Paul Liebrandt Has Left Corton
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After five years in the kitchen at Corton, Paul Liebrandt announced yesterday that he would be leaving the popular TriBeCa restaurant.
According to the New York Times, Liebrandt is planning to concentrate on the Elm, his more casual spot in Williamsburg, and a high-end project he's opening in Manhattan. Meanwhile Corton, which has two Michelin stars and received three stars from New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni in 2008, is currently without a chef.
“After five years of significant achievement at Corton, we’ve parted ways with Paul Liebrandt...." the restaurant tweeted Saturday at 1:14 p.m. The tweet linked to the restaurant's website, which now has only a note from co-owner Drew Nieporent:
"'After five years of significant achievement at Corton, we’ve parted ways with Paul Liebrandt. We thank our terrific staff for their hard work and commitment and the best customers any restaurant could hope for. It’s time to reassess. Our options are open and I’m certain exciting things lie in our future.' – Drew, July 27, 2013."
Nieporent said he is still weighing his options for the restaurant.
“We achieved a great deal,” he said. “At the end of the day, we just couldn’t make it work financially.”
Relations between the chef and restaurateur seemed strained in a New York Times profile of Liebrandt that came out early last month, with Nieporent calling the relationship "complicated" and Liebrandt refusing to discuss it at all.
“My whole thing has always been about accessibility and making it easier on the guest,” Nieporent said at the time. “This has been a challenge. Because his food is anything but accessible. It takes submission.”
While Nieporent has not yet decided if the restaurant will close or continue to operate as Corton, he did mention that since the profile of Liebrandt came out, he's been contacted by multiple chefs who were interested in the job.
“It’s less of me approaching people and it’s more people approaching me, and that’s gratifying in a large way,” he said. “Keep your eyes open, because something exciting’s going to follow.”
A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt
In 2001, Paul Liebrandt was a young chef making food that put a daring new spin on traditional techniques. In the vanguard of what would become known as “molecular gastronomy,” he bounced from restaurant to restaurant in New York City, struggling to find the right outlet for his creative vision.
A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt follows the cutting-edge chef over the course of nine and a half years, documenting the highs and lows of an artist striving to find his place in New York’s cutthroat world of haute cuisine when it debuts Monday, June 13 (9:00-10:15 p.m. ET/PT), exclusively on HBO. First-time filmmaker Sally Rowe directs.
At age 24, Atlas chef Paul Liebrandt received three stars from the New York Times for unforgettable and hypermodern dishes such as “espuma of calf brains and foie gras” and “beer and truffle soup.” He soon became a chef critics loved – or loved to hate.
During his tenure at the modest bistro Papillon, New York Times food critic William Grimes gave Liebrandt two stars, because “there was some inspired cooking going on,” but added that “he needs a bigger show.” As the restaurant business weakened post-9/11, the owners changed the menu to cut costs. Forced to serve burgers and fries, Liebrandt soon left Papillon.
A few years later, Liebrandt became the executive chef at Gilt, where he could make food that told a story. Thomas Keller, chef-owner of Per Se, says Liebrandt was making cuisine that expressed his personality, noting that the food “was more based in traditional technique and traditional flavors, but still with wonderful surprises and new flavor compositions, and the execution became even better.” But six weeks after the restaurant’s opening, New York Times food critic Frank Bruni awarded Gilt a disappointing two stars. Liebrandt and Gilt soon parted ways.
In March 2007, Liebrandt was approached by restaurateur Drew Nieporent to be the chef and part-owner of Corton, a high-end Tribeca venue. A Matter of Taste follows the two, along with restaurant director Arleene Oconitrillo (who is also Liebrandt’s girlfriend), as they work feverishly to get Corton ready for opening, testing recipes and perfecting the décor. Amidst anticipation of a New York Times review, Corton has a successful opening. Notes Nieporent, “I’ve never, ever, ever had a restaurant – except maybe, maybe Nobu – that has uniformly gotten this much critical acclaim all at once. But what’s missing? The New York Times. The paper of record.”
Check out this special video preview below. And don’t forget to DVR the film on June 13th at 9PM!
Paul Liebrandt shares a delicious fish and chips recipe on CocuSocial
Many home cooks are looking to improve their cooking skills. CocuSocial and Paul Liebrandt have partnered to bring the celebrated chef directly into the home kitchen. In his upcoming fish and chips cooking class, Chef Liebrandt will help home cooks gain confidence in their cooking techniques.
