October 25, 2007

My Chef Pierre

Chef Pierre Schaedelin

I am so pleased to have Chef Pierre Schaedelin cooking for me and all of my guests.  Pierre is from Alsace, France near the German border. He recalls that when he was a child, most families grew their own fruits and vegetables, and because there was no bakery, bread and pastries were made at home.  The social life in Alsace revolved around food where neighbors shared wonderful meals with one another, and Pierre developed an early interest in cooking.  In fact, as a boy, he asked for a chef’s hat, which his mother proudly keeps to this day.


Chef Pierre

Pierre found great inspiration while working under famed chefs Paul Haeberlin and Alain Ducasse, who taught him not only great culinary skills, but also the business skills necessary in running a premier restaurant.  Pierre found his way to the United States, where he eventually became the chef at Le Cirque in New York City, which is where I first met him.

Le Cirque temporarily closed its doors in 2005, and I asked owner Sirio Maccioni if Pierre could come and cook for me.  Sirio agreed and for the next six months, there was magic in my kitchen.  When Le Cirque eventually reopened, Pierre returned as executive chef, a position of managing rather than actually cooking.  Pierre would much rather be creating his masterpieces and he continues to do so for me.  I am especially happy to be working with this fabulous chef on a new book about elegant entertaining.


Pierre in action at a recent dinner party in Bedford



Pierre's Leftover Short Rib Sandwich

One of the recipes that Pierre developed for my new entertaining book is braised short ribs of beef.  He first marinated the ribs for 24 hours in red wine, vegetables, and herbs and then braised the mixture slowly for 2 1/2 hours.  The result was meat so tender and delicious and my Skylands guests were thrilled with the entire meal.

Pierre packed up all the leftovers and took them back to my Bedford home and the following day, made good use of the remaining short ribs.  He first sliced the meat thinly against the grain.  He mixed a couple tablespoons of fresh horseradish with some mayonnaise and spread it onto slices of lightly toasted whole wheat bread.  Pierre layered the meat onto the bread along with fresh garden lettuce and thinly sliced yellow and red tomatoes.  Served with a beautiful salad, those short rib sandwiches were a real treat for the lucky staff members having a meeting at my house that day.