Laurent Tourondel created the popular BLT Restaurants (Bistro Laurent Tourondel). He was named Bon Appétit’s Restaurateur of the Year in 2007, and has worked at Relais & Châteaux’s La Maison Troigrois in France and at Cello in New York City. He is the author of three cookbooks: Bistro Laurent Tourondel, Go Fish, and most recently Fresh From the Market. Today, the chef divides his time between BLT Market at the Ritz Carlton in New York, LT Burger in Sag Harbor, New York, and serving as the executive chef at Brasserie Ruhlmann in New York. He continues to oversee operations for restaurants around the world in destinations such as New York, Miami, Las Vegas, Scottsdale, Atlanta, Charlotte, Honolulu, and Hong Kong. He lives in the New York metropolitan area.
The perfect petite dessert is only a few simple ingredients away.
Francois Payard’s Smooth French Macaroons are classic and one of the best recipes for macaroons. The texture and sweetness is reminiscent of the flavors I cherished as a child growing up in France. Francois and I have been friends for years, and I have always valued his recipes, which celebrate the basic fundamentals and uniqueness of French desserts. To find this recipe pick up a copy of Francois’ book Bite Size, or check out this great recipe from Cookstr.
For pizza like you’ve never had before but will want to eat again and again and again take a seat at Motorino.
Pizza is one of my favorite foods, and Mathieu Palombino's Motorino in Brooklyn is my new go-to place for real Neapolitan pizza. The décor is clean and simple and the ambience is bustling and laid back at the same time. The texture and flavors of his pizzas are incredible. Mathieu’s attention to detail and his love for authenticity create an electric and delicious menu. An adventurous chef, his creative toppings such as Brussels sprouts and pancetta, clams and other not-so-common toppings, are alluring and surprising. If I could eat this pizza every day, I would!
Any great cook needs to know the basics when it comes to the kitchen, and this is the book that will teach you just that.
The cookbook that has most inspired me is Escoffier: The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery. For one, Escoffier is the forefather of modern cuisine. His recipes and organization are the building blocks of today’s culinary world. Its relevance endures, as I use it as a kitchen reference constantly.
Kalustyan's: Find any flavor you need to take you around the world in this one-stop spice shop.
My favorite food destination is Kalustyan’s in New York City. This store has every variety of spice, chutneys, and other international ingredients you could possibly imagine. Whenever I visit Kalustyan’s I am overwhelmed with their selection, knowledgeable staff, and intriguing aromas. When I visit, I go directly upstairs and sample their premade cuisine. Located in “Curry Hill,” a small pocket filled with Indian restaurants, Kalustyan’s stands alone and informs my own development as a cook, challenging my palate with exciting new flavors and spices.