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: Pan-roasted gnocchi with caramelized white asparagus, oyster mushrooms and brown butter vinaigrette from Scott Ekstrom, executive chef of Brasserie 44 in New York City.
This week we’ve stolen a recipe from Scott Ekstrom, executive chef of Brasserie 44, which recently opened at the Royalton Hotel in midtown Manhattan. Along with restaurateur John McDonald, Ekstrom has created a modern American menu for the restaurant. He has also prepared a prix fixe theatre menu for Bar 44, the hotel’s chic lobby lounge, as well as a room service menu for hotel guests.
This recipe calls for a Banyuls vinegar, a vinegar made from a fortified wine from a region in the south of France that borders Spain. It is a gastronomic treat, having been aged in barrels for five years and has a mellow flavor, but if you can’t find it, you can use red wine vinegar instead.
About the chef: Working in kitchens since age 14, Ekstrom, who grew up in the seaside town of Lavallette, N.J., found his first real taste for fine dining and food when he entered The Restaurant School of Philadelphia. While there, he worked under the tutelage of Chef Jean-Marie Lacroix in The Fountain Restaurant at The Four Seasons, his first introduction to classical French cuisine. In 1997, Ekstrom went to work for Georges Perrier of Le Bec Fin and at Brasserie Perrier, where he learned technical French cooking and the art of simplicity.
Looking to broaden his horizons, in 1999, Ekstrom went to work at New York City restaurant Daniel, under world-renowned chef Daniel Boulud. During his four-year tenure there, the restaurant received four stars. It is here that he learned how to make beautiful flavor combinations.
Scott Ekstrom serves as executive chef of Brasserie 44 in New York City.
Image: Scott Ekstrom
1PfalsefalseEkstrom joined Oceana as sous chef in the spring of 2003 and was later promoted to chef de cuisine. Under the guidance of chef-phenom Cornelius Gallagher, the restaurant received three stars from The New York Times and four stars from the New York Post. Beauty, artistic expression and excellence were the driving forces of this exceptional culinary experience.
Ekstrom’s personal philosophy, to bring “a respect for tradition and quality to the kitchen with an unwavering commitment to please” can be seen throughout his creations at Brasserie 44.
In his spare time, he enjoys exploring the culinary traditions of Europe, especially southwest France, as well as bringing a balance of artistry to his life through sculpture and painting.
Pan-roasted gnocchi with caramelized white asparagus, oyster mushrooms and brown butter vinaigrette is served at Brasserie 44 for $20. This recipe makes six to eight restaurant servings.
At The Royalton
44 W. 44th St.
New York, NY 10036
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