For many foodies, Chef Paul Liebrandt is a culinary legend. The youngest chef to receive three stars from the New York Times, his two Michelin Stars, the award winning documentary A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt, his book Bad to the Bone and numerous other accolades, he is considered one of the most creative and talented chefs in the world.
While few people may have the opportunity to indulge in one of Chef Liebrandt&rsquos dining experiences, his Instagram page is filled with stunning visuals of the impeccable dishes that he creates. As your eyes marvel at the plate, the exploration of the flavors is the real gem. From creative combinations to seasonal ingredients at the pinnacle of their flavors, this chef inspires others to push the boundaries of culinary creativity.
With more and more home cooks looking to explore food, flavor and cooking at home, a platform like CocuSocial brings that opportunity to them. This platform offers online cooking classes. The Masters Series brings celebrated chefs, like Chef Liebrandt, to cooks who are looking to gain knowledge from these culinary experts.
On June 27, Chef Liebrandt will host a class on Fish and Chips. Even though many people have experienced this iconic dish, this version might have foodies discovering a new appreciation for the dish often associated with England.
Ahead of the CocuSocial cooking class, I had the opportunity to chat with Chef Paul Liebrandt about this cooking philosophy, why he chose fish and chips and what he recommends for home cooks to gain cooking confidence.
Looking at Chef Liebrandt&rsquos dishes, his inspiration does not come from one specific point. In many ways, all food is his canvas. Whether it is the fresh, seasonal ingredients from the New York City farmer&rsquos market, a country that he is visiting or another area that moves him, inspiration is everywhere.
During my conversation with Chef Liebrandt, it was clear that ingredients tend to guide some of his choices. He mentioned that &ldquoingredients need to speak to you.&rdquo Whether it is that perfectly luscious strawberry that is currently in season or another item from the local farmer, those ingredients offer a bounty of flavor.
He encouraged home cooks to taste the difference. For example, he mentioned how a strawberry from the local farmer&rsquos market will have a different taste than one purchased from the grocery store. When that flavor is a cook&rsquos guide, the resulting dish will be a wonderful experience.
Still, the home cook can be intimidated in the kitchen. Although the professional chef can make almost any dish look effortless, that skilled plate comes with years of practice. Chef Liebrandt said that home cooks need to practice to make perfect.
Part of the benefit to a cooking class on CocuSocial is to show the hows, whys and whats that can make a dish special. Whether it is the flavorful ingredients, careful preparation or the process itself, the path to being a better chef is a journey not a sprint.
Paul Liebrandt Has Left Corton - Recipes
A. Corton is a contemporary French restaurant and very suitable to being in Tribeca, which is a destination area. The style of the food, the design and feel of the restaurant, it’s an experience and it’s one of those places that you travel to.
Q. You food is art on a plate, where does your inspiration come from?
A. The base and the core of the food that I’ve always done is French. Just because it looks not quite the same as someone else’s, the core of it is still based on classical French technique. We still make our stocks and bases and vinaigrettes exactly the same way that I was taught when I was young boy and any other great restaurant does. That never changes. So, we don’t ever substitute anything for the basic building blocks of cooking.
The artistry part is purely my way of looking at the cuisine and the menu when putting my personal touch on it. I’m inspired by products and ingredients, but also traveling, cultures from around the world and art is a big one, modern art especially.
Paul Liebrandt’s Rhubarb Dish
Q. Do you have a favorite modern artist?
A. Cy Twombly -- I really love the spontaneity and the flow of his style. Rothko for more cubism. It depends on the mood, the time of year and the ingredients that we’re working with. But it’s more like a fashion house, where throughout the year we’re looking at the fall collection, the summer collection, and the style within the menu for that particular year. The aesthetic of the dishes are slightly different than they were last year, even though we are using a lot of the same ingredients.
Q. What are some of the changes you’ve seen in cooking over the years?
A. I don’t see the level of technique, the level of focus that I did maybe 15 years ago. These days everything is very easy, our lives have become very easy with technology, we expect everything immediately. I was around and working as an adult before there were cell phones. You picked up a phone, there was more interaction with people face to face, there was no texting. It wasn’t so instantaneous. You had to put more effort on a daily basis to do everything.
