Elias Taddesse, stepped into the position of corporate chef in the executive dining room for Citibank. Before that, he worked at Adour at the St. Regis Hotel by Alain Ducasse, Followed by Corton with Paul Liebrandt. Both 3 stars in the NY times and 2 stars in the Michelin.
Chef Elias is currently a New York based chef; however he mastered his culinary craft at the Institute of Paul Bocuse, one of the highest acclaimed culinary schools in the world located in Lyon France. This instantly lead him to some exciting internships in Cannes at a 2 Michelin restaurant at Villa des lys at the Majestic hotel, and Troisgros an institution with 3 Michelin stars for over 45 years. “One of the hardest kitchens to work at” according to Elias.
After high school he worked as a server at Sofitel, a French hotel and was instantly intrigued by the kitchen. Fortunately for him, the chef was gracious enough to give him an opportunity to train under him and nurture his culinary development. This opened doors for him to study in France.
INTERVIEW WITH CHEF ELIAS
What has been your biggest achievement in your career?
I’m still a young chef and my greatest achievements are still ahead of me.
What/who has been your biggest inspiration?
The chef I worked with at Sofitel by the name of Yann Giacomoni. His passion for cooking was inspiring and he took a chance on me when I showed interest in the kitchen even though I worked in the front of the house. He is the reason I went to France to pursue my career. Second is Chef Paul leibrandt one of the most talented chefs I’ve ever worked for. Corton is the kitchen I discovered my true potential and this lead to my transition from a line cook to chef.
Favorite kitchen equipment or gadget?
I have to say my victoninox serrated knife.
What do you like to eat when you’re at home?
Simple food. My moms cooking and off course Ingera.
Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten?
In 5 years I see my self owning my own restaurant in 10 years hopefully a few more.
What advice do you have for upcoming students who are passionate about the culinary arts but aren’t sure whether they should pursue a culinary degree?
The advice I have for the younger generation is that what you see on TV is not reality. If you desire to be in this field, make sure it’s truly your passion. It’s a very difficult career; there is a lot of sacrifice, long hours… but in the end it is extremely fulfilling
FOOD GALLERY BY: Elias Taddesse
Roasted beef strip loin steak, Swiss chard, mushroom puree, baby leeks, and red wine jus.
- The Swiss chard is used in two ways. First the steams are braised then we took the nice leaves and blanched it separately. We took all the scrapes of the Swiss chard and made a stuffing with potatoes and wrapped it into cylinders. The Baby leeks are blanched and grilled.
Lemon herb crusted Mahi Mahi, beef teck tomatoes confit, parmesan crumble, pasta, smoked tomato water
- For the crust we used pureed basal and parsley. I then mixed the puree with equal parts of butter and bread crumbs. We then laid it in between a thin parchment papers and placed them in a freezer and cut them into desired shapes. Once the fish was cooked, we put it under a salamander to make a crust. We also used tomato water seasoned with salt and lite sugar and mash it with our hands. We lay them on cheese cloth overnight until the clear liquid is obtained, we then smoke it in a smoker.
Roasted and marinated heirloom beets, fresh mozzarella, arugula, cherry vinaigrette
- After beets where cooked and pealed, we marinated it with shallots, cherry VIN, olive oil and lemon juice. Last but not least, we made the vinaigrette with the marinated liquid.
Seared black bass, Napa cabbage, turmeric, carrot puree, pickled red pearl onions, and red curry jus
- This dish is a take on Ethiopian Tekel Gomen. So in this, I use the same technique I used to make the Swish Chard. Only for this dish, I braised the cabbage leaves with turmeric for color and flavor. I also made a carrot puree in which I cooked the carrot in a cooking liquid.
Yogurt marinated and chard lamb loin, tagine of vegetables, yogurt gnocchi, spicy jus.
- This dish is a take on the traditional lamb tagine Moroccan dish. In my case, I used all the ingredients used in braising the lamb and used it differently. I cooked them separately in order to keep the color and shape but still preserve the flavor. Marinate the lamb with yogurt and herbs and spices, when seared at a high heat, it chars giving it a unique flavor.