In this special weekly feature, “Today” Food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across America. See how much fun you can have (and money you can save) by cooking these dishes at home.
THIS WEEK: Mushroom and chicken crepes topped with tarragon velouté from chef Philippe Piel of ICI in Washington, D.C.
This week’s recipe was stolen from executive chef Philippe Piel from ICI in Washington, D.C. ICI Urban Bistro is very new on the scene, having only just opened this month on 15th & H Streets in Northwest Washington. ICI means "here" in French and offers a more relaxed approach to French cuisine, focusing on comfort foods. To Piel, comfort foods are the famous Breton galettes, a crepe made with a salty buckwheat batter and filled with ham, cheese and a sunny-side-up egg or the leek quiche and chicken a la crème that were a staple at his family’s Sunday-evening suppers.
Executive chef Philippe Piel is a protégé of chef Antoine Westermann and is working to build a menu of the foods his family cooked for their Sunday dinners. ICI does a lot of family-style meals, including weekly "mijote" pots, which are slow-cooked casseroles, stewed and served table side in cast-iron pots. “Food is a reflection of mood, and has the power to influence mood,” states chef Piel. “It is my hope that when dining at ICI, guests feel comfortable, welcome and in tune with fun French culture.” Chef Piel is going back to his roots and presenting a menu of the authentic French comfort foods that embody his childhood.
Moshe B. Zusman
Image: Chef Philippe Piel
1PfalsefalseAbout the chef: A native of Brittany, France, chef Philippe Piel’s resume reads like a map of exotic vacation destinations. Drawing culinary influences from chefs such as Joel Antunes and Thomas Keller, chef Piel describes his cuisine as “French in fundamentals, fun on the plate.” Believing that “food is a display of culture,” chef Piel strives to incorporate his global influences into a menu that allows diners access to the authentic culinary comforts of his homeland.
After a childhood glued to his grandmother’s apron strings, chef Piel enrolled in culinary school in Fougères, France, and embarked on a culinary career that led him through experiences at the three Michelin-star Le Buerehiesel in Strasbourg, France, and six time zones.
Chef Piel began his career at Restaurant Les Voyageurs in Fougères, France, before heading to England to cook at the Old Manor House Restaurant in Romsey, Hants. Over the next ten years, chef’s desire for adventure led him to experiences at Cambridge Beaches in Bermuda, the Sofitel Cambodiana in the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Novotel Benoa in Bali, Indonesia, and the Sofitel Santa Clara in Colombia. Before heading to Washington, D.C., to open Café 15 in the Sofitel Lafayette Square, chef Piel returned to his native France to cook under chef Antoine Westermann at the three Michelin-star Le Buerehiesel.
Mushroom and chicken crepes topped with tarragon velouté are served at ICI for $10. This recipe makes four large restaurant servings.
ICI is located in the Sofitel Hotel
806 15th St
Washington, DC 20005
Want to nominate your favorite restaurant dish for a "Steal This Recipe" feature? Just e-mail Phil at Phil.Lempert@nbc.com (or use the mail box below) with the name of the restaurant, city and state, and the dish you would like to have re-created. Want to know more about Phil and food? Visit his Web site at www.supermarketguru.com.