I think in broader terms, the way people view food and the vocational aspect of I’m doing this as my career, I’m proud of it, I love what I do has changed. It’s not about doing this to become famous, to get somewhere else, it’s because I enjoy the craft of what I’m doing. That has definitely changed in a huge way.
Paul Liebrandt Is Leaving Corton
One of the most acclaimed restaurants in New York is losing its chef. Paul Liebrandt, who for five years has been the fastidious auteur in the kitchen at Corton, in TriBeCa, has parted ways with the restaurant, a publicist for him said on Saturday.
Mr. Liebrandt plans to shift his attention to the Elm, a restaurant he opened in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn this summer, and to a high-end project in Manhattan that could come together next year.
With Mr. Liebrandt’s cooking and the management of the veteran restaurateur Drew Nieporent, Corton received two stars from Michelin and three stars from Frank Bruni in a 2008 New York Times review. In 2011 the chef was the subject of a documentary called “A Matter of Taste.”
But over the past year or so it became noticeably easy to land a table at the restaurant, even on a weekend evening, and friction at Corton between Mr. Liebrandt and Mr. Nieporent surfaced in a recent Times profile of the chef, who is known for being as headstrong as he is inspired. “My whole thing has always been about accessibility and making it easier on the guest,” Mr. Nieporent said at the time. “This has been a challenge. Because his food is anything but accessible. It takes submission.”
Corton recently announced on its Web site that it would be closed in July for a summer break. In a brief phone conversation on Saturday, Mr. Nieporent said he was still weighing his options for the restaurant, which is in the space that once housed the legendary Montrachet.
“We achieved a great deal,” said Mr. Nieporent, the businessman behind restaurants such as Nobu and Tribeca Grill. “At the end of the day, we just couldn’t make it work financially.”
What to Cook Right Now
Sam Sifton has menu suggestions for the coming days. There are thousands of ideas for what to cook waiting for you on New York Times Cooking.
- Do not miss Yotam Ottolenghi’s incredible soba noodles with ginger broth and crunchy ginger. for fungi is a treat, and it pairs beautifully with fried snapper with Creole sauce.
- Try Ali Slagle’s salad pizza with white beans, arugula and pickled peppers, inspired by a California Pizza Kitchen classic.
- Alexa Weibel’s modern take on macaroni salad, enlivened by lemon and herbs, pairs really nicely with oven-fried chicken.
- A dollop of burrata does the heavy lifting in Sarah Copeland’s simple recipe for spaghetti with garlic-chile oil.
For a while, he said, he floated the notion that Mr. Liebrandt could buy Corton outright, following a model established in 2011 when the chef Daniel Humm and the manager Will Guidara fully took over Eleven Madison Park, ending their partnership with the restaurateur Danny Meyer.
That idea never really gained traction at Corton. And once Mr. Liebrandt’s plans for the Elm began to emerge, Mr. Nieporent was not keen on having his chef’s artistry going head to head with itself. “Your partner cannot be your competitor,” he said.
For now, the future of Corton remains undecided. “I’m not saying it’s going to continue on, or close,” Mr. Nieporent said. “At this moment I haven’t made that decision.” He did suggest that, in the wake of the recent Times profile of Mr. Liebrandt, he has heard from many chefs who have expressed a willingness to step in. “It’s less of me approaching people and it’s more people approaching me, and that’s gratifying in a large way,” Mr. Nieporent said. He added: “Keep your eyes open, because something exciting’s going to follow.”
In a statement released by the publicist Jennifer Baum, Mr. Liebrandt said: “It has been a wonderful five years and I value the experience I had there and thank everyone who has worked so hard with me at Corton. I felt it was the right time to move on to new and different projects which, in addition to the Elm, are already in the planning stages, including a signature Paul Liebrandt restaurant.”
Although the Elm has been advertised as an elegant but slightly more casual spin on Mr. Liebrandt’s culinary artistry, Ms. Baum said the forthcoming project, a collaboration with the same King & Grove hotel team that is behind the Elm, “will not be casual at all.”
Chef Profiles and Recipes - A Conversation with Paul Liebrandt
Paul Liebrandt of Corton discusses the philosophy behind his cooking and his connection with food.
