Page 44

Tripp Engel Brasserie du Soleil

Chef Tripp Engel, of Brasserie du Soleil in Lumina Station, grew up on a steady diet of North Carolina’s seafood bounty on Oak Island. As a young teen, he caught the cooking bug and began working in area kitchens. Somewhere along the line, he discovered a passion for food, following his love of ingredient, technique and flavor combinations to Charleston, South Carolina, where he studied at Johnson and Wales University. During his time there, Charleston’s wealth of fresh seafood inspired him further as he developed his voice as a chef in classes and kitchens around the area. A post-graduation internship in Boston proved the gateway to his career as a chef. “I worked with some great cooks in Boston and they really helped me with direction for my career, but also with opening doors and providing opportunities to learn more,” he says. One of those doors opened to New York City, where he worked at the prestigious Le Bernardin under Chef Eric Ripert. Ripert’s impeccable French techniques sharpened Engel’s, as quality and consistency in Le Bernardin’s kitchen is a must. Engel soaked up all he could from the French master’s seafood-centric menu (it shows on his bill of fare at Brasserie), but one of the most memorable dishes, says Engel, was Christmas supper. “On Christmas, Eric always cooked something for his line and servers. A lot of the dishes came from his family and one in particular came from his grandmother. It was this roasted capon with foie gras and truffles, and it’s a dish I’ll always remember.” Capon may sound exotic, but it’s really just a castrated rooster (the steer of the chicken world), so it gets big, fat and lazy, making the meat juicier and giving it a more intense flavor than chicken. Engel says you should be able to find a capon at Whole Foods or maybe order one from The Fresh Market. Same with the foie gras terrine; it’s a popular holiday dish and you’ll frequently see it at Whole Foods, The Fresh Market and even Harris Teeter. Rather than truffles, Engel substitutes a mix of wild mushrooms (available again at Whole Foods). Perfect as an accompaniment, in lieu of a standalone turkey breast, or as a wintertime main course, this dish will feed four really hungry people, or six to eight folks with normal appetites.

42

Salt • November 2013

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

November 2013 Salt  

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

November 2013 Salt  

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

Advertisement