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Mar 24, 2018
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Posts Tagged ‘Hubert Keller’

By the Book: Hubert Keller’s Souvenirs by Hubert Keller and Penelope Wisner

Friday, December 2nd, 2016



Paging through Hubert Keller’s memoir/cookbook is intimidating. The man grew up in a kitchen in France. He’s cooked on more continents than I’ve been to. He’s served presidents and is apparently really into DJing (actually that last one made him more approachable thanks to goofy photos of him spinning with some guy named Frenchy Le Freak).

There are some seriously daunting recipes. I wasn’t going to make brioche dough, pastry cream, poached pears and a glaze all for one dessert. But further reading turns up milkshakes and a beer burger, too. The book is about his life, which hasn’t taken place entirely in fine-dining kitchens.

I chose to make the appropriately French but delightfully simple Galette des Rois – the traditional French king cake made with puff pastry and a rich almond filling. I’d made this seasonal dish before, but Keller’s recipe was better with a nice rum addition to the filling and an egg yolk wash that made the pastry brown and glisten (all my egg washes will be yolks-only from now on). The cake is practically done for you with frozen puff pastry – I’ll definitely make this again.

Skill level: French. Some recipes are simple with big payoff, but some are fine-dining level and could be prohibitively complicated for home cooks.
Other recipes to try: Spicy sesame kettle corn, poached pear brioche galette
The verdict: Keller and the three kings rule.




Gallette des Rois/ Three Kings Cake
Serves about 8

8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter
½ cup sugar
1 large egg
3 large egg yolks, divided
1 cup finely ground almonds
2 Tbsp. unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting work surface
2 Tbsp. dark rum
1½ lbs. puff pastry, divided
1 dried dean or 1 peeled baby carrot
1 Tbsp. powdered sugar

• In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy. Beat in the whole egg and 1 of the egg yolks until smooth. Stir in the almonds, 2 tablespoons flour and rum until evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate.
• Brush an ungreased baking sheet very lightly with water. Dust a work surface lightly with flour and roll 10 ounces of the pastry until 1/16th inch thick and trim into an 11-inch circle. Transfer it to the prepared baking sheet. Mound the almond filling on the dough, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Press the dried bean into the filling. In a small bowl, whisk the remaining 2 egg yolks with 1-teaspoon water. Brush the border with a little of the egg wash.
• On a lightly floured work surface, roll the remaining dough until 1/8-inch thick and trim into an 11-inch circle. Lay it over the filling and press the top and bottom pastry layers together to seal. Trim the pastry so the edges are even. If you like, make a scalloped border all the way around: with your thumbnail facing toward the cake, press your thumb down onto the pastry border. Position a teaspoon on one side of your thumb and pull the pastry back toward the cake with the spoon, snugging it up nicely. Move your thumb to the opposite side of the scallop and repeat all the way around to form a deeply wavy, decorative edge. If the dough warms too much and becomes soft and sticky, refrigerate the cake to allow it to firm up.
• Brush the egg wash over the entire top of the cake. With the back of a paring knife, without cutting into the pastry, draw a decorative pattern of cross-hatched lines or petals by marking sets of curved lines like open and closed parentheses.
• Chill the cake while the oven preheats to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Pierce a few holes through the pastry to allow steam to escape and dust the top with the powdered sugar. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Lower the heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and continue to bake until the cake is firm, shiny on top, and toasty brown, about 5 minutes. If the sugar has not melted, run the cake quickly under a very hot broiler to finish glazing. Serve it warm or at room temperature. The cake is best served the same day it is baked. Any leftovers can be rewarmed gently before serving.

Reprinted with permission Andrews McMeel Publishing

The Scoop: Last day for Burger Bar

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

{Chocolate Burger from Burger Bar}

Burger Bar, Hubert Keller’s hamburger joint located inside Lumière Place Casino, is closing. As reported today by George Mahe of St. Louis Magazine, Burger Bar – which also has locations in Las Vegas and San Francisco – will shutter permanently after service ends this evening at 11 p.m.

“It was very popular; it’s just [that] the five-year lease was up,” explained Lumière Place spokesperson Candice Coleman about the restaurant’s closure. “It was a mutual, amicable parting,” she said, noting that all Burger Bar team members have been relocated. “No one lost their job,” she said. As for the future use of the space, Coleman stated that a few different concepts are being considered but no decision has been made yet. Keller’s other St. Louis restaurant, Sleek, also located inside the Lumière Place property, closed in January 2011.