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Chef Paul Liebrandt’s Recipe of Fish & Chips
Beer Battered Turbot:
– 4 (100g portions) Turbot fillets cleaned
– 250g Rice Flour
– 50g Corn Starch
– 370g Brown Lager-Brooklyn Brewery Sorachi Ace
– 2 Tsp Sea Salt
– ½ Tsp Cracked Black Peppercorns
– 3000g Groundnut oil
– Combine all dry ingredients before adding half the Lager, do not over mix as you want to keep the bubbles in the lager, fold in the remaining lager, strain into siphon container and charge with two no2 carts. Refrigerate and hold for 2 hours.
– In a deep pot, carefully heat groundnut oil to 395f.
– Lightly season the fish with rice flour- which should be at room temp.
– Discharge batter into a cold bowl, Dip the fish into the batter, shaking off the excess, and gently place in the oil for 3-4 minutes-drizzle a little of the batter atop the fish whilst frying until light caramel color about 5 mins.
– Remove and drain fish on a paper towel, internal temp will rise to 45c perfect cooking temp.
– Season lightly with sea salt and pepper.
Lime Pickle Aioli:
– 100g Indian pickled lime relish
– 300g Mayonnaise
– Lemon juice/zest
In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients using a whisk
– 8 Large Russet Potatoes
– 3000g Groundnut oil
– 1Tsp Sea salt
– Peel and cut the potatoes into 1 inch by 4-inch blocks.
– Wash the potatoes in cold water to remove any starch.
– Cover potatoes in a pan with water and cook over medium heat at a light simmer just until the potatoes are fully cooked but retain the shape.
– Gently remove from water and place on a tray, place in refrigerator to cool for 4 hours.
– Heat the oil to 250f and gently fry the potatoes for about 5-7 minutes or until there is a very light golden color to the potato.
– Remove gently from the oil and place on a tray, place in refrigerator for 4 hours to cool and dry the outside of the potato.
– Heat oil to 375f cook the potato’s until golden in color and crisp- about 5-7 minutes
– Remove from oil and season with sea salt.
Paul Liebrandt Has Left Corton - Recipes
(3 votes, average: 3.67)
The muted colors of Corton work to create an elegant slate that highlights the food and gives the diner a chance to enjoy the luscious French wines and creative yet classic dishes created by the chef who’s known for his past daring. Chef Liebrandt has toned down his flamboyancy to successfully create dishes that are both intricate and creative while remaining firmly grounded in classical French cuisine.
The wine list offers selections from several of the best regions in France, which makes sense considering that the restaurant is named after one of those regions. The tasting menu is seasonal and offers 6 courses for $125, which is a deal at a 2-Michelin-star NY restaurant. Chef works hard to present each ingredient at it’s very best, too, so it’s worth every penny.
Chef: Paul Liebrandt
Molecular Meter: high
Awards: 2 Michelin stars
Address: 239 West Broadway (between Walker & White Streets) New York, NY 10013
Let Michelin-Starred Chef Paul Liebrandt Be Your New Cooking Instructor
In conjunction with online culinary platform CocuSocial, Michelin-starred chef Paul Liebrandt is cooking up something new.
Liebrandt, who earned three stars from the New York Times for his work at Atlas and was awarded two Michelin stars at former restaurant Corton, will teach the first edition of Master Series, a fresh offering of live virtual cooking classes that will directly connect world-renowned chefs with home cooks.
Though Liebrandt has done live cooking demos before, he insists his appearance on Master Series, which takes place on June 27 (tickets are $29), will not be a demonstration.
“This is not something people are tuning in just to watch,” he tells InsideHook. “I’m not the star, the customer is the star. They’re going to be cooking along with me. It’s like me stepping into a customer’s kitchen. from my home and showing them the dish that we’re going to be doing. It’s a more personal, and I think more effective, way with which to demonstrate cooking than just doing a demonstration. If you’re actually doing the cooking with me in real time, it’s much more meaningful.”
In addition to an instructional portion, the Master Series classes will also include question-and-answer sessions after the cooking is complete to allow attendees to interact with their culinary instructors.
“I think for the customer, it’s very enjoyable to do this,” Liebrandt says. “There are lots of cooking classes available to the general public. But this one, with the way CocuSocial has set it up, people such as myself can bring decades of experience to the home chef in a very personalized way. For me, that’s very important. For the customer, I think that’s obviously very important as well. It’s like when you go to a restaurant and the chef comes out to your table and says, ‘Hello.’ You feel very well taken care of and you feel good about being there. Same thing with this.”
Though it may seem like shifting from a world-class chef to a world-class cooking instructor (especially given the virtual format) might prove difficult, Liebrandt points out that teaching has always been a part of his job.
