Andre Soltner works with students at the New York Culinary Experience (Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

If you were somewhere this past weekend other than the International Culinary Center in SoHo, then you missed out on the seventh annual New York Culinary Experience, hosted by New York magazine, and a chance to cook side-by-side with some of the brightest stars in the New York culinary firmament.

Luckily for you, all is not lost. Two of the chefs in attendance who also happen to be deans of the cooking school were gracious enough to share recipes. Herewith Chef Alain Sailhac’s Hazelnut-Crusted Lamb Chops and Chef Andre Sotlner’s Quenelles de Brochet (Pike Dumplings) in a Lobster Sauce.


Hazelnut-Crusted Lamb Chops with Ratatouille


For Lamb and Marinade:

  • 8 rib lamb chops, manchonnées
  • 50 milliliters blended olive oil
  • 2 branches thyme
  • 2 branches rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon lightly crushed juniper berries
  • 2 garlic cloves, lightly crushed

For the Crust:

  • 57 grams hazelnut flour
  • 2 tablespoons minced tarragon
  • 3 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons butter, en pommade (softened)
  • 1 tablespoon Mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Garnish and Finish

  • 125 milliliters lamb jus
  • 8 to 12 roasted garlic cloves
  • Blended olive oil, for sautéing
  • Thyme or rosemary sprigs


For the Lamb:
Place the chops in a deep pan and combine with the olive oil, thyme, rosemary, juniper berries and garlic. Cover and leave at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.

For the Crust:
Place all the ingredients for the crust in the bowl of a food processor and blend until finely ground. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Compound Butter:
Place the compound butter on a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap and roll into a cylinder 1¾-inches in diameter. Refrigerate.

For Service:

  1. Bring the lamb jus to a boil, reduce if necessary, and season. Once the jus has come to a boil, turn off the heat, add the garlic cloves and a few herb sprigs, and let everything infuse.
  2. Season the lamb chops with salt and pepper and sear them to desired doneness. Let the meat rest to redistribute the juices.
  3. Just before serving, place a thin slice of the crust mixture on each chop, and then glaze the chops under the broiler until golden.
  4. Arrange the chops on the plate. Pour some of the jus around and stud with some garlic cloves. Garnish with an herb sprig of choice.

Yield: 4 servings


Quenelles de Brochet


For the Panade:

  • 1 ½ cups of milk
  • 3T unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces AP flour, sifted
  • 1 egg, plus 1 yolk

For the Qunelles:

  • 1 pound skinless fillet of pike, cut into chunks
  • 10 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ t salt
  • ¼ t freshly ground white pepper
  • Small pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 6 eggs, plus 4 whites
  • ¾ cup of heavy cream, chilled
  • 3 cups Sauce Homard a la Crème or Sauce Bechamel
  • ½ cup of grated Swiss cheese


For the Panade:

  1. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring the milk to a boil and add the butter. Remove immediately from the heat and add the flour at once and mix with a wooden spoon until well blended.
  2. Over high heat, put the saucepan back on the burner and cook stirring constantly, until the mixture is dry, about 3 minutes. You will know its ready when the mixture turns into a thick paste.
  3. Add the eggs and egg yolks and cook for one minute while stirring constantly. Remove the panade from the heat, and let it cool.

For the Quenelles:

  1. Place the pike in a food processor and pulse for about 30 seconds. Add the panade, softened butter, salt, pepper, nutmeg and process until smooth. Be careful not to overmix.
  2. Add the eggs, 2 at a time until the mixture is smooth. Add all the egg whites and process again until equally distributed. Again be careful not to overmix as the mixture will become warm.
  3. Transfer the mixture to an ice bath and chill.

For Assembly:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a simmer. Mold the quenelles into egg shaped dumplings, and lower them gently into the water for 10 minutes.
  3. With a slotted spoon, remove the quenelles and drain on a cloth napkin.
  4. Butter an earthenware plate and arrange the quenelles side by side. Pour Sauce Homard a la Crème over the quenelles and sprinkle with grated Swiss cheese.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes or until the quenelles have doubled in size. Serve immediately.


Sauce Homard a la Crème (Lobster Cream Sauce)


  • Shells of 2 lobsters, crushed
  • 5T unsalted butter
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 leek, white part only, chopped fine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 sprigs of tarragon
  • 1T Cognac
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


  1. Over high heat, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the lobster shells. Cook the shells until browned.
  2. Add the shallots, carrot, leek, bay leaf, thyme and tarragon and saute over medium high heat for 2 minutes. Be careful not to brown the vegetables.
  3. Carefully, add the Cognac, and flambé. Once the flames subside, add the wine and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Add the cream, salt, pepper and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve and season if necessary.

Yield: 8 servings