Chef Dominique Tougne
Meet our Featured Chef: DOMINIQUE TOUGNE Executive Chef “In [French] cuisine today, Chef Dominique Tougne is reshaping the way we think about bistros,” reported the leading Paris newspaper Le Monde. Much to Chicago’s delight, Tougne has brought that culinary vision to Bistro 110, where he has served as Executive Chef since 1996. Tougne’s professional history includes significant periods of study with the leading figures in French cuisine, including Joel Robuchon and Jacques Senechal. After completing an apprenticeship at the celebrated Hotel Intercontinental Restaurant in Paris (a restaurant of exceptional quality according to Le Bottin Gourmand), Tougne went to the Hotel Nikko de Paris, where he worked at both at both of its restaurants: Pont Mirabeau and Les Celebrités, awarded that Michelin Guide’s coveted star of quality. At the Nikko, he worked under the supervision of Chef de Cuisine Jacques Senechal (formerly the chef of the Tour d’Argent of Paris, considered one of the world’s best restaurants). To this day, Tougne credits Senechal’s instruction as having a significant influence on his culinary philosophy. After a short hiatus to fulfill his military service obligation, Tougne resumed his culinary career as Chef de Cuisine at the Chateau des Reynats in Perigueux near Bordeaux. Tougne established this new restaurant’s reputation as one of the finest in the region by earning a Michelin Star, rave reviews from Gayot’s Best of France (“Splendid”), and acclaim in the Bottin Gourmand, which called Tougne’s menu “creative” and “audacious.” French newspapers also recognized his “brilliance” and “inventiveness” in the culinary arts. In October 1993, Joel Robuchon, France’s most famous contemporary chef, recruited Tougne to be Executive Sous Chef at Le Relais du Parc in Paris. Regarded by many as the greatest chef in the world, Robuchon has been featured in the hundreds of articles worldwide, has authored several books, and was awarded three stars by Michelin for his namesake restaurant Le Relais du Parc. At Le Relais du Parc, Tougne’s skills in the art of representation, seasoning techniques and the reinterpretation of classic bistro dishes were further developed into his own signature cuisine. Under Tougne’s hand, and Robuchon’s tutelage, Le Relais du Parc received honors in Gayot’s Best of France as holding “a winning hand” and offering “bistro prices for attractive fare.” Tougne was born in 1965 in Haguenau, France. In 1985, he graduated from Ecole Culinaire de Blois, one of the top culinary schools in the world. An outstanding student, Tougne was awarded with two of France’s most prestigious awards for young chefs: the Journée du Champagne of Moët and Chandon, and the Tour du Monde by Hennessy. He was nominated by the James Beard Foundation as “Rising Star Chef, 2000.” Currently, Tougne resides with his wife and child on Chicago’s north side. In his free time, he enjoys classical music, squash, reading, and caring for his infant son.
Recipes by Chef Dominique Tougne
Chicken breast coated with lavender honey glaze and lemon sauce
- 4 chicken breasts
- 3 tsp. lavender honey
- 1 lime
- 2 lemons
- 4 Tsp. sugar
- 2 Tsp. vinegar
- 1 cup chicken stock
- salt and pepper
- 1 Tsp. olive oil
In a non-stick pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil until smoking point. Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper.
Sautee the chicken skin side first to obtain a crispy skin. Reduce the heat and turn the breast skin side up.
Add the lavender honey and the juice of 1 lime. Cook slowly and with a spoon, coat the skin with the sauce. As the sauce is reduced, it will coat the breast.
You have to repeat this coating process until you obtain a nice shinny glaze on top of the chicken breast. Then keep it hot.
In a saucepan, combine the vinegar with the sugar and the juice of 2 lemons.
Reduce the liquid by half, then add the chicken stock and some lemon. Cook slowly until the sauce can coat a spoon.
Season with salt and pepper and serve with the glazed chicken breasts. You can finish with a touch of lavender flower on top and serve with mashed potatoes.
Yield: 4 servings
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