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Claude Terrail, 88, owner of iconic Paris restaurant

PARIS -- Claude Terrail, owner of the Paris culinary landmark La Tour d'Argent, died June 1 at age 88, chef Jean-François Sicallac said.

Mr. Terrail succeeded his father in 1947 as head of the restaurant, known for its duck specialties, vast wine cellar, and spectacular view of the River Seine.

``Every client meant a lot to him, whether it was a workman who broke his piggy bank to eat at La Tour d'Argent, a prince, or a president, and he treated everyone equally," the chef said on radio station France-Info.

``He had a great respect for French tradition and for French hosting manners," said Sicallac, the restaurant's chef for seven years.

The restaurant, which traces its origins to the 16th century, has hosted such notables as Queen Elizabeth II and President Kennedy and actors John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe.

``Terrail did everything to transform his establishment into the most beautiful restaurant in the world," Sicallac said.

Three years ago, Mr. Terrail handed the restaurant's management to his son, Andre, though he still came in every day for lunch and dinner.

He also leaves his wife, Tarja, and daughter, Anne.

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