Chef Laurent Tourondel Fired Up Scottsdale on April 2nd
Select Visa cardholders from all over the Southwest convened at BLT Steak on Saturday, April 2, to participate in a grilling demonstration with BLT Executive Chef Laurent Tourondel, hosted by Chase Card Services and Marriott Rewards. Guests from as far as Denver and Southern California gathered at BLT’s Scottsdale location, housed within the JW Marriott Camelback Inn Resort & Spa, to take part in the hour-long display.
Tourondel, in town for the event from his home in New York City, fielded questions from attendees and prepared a spice rub as Scottsdale Chef de Cuisine Marc Hennessy cared for the cowboy cut ribeyes on the outdoor wood-burning grill.
Tourondel was forthcoming with personal techniques, such as par-broiling certain cuts before grilling and proper resting practices. At the end of the hour, guests were treated to a preparation that the chefs claimed was unique to BLT’s Scottsdale location – sliced, mesquite-grilled ribeye with a smoked paprika compound butter, served with one of BLT Steak’s signature gruyere popovers.
Chef Laurent Tourondel took a few minutes to answer our own questions:
As king of meat, what is your favorite cut and preparation?
Chef Laurent Tourondel: My favorite cut of meat is a skirt steak. When preparing skirt steak, I like to simply marinade and grill the meat – a very simple process.
When creating new dishes, where do you find inspiration?
LT: I find my inspiration from reading a lot – reading makes me think. I also go out a lot, which always inspires me to create new dishes.
Assuming you actually have a night off, where can you be found when you’re not cooking?
LT: Most of my time not cooking is spent on Long Island in New York – I also travel a lot. I am also very fortunate that my girlfriend cooks a lot – so when I have a night off, I get to relax.
Do you have any strict kitchen rules or guidelines known throughout your kitchens?
LT: Haha – that’s funny. Yes, my number one rule of the kitchen is DON’T MIX FOOD WITH CHOCOLATE. I DON’T LIKE THAT. Also, I don’t like sea urchin in my kitchen – or people being late to work.
Can you tell us about one of your favorite restaurants local to Phoenix?
LT: That’s a tough one, but… easy. PIZZARIA BIANCO!
What is the best meal you’ve ever eaten?
LT: The best meal I’ve ever eaten is… wow – that’s a good question. I think the best meal I’ve ever eaten was is in France, in 1993, at a place called Pierre Gagnaire.
Any career advice you can share for aspiring chefs?
LT: Learn from the best and work hard!
For more information about BLT Steak Scottsdale and Executive Chef Laurent Tourondel, visit bltscottsdale.com. To learn more about Chase Card Services and its partnership with Marriott Rewards, visit chase.com/marriott.
Recap by Dennis Eckhoff, Contributing Correspondent