“ln a commercial kitchen in a restaurant, I have a team of young people who are all learning every day. They don’t join your employment as fully formed chefs. There is a system by which they have to gain the skills for the craft of cooking, as I did when I was young,” he says. “So every day, you’re teaching. You’re teaching recipe development. You’re teaching management. You’re teaching all the elements that make up a fully formed chef. In the CocuSocial lesson, we’re going to be imparting the same knowledge and experience that I would in a commercial kitchen. It doesn’t change, even though the venue has. The underlying sentiment of how we do it doesn’t change, and that’s very important to me.”
For his lesson on Master Series, which will also feature classes with chefs including James Beard award winner David Burke and Top Chef finalist Nyesha Arrington, Liebrandt plans on giving step-by-step instructions from his apartment in Manhattan on how to make an elevated version of fish and chips.
“Our interpretation of a classic fish and chip dish is very fitting for the season that we’re in,” he says. “You don’t really see it taught in a cooking class that often. I don’t know why. Everybody has had fish and chips for the most part, but maybe have never actually cooked something like it. I thought it would be something people would enjoy eating, but also a dish that would give them confidence and a sense of skill. If somebody recognizes what they’re doing, they’re going to be much more confident approaching it.”
Confidence, Liebrandt says, is perhaps the most important thing he wants his students to have.
“Being confident is very important in cooking regardless of whether you are a professional or amateur,” he says. “When you step into a kitchen or a class, it’s like stepping into a theater — the people around you, the light, the noise, the expectations. All of that creates an atmosphere that can be difficult if you don’t have the confidence to walk into it. Now, doing Master Series from the confines of your home, you’re not going to have any of that. If you’re in your own kitchen, you’re already going to be more confident. You know where everything is. I would think you will get better results with this platform and the way in which we’re doing this virtual cooking than you would in an actual kitchen, where it can be intimidating. Not so much the food part of it, the cooking part’s the easy part. That’s not really where the confidence comes in.”
And for anyone who is picturing a Master Series lesson like an episode of Hell’s Kitchen or Chopped, Liebrandt makes it clear that’s not the case.
“They’re not going into the military, it’s a cooking class,” he says. “They’re not going to need to watch Gordon Ramsay screaming at people. That’s entertainment, that’s not what we’re doing here. We’re doing something I would hope everybody will be able to take with them. I hope they will always remember a virtual cooking platform where Paul Liebrandt showed them how to make fish and chips and that they can then take that and cook it again and again and bring back the memory, of where they learned it. That’s a really important thing.”
Should you miss out on Liebrandt’s class or any of the other Master Series lessons, another new live-stream cooking class service called Chefstreams has also launched to help bring James Beard nominees and Top Chef contestants into the homes of aspiring home chefs.
From Kitchen Wunderkind to Comeback Kid
Reality TV kitchen competitions extract maximum drama from the manic preparation of a single meal. In real life, a chef's evolution progresses slowly, through a series of hard-fought victories and sudden, crushing reversals. It could take a decade to see what happens.
Paul Liebrandt, mastermind of the TriBeCa restaurant Corton, shares the roller-coaster trajectory of his career as a New York chef in "A Matter of Taste: Serving Up Paul Liebrandt." The new documentary premieres Monday on HBO, taking viewers into the tumultuous rise, fall and return of a British wunderkind whose ambitious style was a source of both glory and disaster.
Mr. Liebrandt, a devotee of the French chef Pierre Gagnaire, was the youngest chef (at age 24) to win a three-star rating from the New York Times, when he was at Atlas in 2000. But in the wake of 9/11, his avant-garde concepts ran askew of local tastes. In one of the film's most painful moments, Mr. Liebrandt finds himself reduced to serving hamburgers when his subsequent employer, Papillon, dropped the chef's bracing, outre fare in favor of comfort food. "You always see food films where it's about the chef and the food and that's it," said Mr. Liebrandt, now 34, "not how does it translate to the rest of life."
Though the documentary emphasizes the stress and anxiety that goes into making extremely fine, high-end cuisine, it also shows how Mr. Liebrandt's passion for perfection is balanced by his self-deprecating wit. A recent afternoon visit to his kitchen, which is visible from the cozy dining room through a long, narrow window, found a well-ordered domain humming with a dozen detailed activities, the lanky chef alert to everything even as he focused on his own task.
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