Taste of Paris: Miznon

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11695902_844701115977_8803345370097266460_n.jpgThis past Summer I spent two months cooking for a private family abroad in France. It was my first time to France, and I arrived not speaking a word of the language and completely unaware of how life changing the experience was going to be for me.

About a month into my stay in France, I journeyed to Paris for five days. I took a beautiful train ride that cut from the coast of La Baule to the city of Paris.

When I arrived, a car took me to Ile Saint Louis, where I stayed in a stunning chateau. It had floor to ceiling windows that opened out to a large courtyard below and the quiet, quaint streets of the island.

I ventured out into the maze-like streets of Paris. I refused to buy a map, but discover the city of my dreams on my own. I memorized landmarks and navigated my way through the city.

My first day was overwhelming. Starving, I decided to walk through le Marais and find an authentic dining experience in Paris.

Everywhere I looked was filled with tourists. I walked through seemingly endless side streets and alleys until I came across a tiny storefront of a restaurant with patrons spilling out the windows and entryway. I knew I had to eat here. 11836827_844700831547_9000377625054051336_n.jpg

The smell coming through the door of the restaurant was amazing! It smelled of slowly cooked meat, char, and smoke. I pushed through the door and saw a room with fresh produce on wood shelves, big bowls of lemons and heads of cauliflower. The menu was scribbled on a chalkboard wall in bright colored chalk. The kitchen was completely open, and the cooks prepared the food right in front of you as you ordered. There was minimal seating, and the crowd was loud and joyous. It felt like I had entered someones home, like everyone there was family. 11796379_844701135937_8055135375021145522_n.jpg

I stood awkwardly- waiting for someone to wait on me, or take an order – it never happened. I felt so embarrassed, I almost left. Then I decided to step out of my comfort zone, and I plunged myself down at the counter bar, and sat next to a beautiful pregnant woman.

I sat a few minutes, and then pushed myself to talk with her. I nervously asked her if she spoke English, (which she did, thankfully), and then proceeded to ask her how to order. I then explained I was a NYC chef visiting Paris, and wanted to taste the best food the city had to offer. She explained to me that her husband owned the restaurant and that I was indeed in the right place for good food.

She brought her husband over, and the three of us spoke about middle eastern food, restaurants, New York, and Paris. It was one of those experiences you don’t forget, and then the Chef decided to order for me. 11846732_844700891427_8813675508574140144_n.jpg

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The man working the counter was a combination host, maître d, and comedian. He poured me some warm red wine on this balmy  95 degree day. The restaurant was open to the street, and the heat everywhere. My clothes clung tight and wet to my body. A runner brought over some fresh made pita with side dish of tahini with tomato water and spiced olive oil. I dipped the hot fresh pita into the cool spread, and it refreshed me. 11846620_844701190827_7939526496194403906_n.jpg

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11836825_844700991227_537711851019361455_n.jpgNext came out a fresh pita pocket stuffed with thinly sliced steak, fresh parsley, red onion, and tahini sauce. It was served with roasted green chiles on the side for spice. (They’re very spicy!)

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Next came out the most incredible boeuf bourguignon stuffed pita. The combination of french and Israeli flavors are absolutely delicious, and was the singularly most delicious and memorable thing I ate in all of France. At the same time, they brought out a whole roasted head of cauliflower. It was perfectly tender, roasted nicely with salt and oil. You cut off sections as you ate it, and it made for a perfect accompaniment to the meal.

11825810_844701016177_7969641697193079440_n.jpg11013217_844701056097_1822053214430203279_n.jpg11825795_844701066077_1189422550208118183_n.jpgI drank a few more glasses of wine, ate way too much food, and chatted with the owners. Before I left, I was treated to one last indulgence. Apple Tarte Tatin, stuffed in a pita. A classic french dessert, with an Israeli twist. It was so delicious, I’m not sure how it hasn’t blown up into a huge trend around the world. (Maybe it will now!) 🙂

11855844_844701210787_2959316317263413118_n.jpgIf you’re in Paris, and venture into le Marais, you must check out Miznon.

Miznon
Restaurant: Israeli-French Fusion
Address: 22 Rue des Ecouffes, 75004 Paris, France
 

Bon Appetit!
Sean Patrick Gallagher
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Healthy Meals: Pan Roasted Cauliflower with Pinenuts, Currants, and Feta

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Delicious and quick vegetarian lunch or side dish

Delicious and quick vegetarian lunch or side dish

Pan roasted cauliflower with lemon, garlic, toasted pinenuts, currants, sumac, and feta

1 head Cauliflower, cut into florets

1/4 cup Olive oil

1 Lemon, zested and juiced

1 clove Garlic, thinly sliced

1/8 t Calabrian Chile flakes

2 T Pinenuts, toasted

2 T Currants

1/2 t Sumac

1/4 block Feta, crumbled

  • Heat saute pan on high heat.
  • Add oil and heat until almost smoking.
  • Add cauliflower florets to the pan and brown on one side, turn and brown on other sides.
  • Add garlic, salt and pepper
  • Add chile flakes.
  • Continue to cook until cauliflower starts to soften.
  • Add pinenuts and currants.
  • Add lemon juice and zest.
  • When the cauliflower is tender, add the sumac and feta.
  • Toss to combine.

This makes a great side dish or main dish for lunch. If you omit the feta it is still delicious and makes this vegan. The combination of lemon, garlic, chile, and sumac is delicious. I hope that you try this easy and delicious dish!

Happy Eating

Chef Sean Gallagher

Samsung Club des Chefs

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Samsung House

Samsung House

Last month I was lucky to have the opportunity to work the Samsung Club des Chefs dinner where I got to cook and plate alongside some of the top Chefs in the world. It was spectacular!

Here are a list of Chefs that were presented.

  • “Michel Troisgros, the third-generation owner of a three Michelin star restaurant since 1968, and president of Samsung Club des Chefs;
  • Eric Trochon, winner of Meilleurs Ouvriers de France 2011, one of the most difficult national cooking contests in France. Eric plays multiple roles as renowned chef, food stylist and professor at the Ferrandi Culinary School in Paris, France;
  • Christopher Kostow, the second American-born and the third youngest chef ever to receive three Michelin stars; and
  • Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli (The Franks), acclaimed Brooklyn, New York-based tastemakers at the forefront of the American chef-restaurateur movement.”

Samsung Home Chefs

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The Franks 1st course, roasted vegetables in a roasted cippolini onion vinaigrette with balsamic and avocado

Eric Trochon's Kalamata Olive stuffed lamb loin, roasted tomatoes, and polenta croquettes

Eric Trochon’s Kalamata Olive stuffed lamb loin, roasted tomatoes, and polenta croquettes

Plating with Chef Laura Merrick! She is a dream to work with.

Plating with Chef Laura Merrick! She is a dream to work with.

Chef Eric Trochon's Curried Cauliflower 1st course

Chef Eric Trochon’s Curried Cauliflower 1st course

Chef Robb from CEP, Food Stylist, Chef Eric Trochon, Chef Laura Merrick, and I

Chef Robb from CEP, Food Stylist, Chef Eric Trochon, Chef Laura Merrick, and I

Such an awesome experience! I loved everyone and every moment!

Cheers

Chef Sean Gallagher