Featured Chef: Patrick Parmentier

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We’re bursting with pride as we congratulate our own Chef Patrick Parmentier! He recently accepted a new role, as Corporate Academic and Culinary Director, overseeing two L’Ecole Culinarie campuses; in St. Louis and Kansas City.

Chef Parmentier is certainly no stranger to the culinary field. He’s a graduate of the L’École Hotelier de Nice in France and holds a management certificate from the American School of Hotel and Restaurant Management.   Chef Parmentier has perfected his skills across two continents–first cooking in some of the finest restaurants on the French Riviera, then taking his skills overseas to Los Angeles, California. There, he landed a partnership role alongside S&B Food Services catering numerous events at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. Chef Parmentier’s cooking and management prowess led him to a role as Director of Operations at S&B, overseeing their food division.

In 1999 Chef Parmentier began making his mark in the culinairy industry with his own company, now called UHCG, a restaurant and catering group which currently owns and operates two highly successful restaurants in upscale beach cities in Southern California. Always taking on new challenges, Chef Parmentier embarked on a new adventure in 2009 working with Indian Casino Resort in the Middle East to develop an interactive family themed restaurant within an exotic wildlife park. Chef Parmentier’s restaurant expertise also helped launch Gastro Pub and French Café, popular restaurants in Texas and California.

Since Chef Parmentier’s time began at L’École Culinaire, he has been very involved not only in his previous role as the Kansas City campus’ Program Director, but also as the face of L’Ecole Culinaire in Kansas City, preparing delicious recipes for the at-home cook on numerous TV spots. Check him out here, making a tangy, tasty salmon and quinoa salad, or here making a delicious fried alligator po’boy! We can’t wait

 

Memorial Day 2015

Memorial Day may not technically be the first day of summer, but it certainly has become the unofficial kick off to the summer season. Traditionally, a backyard barbeque is the celebration of choice on this long weekend, but let’s face it–that can get a bit boring when it comes to what you’re cooking up. This year save the hot dogs, burgers and chicken for the 4th of July and throw some Copper River Salmon on the grill instead.

What’s Copper River Salmon and why do I need it for Memorial Day, you ask? Copper River Salmon comes from–you guessed it–the Copper River that flows in Alaska. This cold water, line caught fish is firm, has a robust, nutty flavor and is fattier and richer than other types of salmon, which is actually good for you. Salmon is loaded with Omega-3 oils which are particularly good for your heart according the American Heart Association. The catch is that this fish is only available from about mid-May to mid-June, making it a prime choice for Memorial Day festivities. The fish is available at many major and local grocers and seafood markets (we’ve listed carriers below) when it’s is season so it’s readily available in most areas. The chefs at L’Ecole Culinaire are also big fans of Copper River Salmon and have a tasty recipe for it below.

Grilled Copper River Salmon with Tomato Caper Relish

Serves 2

Grilled Salmon

2 Copper River Salmon Filets

Oil as needed

Salt and pepper to taste

Relish

2 ounces tomato, chopped

1/2 ounce shallot, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon basil, chopped

1/2 tablespoon capers, drained and chopped

1/2 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 Fluid ounce Sherry Vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

For the relish combine all ingredients, adjust seasonings to taste and set aside in the refrigerator.

Lightly oil the salmon and season. Oil the grill surface in order to prevent sticking.

Grill the salmon to desired doneness, keeping salmon a little soft in the center will help retain its moisture. Place your finished salmon on a plate and top with relish.

Where to find Copper River Salmon in St. Louis:

Dierbergs

Schnucks (Certain locations at beginning of season, all locations towards mid-season)

Straub’s

Whole Foods

Trader Joe’s (Smoked Salmon Only)

Bob’s Seafood

Mother’s Day Brunch Ideas

Brunch is a Mother’s Day tradition, and with good reason–Mom might want a break from cooking but she’s definitely still hungry for a delicious meal, especially when it’s prepared by the ones she loves the most.

Dads and kids can join forces in the kitchen to make a tasty meal with a fancy presentation, even if cooking isn’t Dad’s forte. Here are some easy tips for making a lovely (and uncomplicated) Mother’s Day Brunch for Mom.

Include a parfait

A parfait is simple to assemble and adds a sweet, healthy and decorative treat to Mom’s special meal. You can use a tall fancy glass (use one with a stem for an extra sophisticated look) or a mason jar and layer her favorite yogurt on top of layers of her favorite fruit until you reach the top of the glass or jar. You can also top it off with some granola for extra crunch!

Make some of it ahead of time

Of course you can’t prepare everything the day before, but if you’re able to get Mom out of the house Saturday afternoon you can prepare a few items beforehand, leaving you with less stress the next morning. For example, cut and prepare a fruit salad. Or, bake a quiche, wrap it in aluminum foil and then stash it away in the refrigerator overnight in a not-too-obvious spot.

Try this kid-friendly 6-ingredient recipe

  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 16 wonton wrappers
  • 5 tbsp. chocolate-hazelnut spread
  • 1 medium ripe banana
  • 2 tbsp. unsalted butter

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Have a small glass of water ready. In a small bowl, mix the sugar and cinnamon with a fork until combined well.

Lay 4 wonton wrappers out on a clean countertop. Place 1 teaspoon chocolate hazelnut spread in the center of each wrapper. Cut the banana into very thin slices with a paring knife and place 2 slices on top of the chocolate hazelnut spread on each wrapper. Dip your finger into the glass of water and run it along the edges of a wonton wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half diagonally, forming a triangle. Press on the edges well with your fingers to seal. Repeat with the remaining 3 wontons. Place the 4 on the baking sheet (you can place them close together; they won’t spread).

Repeat with the remaining wonton wrappers, chocolate hazelnut spread, and bananas, working in batches of 4 wontons at a time. When all the wontons have been made, lightly brush the sides facing up with the melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake the wontons for 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp and lightly browned. Let cool for 1 minute before serving.

Do you need extra help before the big day? Try L’École Culinaire’s public cooking classes. L’Ecole Culinaire–Memphis is offering a Champagne Brunch and L’Ecole Culinaire– St. Louis is offering Breakfast Cookery-Beginner, both on Saturday, May 9. Also, Mom may love a gift certificate for a class herself, or a yummy lunch The Presentation Room Restaurant. Register for classes or purchase gift certificates online at www.lecole.edu.