Hot chef: Take a trip to France without leaving NYC

Chef Jacques Sorci brings European hospitality to NYC at The Carlyle (35 E. 76th St., 212-744-1600, www.thecarlyle.com).

The French Alps are known for unparalleled sightseeing, world-class skiing and exceptional food and drink. So it’s no surprise that a native of this fabulous region, Jacques Sorci, was tapped to take the culinary reins at The Carlyle, a Rosewood Hotel. Sorci, who was most recently executive chef and director of Food and Beverage at The Ritz Carlton in Battery Park, spoke to us about his plans for The Carlyle.

How did your experiences in Europe shape your cooking in America?

I was very fortunate to work in a family-owned place right out of cooking school where doing less than a stellar job was never an option. The owners were such great leaders in the sense that they knew how to ignite the flame in each and every one of their employees. We all cared about each other and about the well-being of our customers. That attitude stayed with me ever since.

What do you like about cooking in hotels as opposed to restaurants?
I like the diversity of the operation. No day ever resembles another. We see people at their best, whatever it is for.

What’s your favorite dish to cook on the menu?

I like them all. The Lobster Thermidor is one of my favorites, though.

Which of your fall offerings are you most excited about?

The white truffle menu. It is right around the corner and white truffle fragrance compares to nothing else.

What meal would you cook to impress a date?

Paella ala Valenciana. It is extremely flavorful, requires strong skills to be executed perfectly and is quite a bit of work. It also allows for a “doggy bag” so she’ll still think of me tomorrow.



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