The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) opened the Bocuse Restaurant Feb. 19 in Hyde Park, promoting its ninth restaurant as a learning lab for students.
Bocuse features contemporary French fare and gives patrons the opportunity to experience French cuisine created with modern techniques. Students staffing the restaurant will be applying their foundation of classic French training, and also expanding their knowledge of craft by experimenting with cutting-edge methods and presentations.
After 40 years in operation, CIA closed the doors of its flagship Escoffier Restaurant in July 2012. The culinary school reopened it as the Bocuse Restaurant, named for acclaimed chef Paul Bocuse, CIA’s Chef of the Century for 2011. The curriculum for the students is designed to reflect Bocuse’s teachings.
Stephan Hengst, spokesman for the CIA, said Escoffier needed a facelift, and the school also felt compelled to pay homage to Bocuse. “Bocuse contributed to the industry and help shape how it is today,” said Hengst. “He pioneered the chef-owned restaurant and was the first person that was a true celebrity chef.” Bocuse also helped develop concepts that are crucial to the contemporary kitchen, like farm-to-table cooking, and preparing food that is in season.
The restaurant’s classic French menu selections include Roasted Rack and Epigram of Lamb and Potato Crusted Lemon Sole, with contemporary twists. Other dishes on the menu include Crisp Frog Legs Orly Style and Lobster Bisque.
The Bocuse kitchen was built as a classroom first and a restaurant second, modeled in such a way so it can teach best practices and future technologies the CIA believes will shape and propel the food service industry.
The restaurant is open Tuesdays through Saturdays for lunch and dinner, and is among the CIA’s family of five public restaurants in the metro New York area.