This week’s chef is Olivier Perret, Executive Chef at Ici Urban Bistro in the Sofitel. Born in Burgundy, France, Olivier has always had the passion for flavor and visual presentation of food. He share’s another love with The District Domestic – farmers markets! We snagged just a few minutes of his time to get him to answer the usual questions.
What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
My Asian mandolin…it’s easy to use and very helpful especially in the summer.
What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
I think the beef filet is overused in today’s restaurants.
If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
A country restaurant with a garden at the back…. that way you can use your own vegetables!!!
What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
I really like to work with Jean Francois, who is a farmer from Maryland with the Farm Le Bocage. The quality of his produce is really exceptional.
What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
In luxury hotels, we just have to be ready for any and all special requests.
What do you drink/eat after work?
After work, I usually drink water and eat a piece of fruit.
What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
Roasted lamb shoulder with rosemary and fresh pasta. (get the recipe after the jump)
Roasted lamb shoulder with rosemary and fresh pasta (Serves 4)
2lb lamb shoulder (boneless)
1liter lamb stock
1/4 liter red wine
1 shallot diced
1 carrot diced
1 stalk of celery
1 onion diced
2 cloves of garlic
Sprigs of fresh thyme and rosemary
1lb of fresh pasta (tagliatelle)
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and fresh ground pepper
In a sauté pan add a bit of olive oil and sear the lamb shoulder on both sides until brown. Remove the lamb shoulder and place in an oven dish. Cook for 45 to 50 minutes at 380o F. Change the oil in the sauté pan and sear the mirepoix (carrots, onions, celery) until caramelized. Deglaze with the red wine, reduce by half and add the lamb jus, reduce again by half and add the fresh herbs and the chopped garlic. Cook the fresh pasta in boiling hot water (with salt) for 2 minutes add butter and seasoning.
Don’t forget a good red wine with this dish (burgundy would be perfect…)