Drink This Weekend Edition: Booze-filled shakes are sweet addition to Burger Bar menu

Friday, February 24th, 2012

The concept at Burger Bar, chef Hubert Keller’s burger haven at Lumière Place downtown, is “comfort food taken to a gourmet level,” said the restaurant’s general manager Stephen Smith. Recently, that has meant giving the childhood delight of a hand-dipped milkshake a fancy splash of grown-up flavor.

Burger Bar offers six adult milkshake flavors. Each frothy concoction contains four scoops of ice cream – enough to overflow a pint glass – blended with booze. The people’s choice thus far is Rocky Road, a combination of chocolate ice cream, almonds, chocolate chips, marshmallow-flavored vodka, vanilla-flavored vodka and a spoonful of sugary marshmallow fluff. My favorite, however, is Nutty Irish; this hazelnut-lover’s delight is a creamy blend of vanilla ice cream, Nutella, the hazelnut liqueur Frangelico and Irish cream. Other flavors on the menu are strawberry, white chocolate truffle, chocolate truffle and orange chocolate. None of these frozen desserts is especially boozy; each shake contains two liqueurs or spirits, chosen to enhance flavor rather than to get the buzz on, for a total of 1½ shots of alcohol.

Sipping on an alcoholic shake from a straw at Burger Bar doesn’t mean you have to leave behind your kids or non-drinking pals. The restaurant offers half a dozen nonalcoholic milkshakes, ranging from traditional flavors like chocolate, vanilla and cookie dough to deviant-yet-delicious Twinkie.


Kevin Willmann named among 2011 Best New Chefs by Food & Wine Magazine

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

040511_kwA Saucy congratulations to Kevin Willmann! The chef-owner of Farmhaus is one of 10 chefs across the country named a 2011 Best New Chef today by Food & Wine Magazine, according to the Post-Dispatch’s Joe Bonwich and Evan Benn.

Since leaving Erato on Main and opening his own restaurant in South City early last year, Willmann has drawn plenty of praise from the culinary community. This year, he garnered a semifinalist nomination for a James Beard Foundation Award in the Best Chef: Midwest category as well as a nomination for Food & Wine’s People’s Best New Chef for the Midwest region, a new award that’s voted on by the public.

The annual Best New Chef award, as described on Food & Wine Magazine’s Web site, honors “exceptionally talented men and women who are pushing culinary boundaries in America.” Willmann joins the ranks of local chef Gerard Craft, who was bestowed the honor in 2008. The complete list of winners will be announced today at 5 p.m. Eastern.

All of our coverage of Kevin Willmann

— Photo by Brian Fagnani

The Scoop: Former Sleek CDC to helm kitchen at neo-cabaret venue in downtown Maplewood

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

030211_jupiterJim Callahan, owner of local recording studio Jupiter Studios, is turning his love for music and entertainment into a whole new act. His latest venture, The Jumpin’ Jupiter, will be a “neo-cabaret venue” located at 7376 Manchester Road in the space formerly occupied by Jive and Wail in Maplewood.

The Jumpin’ Jupiter slogan gives an idea of what’s in store for guests: “Live entertainment, food, drinks and chaos.” Specifically, there will be shows inspired by 1920s and 1930s-era acts that run the gamut of vaudeville zaniness – fire eaters, singers and dancers – as well as local artists and jazz and blues musicians. The entertainment is just half of the show, however, since a ticket for these three-hour performances will also net guests a five-course meal, customized to compliment each act.

Helming the kitchen at The Jumpin’ Jupiter will be Israel “Izzy” Rodriguez, who worked as chef de cuisine at Hubert Keller’s Sleek before the restaurant closed in late January. Rodriguez is also developing a small plates menu that will be available after the main show is over when The Jumpin’ Jupiter will open to the public. Rodriguez told The Scoop that the food will be high end and that he’s sourcing ingredients from local growers, many of whom he worked with at Sleek. Rodriguez added that the presentation will be kitschy, with each course served on one of 1,000 mis-matched plates amassed from various flea markets. In addition to the core evening shows, the venue will also feature a gospel brunch on Sundays mornings and family-oriented events on Sunday afternoons.

Callahan expects to open The Jumpin’ Jupiter in May or June after completing a build-out to the existing kitchen and stage in the 5,500-square-foot space with dining capacity for 200 guests.

The Scoop: Pinnacle provides details on restaurants going into old SLeek and Jeff Ruby’s spots

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

1904 Steak HouseIt was widely speculated that Hubert Keller’s recently shuttered SLeeK Steakhouse and Ultralounge would become a sports bar. Today, the Scoop received confirmation from Pinnacle Entertainment, which owns the downtown venue, that the space at Lumière Place downtown would, in fact, be a dining destination for sports aficionados: Stadium Sports Bar and Grill.

