Get to Know Your Chef April 26, 2016
Two weeks from now, the classic box will feature a recipe from our incredibly talented Guest Chef Paul Denamiel from Le Rivage. Le Rivage is a family-owned restaurant in New York that was opened in the 1920’s with an authentic, rustic, Fresh feel, with recipes loyal to the culture.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Chef Paul and learn more about his philosophy, motivation, and passion about food.
What is your food philosophy?
It is my belief that food should always transport you to a happy place, whether its a childhood memory of your favorite comfort food or discovering a new dish that sparks new ideas and new memories. My philosophy is that food should incorporates all the senses, it should be an engaging activity from the cooking to the eating.
How did you get involved with food?
I am very fortunate that I love to cook, because I have been completely immersed in the world of hospitality since birth. My whole family and most of my friends have owned or worked in some shape or form to bring food to the table. I don’t think I know how to do anything else and I wouldn’t want to. The early introduction has allowed me to experience every role, from dishwasher to server, to manager to now owner and chef.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration can come from anywhere- a walk in the park, travel, playing with my kids or eating other chef’s food. I love to go out and experience different cultures and imagine how I could translate that into a dish that represents my style and my soul. Usually more traditional dishes steeped in history and rituals are the most inspiring.
What is your most memorable meal?
I don’t think I could pick just one….my most memorable meals have always been the ones shared with friends and family. Meals that bring together a community, and meals that are meant as celebrations. Any meal that creates a happy, lasting memory is always the best!
What’s your favorite story from your kitchen?
I can’t imagine a kitchen without its drama and funny anecdotes. I’ve had my kids working at the restaurant since they were little and on a particular occasion a customer wanted tospeak to the chef, but I was busy and frustrated and as a joke told my kid to take care of it. Without me noticing he grabbed an obviously oversized chef coat, put it on and went into the dining room to engage the customer. Although surprised, a serious discussion took place between the two and the customer was happy. My junior chef returned to the kitchen and I immediately asked him what happened, without skipping a beat he answered: don’t stress Pop’s I handled it! And you know what…? I believed him. Most of the funny stuff that happens isn’t fit for an audience!
Do you have any advice for home chefs?
I actually have three pieces that are all important….Buy a good knife- saves time and aggravation, Don’t overbuy fruits, veggies and proteins. Buy fresh as much as possible. Also- salt. Don’t forget to season everything to really enhance the taste.
Look out for Chef Paul’s recipe in the classic box as week of May 7th and check out Le Rivage in Manhattan, New York next time you’re in town!