One of France’s biggest celebrities is in Aspen this week to show off what he does best: cook. Cyril Lignac is featured as part of the Chefs Club “Star Series” at the St. Regis Aspen this Friday, March 8, and Saturday, March 9.
The Michelin-star chef is a French media celebrity; he’s the face of Microsoft and has the most sales of a single cookbook in the country. The Parisian owns three restaurants–Le Quinzieme, Le Chardenoux and Le Chardenoux de Pres– and two patisseries, Les Chefs and La Boutique. It’s only the third time he’s travelled to America to cook, and guests were treated to an authentic meal on Wednesday to sample the goods.
Four long macaroni noodles filled with black truffle foie gras, and topped with a crusted Parmigiano gratin made for a delicate twist on a traditional item for the first course. One diner said that it was “lighter than in the United States,” and found the presentation delightful.
An incredibly moist section of Maine lobster drizzled with an olive oil court-bouillon offered a mouth-watering second course, and paired well with the Domaine Vacheron Sancerre. The entree consisted of a Colorado rack of lamb with a turmeric carrot puree. Both were met with resounding appreciation and nearby it was heard to be “the best lamb of my life.”
But the true treat arrived in a double dose of dessert. First a crispy hazelnut and Californian lemon tart, followed by a Dominican Republic chocolate streusel.
Lignac brought his pastry chef and two sous chefs with him to Aspen. After dinner, Lignac circulated through the room, signing cookbooks and chatting with guests. He admitted that he’d only been learning English for two months, but also hinted that he may be opening a restaurant in New York sometime in the near future.
“I love the U.S.A. and I love Aspen,” he said. He’s a charming personality, with an approachable air. At 35, Lignac still has a lifetime of cooking ahead of him, and some say he will join the ranks of Alain Ducasse or Daniel Boulud. For now, there’s an opportunity to see him in an intimate setting before the American food world engulfs him.
On deck in the “Star Series” is Mathieu Pacaud, the chef and co-owner of L’Ambroisie, a three Michelin star restaurant in Paris. He’ll be showcased at the Chefs Club for two nights, March 14 and 16. For reservations, call (970)925-9581.