When doors open this spring, Stadium Sports Bar and Grill will offer more than 40 high-definition flat screen TVs and a menu that includes appetizers, salads, sandwiches, hand-tossed pizzas, flatbreads, smoked meats and steaks.

Jeff Babinski, vice president and general manager of Lumière Place, explained the reason for the change from steakhouse to sports bar: “Although SLeeK was a successful venture by any measure, both we and chef Hubert Keller agreed that a more casual concept is appropriate for this location. Our location, so close to the Edward Jones Dome, and just blocks from Busch Stadium and Scottrade Center, will make Stadium an ideal choice for fans of all stripes.” Keller’s other dining venue at Lumière Place, Burger Bar Saint Louis, continues to operate.

Changes have also occurred at Pinnacle’s other St. Louis gaming property, River City Casino. Management has officially settled on the name 1904 Steakhouse for the Pinnacle-operated restaurant that replaces the vacated Jeff Ruby’s Steakhouse, which closed in November. William Osloond was recently hired as the restaurant’s executive chef. The revamped menu – Sauce got a sneak peak of these dishes that are decidedly distinct from the Ruby’s bill of fare  –  debuts March 1. Lastly, the 1904 Beerhouse, also at River City Casino, has changed names and is now simply The Beerhouse.

The Scoop: Araka Snags Sleek’s Caravelli as Exec Chef

Monday, July 19th, 2010

071910_arakaSteven Caravelli, chef de cuisine at Hubert Keller’s Sleek in Lumière Place, has been hired to helm the kitchen at Araka in Clayton.

Araka owner Brad Beracha hinted at the change last week. An e-mail sent to Araka newsletter subscribers said, “We have great news about the Araka kitchen (opposed to the other news),” the parenthetical phrase a reference to former executive chef Marc Curran, who was charged in June with multiple counts of burglary and stealing from the restaurant.

Caravelli, who had staged at Araka before joining the team at Sleek, is excited about the opportunity. “It’s a beautiful restaurant and they have a great southern Mediterranean thing going with the food. I’m not going to jump in and change the menu, but I will bring some new ideas and I’ll bring in more of a level of detail back to the kitchen.”

“I am so excited that Steve will be joining us to lead our kitchen staff at Araka,” Beracha said. “We are planning many refreshing changes to the menu, which will include a significant shift to locally grown products from area farmers and introducing optional tasting menus, one being all vegetarian. You can look forward to more winemaker-attended wine dinners and increased participation in off-premise food and wine events. In other words, if you have always loved Araka, you are going to love it even more.”

Caravelli’s last day at Sleek is July 31, and he will assume his duties at Araka on August 9. One of his first tasks is to get ready for an August 12 four-course wine dinner with Bennett Lane Winery of Napa Valley. Caravelli is already at work finalizing the menu for the event.

And what does celeb chef Hubert Keller think about losing his rising star? “He’s excited for me,” responded Caravelli. “They understand; I’ve been at Sleek for two-plus years. He told me I did a good job for them and said he’s going to visit me there as soon as he comes into town.”

Have scoop on restaurants opening, closing or changing their menu in the St. Louis area? Email us at Scoop@saucemagazine.com.

Vegetarian cuisine at Beef Central

Monday, March 8th, 2010

030810_SLeekCraving vegetarian? Well, then – head to Sleek.

Consider that a tiny tease. Most folks would sooner associate Hubert Keller’s acclaimed steakhouse in Lumière Place with Kobe and Ridgeland Harvest premium beef than with vegetarian cuisine. Nonetheless, in addition to giant bone-in rib-eyes and other daunting cuts of meat, Sleek offers a four-course prix fixe vegetarian menu.

“The chef makes [the menu] every night, so it changes depending on what fresh produce we have in for that particular day,” general manager Rusty Oakes told us. “When you come in and order the vegetarian menu, the server will bring you out details of each course.”

The evening that Oakes spoke with us, for instance, the vegetarian menu included a beet salad and gnocchi with black truffles. “It’s three courses with dessert,” he said. “We fly all our stuff in and have it shipped in locally from here in Missouri, so it changes depending on what’s in season.”

Potential diners seeking details ahead of time, of course, will want to phone Sleek at 314.621.9590.

Yo, DJ, pump this party!

Monday, February 9th, 2009

After collaborating with Four Seasons executive chef Karen Hoffman to turn out an amazing four-course meal at Saturday night’s fundraiser for St. Louis Community College’s culinary arts program, held at the swanky downtown hotel, über-celeb chef Hubert Keller brought a bit of his Vegas side to the fete by serving as the post-dinner DJ. Fresh.

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