author: Holly Whitfield

I write about what’s going on with Memphis music, food, arts, events, sports, people, and culture. Memphians love Elvis and barbeque with a passion that must be seen to be believed, but there is so much more to this place.

Show Comments


  1. snarky says:

    I'm glad Three Pigs doesn't serve …. oh wait…

  2. Paul Ryburn says:

    The Peabody sells a book called The Peabody: A History of the South's Grand Hotel in the gift shop. There's a copy of the letter in the book. Lots of other good stuff in there too, including recipes for the meal served Russian Grand Duke Alexei when he stayed at the original Peabody in the 1870s.

Leave a Comment