Dining is an aspect in the nature of the man whose fashion defines elegance and grace.
ELYSIAN assembles a sumptuous feast from favorite recipes of famous fashion designers, elegantly presented. Legendary haute couture designer VALENTINO prepare his table settings as a work of art
“Entertaining thirty or one is the same,” explains Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani, the legendary Italian haute couture designer familiarly known as Valentino. “The food has to be on a beautiful plate.” No matter which one of his several homes he wakes up in, he reflects alone in his bedroom each morning on the day ahead and the meals to be planned. “It is then that he tells Jonathan, his chef, what the meals of the day are to be, which silver and crystal will be used, which embroidered tablecloth will provide a background, and which silver tureen will become a centerpiece, perhaps filled with fresh dark grapes and pomegranates cut open to show the rich inside of the fruit.”
ABOVE: Valentino: At the Emperor’s Table was published in 2014 by Assouline. www.assouline.com
Cream of Chervil Soup with Salmon
Soup as a first course is a delectable and delicious way start any meal. French Couture designer CHRISTIAN DIOR adored chervil soup. Here is his recipe. Add poached salmon to the soup after it is prepared and before it is served for a filling meal unto itself, as pictured above.
Serves 5 to 6
1 large handful fresh chervil
3-1/2 ounces butter
3 tbsp flour
1-1/3 quarts chicken broth
3 eggs yolks
Salt and pepper
1 small handful fresh chervil springs
1. Prepare a chicken velouté: Make a roux using the butter and flour. Add chicken broth and salt.
2. Bring to a boil, then add fresh chervil, chopped with scissors.
3. Let the velouté, then reheat. Whisk yolks and cream together for a few minutes, then add to the velouté. Add fresh chervil sprigs, minced with scissors.
4. Do not let soup come to a boil.
Asparagi alla Milanese
The Italian fashion house of Missoni was founded in 1953 by the husband-and-wife team of Ottavio and Rosita Missoni. Together they inaugurated and affirmed an unmistakable way of dressing and living: with a colorful “put-together” of zigzag motifs, stripes, waves and slub yarns in a patchwork of geometric and floral jacquard. For as much as fashion is the heart the family business, food is the heart of the Missoni family’s life—as it is with every Italian family.
30 stalks asparagus
1 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated
7 tbsp unsalted butter
6-12 large eggs (6 for a starter or 12 for a main dish)
Sea Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. If the asparagus stalks are thick, peel them lightly with a peeler to halfway down their length. Cut off the tough ends.
2. Fill a large pot fitted with a lid and steamer insert containing with about 2-inches of water and bring to a rapid boil. Add the asparagus and steam for 8–10 minutes untl the stalks are thoroughly cooked but al dente. It is imperative that you do not overcook the asparagus. Remove from the heat.
3. Drain and individually plate the asparagus, counting 5-6 stalks per person. Generously cover the lower half of the asparagus with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.
4. In a small pan over medium heat, melt 5-tablespoons of the butter until very hot. Pour it over the Parmigiano-Reggiano and asparagus, melting the cheese.
5. In a pan over medium-high heat, melt the remaining butter, being careful that the heat is not too high or else it will turn an unappetizing brown. As soon as the butter starts bubbling, add the eggs and fry, leaving the yolks soft. Repeat until all of the eggs have been fried. Remove from the heat. Conversely, you can poach the eggs or soft-boil them but the important thing is to make sure the yolks are soft for dipping.
6. Place the cooked eggs in a separate plate from the asparagus, season with sea salt and black pepper, and serve hot.
From The Missoni Family Cookbook, about $50.00, published by Assouline. www.assouline.com
Herb-roasted Chicken over Vegetables with Browned Butter
Zac Posen came onto the fashion scene in 2000 after he made a studded ruby ballgown for Naomi Campbell and since then, the Brooklyn-born designer has won just about every major fashion award the industry has to offer. His style is extravagantly delicious—just like his favorite chicken recipe…
3-1/2 or 4-pound chicken
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature (not too soft)
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 large leek with the root end and tough outer stalks removed
1 small yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 medium parsnips, quartered and cut lengthwise in ¾” pieces
1 large fennel bulb, quartered and sliced in thin pieces
½ lb. butternut squash cut into 1-inch chunks
6 large cloves of garlic, smashed, quartered or minced
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 small bunch of fresh thyme
1 lemon, halved
3 sprigs of fresh sage
For the gravy
¼ cup homemade chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Jus from the roasted chicken
