By Liam Mayclem, the KCBS Foodie Chap
Born and raised in the eastern French town of Besançon, Bruno entered an apprenticeship to become a chef at the age of sixteen. In France, Bruno worked as a pastry chef at the world renown Paul Bocuse Restaurant in Lyon, did an externship at Gaston Lenôtre Patisserie in Paris, and spent a summer season with Alain Ducasse on the French Riviera.
When Bruno moved to the U.S. he settled in Florida and worked as a chef in several acclaimed French restaurants before opening his own bakery & café.
“Cooking to me is about passion,
about heart and knowing when to stop.”
– Chef Bruno Ponsot, Instructor at the French Culinary Institute
Five Tasty Questions with Chef Bruno Ponsot
1. It’s midnight and you go to your fridge, what’s always there?
2. What is your favorite fast food?
3. In a second life you come back, not as a chef, what would you be?
4. What is your biggest passion outside of the kitchen?
Music. Playing guitar.
5. At your last supper, you can have a couple of guests, who would they be and what would you eat?
The guests would be, Jimi Hendrix, my master of my apprenticeship and my family. On the table would be a wild rabbit or hare, entirely deboned stuffed with loads of foie gras braised for many hours and served with celery root puree.
Duck Pot Au Feu
Makes 4 Servings
For the Duck
1 Whole Duck (approx. 5 lb)
900 g (2 lb) beef knuckle and marrow bones
Marmite, to cover
For the Aromatic Garniture
100 g (3. oz) carrots
100 g (3. oz) leeks
50 g (1. oz) celery
1 medium onion, split and blackened
1 clove garlic
For the Vegetable Garniture
200 g (7 oz) carrots, cocotte
200 g (7 oz) turnips, cocotte
200 g (7 oz) potatoes, cocotte
100 g (3. oz) white of leek, cut into 2-in lengths
100 g (3. oz) celery, peeled and cut into 2-in lengths
For the Beef Stock, Aromatic Garnish, and Vegetable Garnish
1. Cut large pieces of carrots, leeks, and celery for mirepoix.
2. Cut the onion in half, leaving the skin on. Brown the cut sides on a flat top; this will give an amber color to the cooking liquid. Stud each half with a clove.
3. Break the bones. Remove and reserve the marrow in cold water until needed. Blanch the meat and bones.
4. Place the duck and bones in a stock pot and add marmite to cover. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and skim well.
5. Add the aromatic garniture and simmer for 2 to 3 hours, or until the meat is tender. Skim frequently to remove the fat and scum that rises to the surface. The cooking liquid should be translucent and light amber in color.
6. Place the carrots in cheesecloth and add to the cooking liquid 10 to 20 minutes before the duck is done.
7. Tie the leeks and celery together and add to the liquid. When cooked, remove and reserve for service.
8. In a saucepan, cover the potatoes with cooking liquid from the stock pot and cook for 10 minutes. Cook the turnips in a separate sauce pan in the same way.
9. If using marrow, cube or cut into 3 mm (1/8 in) slices. In a separate sauce pan, poach marrow for a few seconds in a bit of marmite.
10. Arrange the duck, vegetables, and some of the broth (degreased and reduced to taste) in a rimmed soup bowl, top with the marrow.
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