How a Legendary Chef Runs One of the World's Most Iconic Restaurants — Mise En PlaceFeb 18, 2020
- My technique is simple, I use cutlery and I use a spoon. (scraped) Live scallop. You know, everyone uses different professional knives, and you just need this. Yeah, I don't do this every day, but I really try to get my hands dirty once in a while, you know. Just to see, to get in touch with the guys because they really are the backbone of the kitchen, you know, they're the backbone of the restaurant. (upbeat music) I think Eddie is probably the fastest butcher in New York City. You know, the black bass. I mean, I'm pretty good at filleting fish, but this is like, I mean, look at this, they're out of meat.
He's going to use some tuna too, we've got some sea urchins coming. Executive Chef Marcos Lapico. He has been with us for 17 years, from Canada. Canada is fine. They're good with fish, you know, so here we are. This tuna comes in from Hawai'i every day. - Look at that color, it's spectacular. It's a bit thinner and works great with one of our signature dishes, the tuna noodles, which are cut udon noodle style. - Seeing this preparation, we can never take that off the menu. People come once a week, twice a week to eat the tuna noodles.
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how a legendary chef runs one of the world s most iconic restaurants mise en place...
You have to have good knife skills for this. I mean, that's only a couple of times, and people have no idea, when they start eating the noodles with their chopsticks. It's like, how are you doing this? You know, Eddie is the teacher. That's the
place, and then head upstairs. Thai chili, olive oil and salt. It is probably the
mostpopular dish. - It is a treasure. This is good, it's exciting. - I've been using uni since I've been in New York since 1986, from Maine, sometimes from Japan. But we feel that the California ones are very sweet.
Wow. The purple ones are the best. - Wow, look at that. We're so lucky, like, out of the water on the other side of the country, and you know they're here this morning, and in an hour they'll be on our menu. - Sometimes people have no idea what it takes to bring that little uni to the toast. Blow them in, open them, the job. - For us the product is key, you know, that's the main thing. We sold tens of thousands of cookbooks, no one has ever replicated this restaurant, and I think it's because of the origin of the product.
And then we have a fabulous team. So winter is sometimes a bit tricky. There isn't much fresh produce around, but the good thing is that it's truffle season. Right now we're going through a shipment of black truffles. I mean the scent is spectacular. You can see it, check it out. - Oh! - This is one of those relationships that we really try to cultivate, these guys know that as soon as they clear customs, they come directly to us. That usually gives us a lot to choose from. - Is that true or not? - Very sure. - Right, first stop. - Saving $5, $20, $100 a pound, of all the
places that nickel and dime, this is not the place in my opinion.
Same with caviar. So this is arguably my favorite part of the day, or at least registering the product. Especially since I love to eat caviar. We opened each one of them, we tried each one of them. If you look at caviar, you know that each of the beads is individual. Wow, I mean, to me, this is an extraordinary batch. I love the color, I love the beads, I love how clean the finish is. We are opening shortly, and again, they hit the mark. We are right there. Between the classic egg caviar and the egg toast, we spent quite a bit of caviar.
That, and JG has a tendency to give it away. (laughs) So this will cover us for the day. We have Joe Rhee, Executive Sous Chef, who will prepare one of our signature dishes. It's toasted egg yolk layered between two pieces of homemade brioche. That starts with the eggs, and these are tempered and then cooked for about an hour. It's been described as the
world's largest grilled cheese sandwich, which I think might be pretty fair. Mainly because it has a large amount of caviar on it. For many of our dishes, we look for precision. We get a lot of things personalized for us, even in this case there is a ruler that has the precise measurements of the egg toast.
All our recipes are measured to one tenth of a gram. We want to make sure that if someone loves egg toast in New York, when they get it in Tokyo or in Brazil, they'll have the same experience. So appearance, the weight of it, are extremely important to us. How many egg toasts do you think you've made? - I'd say close to a million. - (laughing) A million? - I cut each bread, I cook each egg. In the restaurant, it's all me. So if you see him, you know who he is, it's me. - Each one of them is exactly perfect, so it's going to fit perfectly on the tray, and that's why we use the ruler, I love it. - Ideally, you want the butter to be as smooth as possible so that when you toss it in, it just lands. - Well, you know it's going to be like this perfect golden brick and you know, the sunlight upstairs in the kitchen is magical during the day.
At the right angle, when the egg toast is on the griddle, it al
mostlooks like the sun is shining. I know it sounds a bit dramatic, but it's honestly pretty cool. See, now when you look at it and it's like that perfect brick, this is the reason for the rule. That is the precision. - I love those trays. This is like, you mastered that, huh? When cooked, the brioche is golden. A little sea salt, herbs, a tablespoon of fresh caviar. And I think the texture of crunchy, creamy, hot, cold, salty, is a 10. So we have about 40
world, but this is the flagship.
Jean-Georges is the flagship. When I'm in New York, people see me here every day. At least 10 hours a day. - The pigeon has just arrived. - This restaurant is really the center of activity. This is where we create all the recipes and export them all over the world. I would never put a dish on the menu if I don't try it, and if I don't eat it from A to Z. So what are we thinking? - I'm thinking of smoking it whole. -Chef Greg Brainin is our Culinary Director, he develops all the recipes for us. I mean right now we're working on a squab dish, we don't have our sauce yet, we don't have a seasoning yet, we don't have a vegetable yet and that's where it starts.