¼ teaspoon finely chopped rosemary
1. Preheat oven to 425-degrees.
2. Prepare the leeks, onion, parsnips, fennel bulb, and butternut squash as directed.
3. Combine curry powder and sea salt in a bowl and set aside.
4. Rinse the chicken in warm water inside and out, dry the cavity, and in the cavity put the lemon, half the minced garlic, and thyme and sage. Truss the bird.
5. Place the chicken a large, heavy, lightly greased roasting pan. Smother with the softened butter. Press the curry powder and sea salt mixture over all the bird.
6. Surround the bird with the vegetables. Mix the remaining garlic into the olive oil and drizzle on the vegetables.
7. Reduce the oven to 350-degrees. Bake the chicken 20-minutes to the lb. plus 5-10 minutes extra for the oven. For example, if your chicken is 4 pounds, the chicken will take 1-1/2 hours. After the first half-hour, baste the chicken every 15 minutes with a bulb baster or spoon—not a brush as you do not want to disturb the coating. Baste the vegetables to make sure they are moist. If the chicken or vegetables appear too brown, loosely fit a length of aluminum foil over the pan—and wear oven mitts so you do not get burned.
8. Test for doneness—either a meat thermometer, or if the bird has a pop-up thermometer. If you prick the bird and clear juice streams out, it is done. Pink chicken is undercooked.
9. Plate the chicken on a platter, uncovered. Plate the vegetables into a pyrex oven dish and cover.
10. Whisk the pan juices and dregs and either directly on the burner or transferred to a large saucepan, gradually add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Whisking rapidly, gently add the flour and butter until the gravy thickens. If it gets too thick, add more broth; if it is too thin, add more flour. Be careful not to clump the flour. If that happens and you cannot break the clumps, put the gravy in a blender until smooth and return to the pan to heat.
11. When the gravy is ready, pour into a gravy boat. Warm the vegetables and plate. Spring the rosemary on the chicken. Dinner is served!
Posen’s 288-page cookbook was published by Rodale Books in October 2017. It is described as having “100 recipes every bit as decadent and inspiring as his designs.”
Ralph’s Favorite Brownies
Ralph Lauren is one of the best-known designers in the world and a mega-brand unto himself. He has created every aspect, every image, of American lifestyle. It is not a surprise, therefore, that brownies are among his favorite foods—and this is his favorite recipe.
• 2 cups all-purpose flour (250 grams)
• 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 6 oz unsweetened chocolate chopped (170 grams)
• 2 sticks unsalted butter (230 grams)
• 3 cups sugar (600 grams)
• 6 large eggs
• 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract I used cheap vanilla
• 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts plus more for garnish
• Rum Glaze
• 6 tbsp. unsalted butter (84 grams)
• 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate chopped, use good. (115 grams)
• 6 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar I recommend a little more
• Pinch of salt
• 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
• 4 tbsp. dark rum or brandy (56 ml)
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking pan. I’ve only tested in metal and don’t recommend glass at this point. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper and grease the parchment or dust with flour.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. In a saucepan, melt the chocolate and butter with the sugar over medium-low heat. Remove from heat and stir until smooth.
4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and vanilla until mixed but not frothy. Stir in the chocolate mixture and then the flour mixture until fully incorporated. Fold in the chopped walnuts.
5. Spread in the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the edges are set and a cake tester comes out with a few crumbs attached. Let cool. The brownies should sink a bit as they cool, but when everything settles, they’ll be good.
6. Meanwhile, make the rum glaze: In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate over low heat. Sift in the confectioners’ sugar and salt. Stir in the vanilla and rum and keep warm.
7. Spread the brownies with the warm rum glaze. Cut into 2-inch squares and decorate each with a walnut half. Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.
Ricky Lauren, Ralph’s wife, celebrates family, home and favorite recipes in THE HAMPTONS: Food, Family, and History, Published by Mariner Books, 2012.