Chef Boinet with his wife, Stephanie and daughter, Clementine.
As a new chef reporting to seasoned culinary talent at Café Le Censier in Paris, Chef Olivier Boinet resisted the rules of the kitchen.
“I was very young and stubborn, as my chef Dominique would tell you,” Boinet says. “I answered everything with yes, but. He finally told me one day: ‘There is no yes, but. There is only yes.’”
The lesson of the “simple yes” stuck with Boinet, who brings patience and procedure to the Cuisine Solutions kitchen—especially when it comes to chilling (things) out.
“Chilling your product correctly is as important as choosing the right raw material and cooking parameters,” he said, noting that home chefs often overlook this step. “Sous-vide sounds super technical and complicated, but I don’t see it that way. With that knowledge and a lot of practice, you can turn a cheap cut of meat into something great.”
Boinet always cooks with this positivity and confidence, and with an arsenal of inspiration from the plating masters at @theartofplating and the French wine experts from @drinkbordeaux on Instagram. He even brings his family in to work with him.
“My wife Stephanie took our steel cut oatmeal and mixed it with coconut milk and chia seeds, which she placed in a jar overnight,” says Boinet, remembering how she invented the first version of Cuisine Solution’s coconut and chia seed oatmeal.
He continues: “That morning for breakfast, while I added fruits and she added chocolate chips, I was inspired to re-create that dish using sous-vide. After a lot of trial and error, this item came to life, and we’re now serving it to customers, which is super exciting.”
Pork belly is another Cuisine Solutions product that Boinet loves for its versatility and consistent savoriness.
He says that lately he enjoys pork belly “as thin cold slices with yuzu kosho and sesame vinaigrette, rolled with a center of pickled kirby cucumber, pea shoots, and a touch of togarashi.”
Cuisine from Japan, India, and France all have a place in Boinet’s heart, but France was his childhood home—the place where his mother encouraged him to pursue cooking and imparted her work ethic in him.
“I grew up in a not-so-great neighborhood outside of Paris, so once I started cooking it wasn’t always easy to stay focused and continue going down the right path,” he says. “Luckily, my mum was a hard worker and a great example for me to keep learning and working hard.”
He keeps both France and his mother in mind when it comes to his theoretical last meal: “Rabbit à la moutarde from my mum with a French wine from 1982.”
Lapin a la moutarde facon Maman
1 whole rabbit cut in 8 pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 garlic cloves, finely diced
2 large shallots, diced
¼ cup unsalted bacon, diced
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoon whole grains mustard
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 spring thyme
2 each bay leaves
1 cup heavy cream
Chopped parsley, to taste
1 Salt and pepper your rabbit pieces well and set aside at room temperature.
2 Heat the butter over medium heat in a cast iron with a lid. Pat the rabbit pieces dry and brown them in the butter. Do this at a moderate pace and don’t let the rabbit pieces touch each other. Once the rabbit is browned, remove it to a bowl. Add the shallot, garlic, bacon and brown it well.
3 Pour in the white wine and turn the heat to high. Scrape off any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add ½ of both mustard, thyme and chicken broth and bring to a rolling boil.
4 Add the rabbit pieces, thyme and bay leaves, coat them with the sauce, then drop the heat to low. Cover and simmer gently for about one hour. You want the meat to be nearly falling off the bone. It might need more time if it’s a wild rabbit.
5 When the meat is ready, gently remove it to a platter. Turn the heat to high and boil the sauce down by half. Turn off the heat and add the cream, the rest of the mustard and parsley. Stir to combine and return the rabbit to the pan.
Serve this dish with parppadelle pasta and sautéed mushrooms. It’s perfect to eat with cold wine such as white Bordeaux or white Cotes du Rhone.