I like the pigeon with some spices. - I think we should spice it up now, leave it, - Okay, rest. - rest for a few minutes with the seasoning. - Alright. - With cardamom, yes? - Let's do it. - What do you think, cardamom? - I like cardamom. - I'm going to go ahead and make a spice mix. And what I normally do in a process like this is do it for one, in this case four. If we like it, we simply expand the recipe. But I weigh everything as we go, so I never have to try to go back to something.
What do you think? - Oh yeah. - Alright? - Yeah. - So check this out. Greg made a mix of spices and salt. I mean it already smells good. We basically have four of them because I think we're still negotiating how this whole dish will play out. We thought of frying one, sort of like a Chinese technique. We're going to roast one of them whole, and then I think we can break one of them apart and roast it under the salamander. I definitely think we are on the right track. Cured 20, 30 minutes just to set it, and then smoke. - Our menu here changed about six months ago, we have a lot of vegetarians, ie 20% of our clientele order plant-based dishes and so on, so we decided to really go in that direction. - All the shipments are starting to arrive, we are working on a new dish, Caraflex cabbage. - Here we have your Caraflex and your celery root.
This has started to sprout a bit because it just came out of the ground. - That's great. The best of vegetarian and vegan
restaurants, they are not doing a fake version of a fish dish. They are allowing the vegetable to speak for itself. We cut the cabbage into quadrants and then weigh it. It is important that the weight is the same for each of them so that the cooking time is exact. Once the cabbage is fully cooked you can see that it is almost translucent and super tender. Hailey is going to put the celery root puree inside and then we're going to brown it on the griddle.
She goes to glaze and we finish it off with white truffle shavings. It sounds a bit far-fetched, but I think someone who eats a piece of cabbage in a restaurant like this, it's hard for them to see the perceived value in it. - Do you have the truffle? - You know the onus is on the restaurant to make sure that people feel like they've gotten value for money, that they've seen some creativity. - Let's try a
chefchallenge here. It's Greg and Mark. One is going to be fried, one is going to be roasted, one is going to be roasted.
So different flavor, different texture. - We didn't really think it was a competition, but it's okay. This will take longer. 12 minutes to cook and three to rest. (upbeat music) - This can be beautiful too. The others are cooked on the bone, so there is always more flavor off the bone. This is going to be a bit cleaner, but faster for the service. - When you add a little bit of butter and you're getting ready to drizzle it when it starts to foam, it's like the perfect temperature. The milk solids haven't caramelized yet, you still have a bit of that lactic flavor left over.
I love this color, its brightness. (happy music) - So we're going to try the fried, the roasted, the roasted, to see which brings more intensity, right? Fried is super juicy, succulent. - This is the roast. - The smoke over the spice, perfect. I think both bone-in roasts are better. - As for the taste, juicy. -I think that the roast contributes, because of the butter, it contributes a little more. - I mean that roasting is more practical for us, I think. Because all the tastings we have is one, one, one, one. But it's much better on the bone. - I mean, that's the best part. - Yes I think so. - I think we can do it. - So, what are we seeing here with this turnip? - Turnip, kohlrabi and then - Whisky. - Whiskey with the toast, bone-in? in the bone?
Good. - So it's like ten past three now, and I think we line up in less than two hours. This was fun, I love it, I love that we have a direction going forward, but we really have to get ready for service now. So this is Baju, she is the
chefde partie at the fish station and one of her tasks is to make the buckwheat crepes in which we will later wrap our prawns. So we start with a little bit of excess in the ladle and then dip the rest, and the main reason is that she wants the crepe to be very, very thin.
Once they got in, they cleaned themselves up, we removed the claw and head. That's something we're going to use to make a broth. Just nice and crispy on the outside, that's what you're looking for. It's almost like a cast. So, at 5:00 p.m. m., the cooks are there, the whole team is eating as a family. We usually take this time as the last moment of the day before the service begins, where we can actually open each container, spoon each sauce, and make sure all the
miseen place is packed tight. If something isn't right, now is the time to redo it.
The last thing in the world we want is for a customer to point out what we've done incorrectly. Are the chives cut well? Is the dill hydrated? Is the caviar cold enough? Often this doubles as dinner. And then when I'm done, we're open, we're on it, we're on duty. Sending a uni mushroom madai now. Hannah, you can shoot all three pieces of toast. Window three, Hannah, or more? I need three pieces of toast, but not before three minutes because the mushrooms aren't done yet. Guys, pick up the double crab. 6:00 p.m. m., we're kind of, things are picking up right now, we're getting to the middle of dinner service, so we're starting to get a little warm. - Here's your fry. - We're busy to the point where there's going to be some action, you know.
We like it, it's like the best. - Behind you guys. - A tuna and a double tatsoi are going away and I think that later we are going to make, we need a crab, a trout, and we are going to make a ravioli all together. - Thank you. You choose a risotto. Beautiful. Let's do everything. - Second course, a tuna, a tartare. We are going to finish the double pigeon, both regulars. - One more to finish the table. - Sounds good. Felix, do me a favor, just put that print there on the side, thanks. Thank you. - I mean, that's a bomb, huh?
The truffle in the uni? - That's magic for sure. Alright, now we're going to make a trout, a ravioli, and a king crab. - I need the food. I need to touch the food every day. And even if Mark has it perfectly done, I still need to get involved and get my hands on it and try things out. It's part of my DNA, you know?
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