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The Culinary Institute LeNôtre:

The Culinary Institute LeNôtre:

Sumptuous Recipes for Summer and Fall

The Culinary Institute LeNôtre® (CIL) in Houston, Texas was founded in 1998 by Parisian-trained Chef Alain LeNôtre and his wife, Marie. Alain’s father, Gaston LeNôtre, renowned pastry chef and caterer, built a French food empire, along with his wife, Collette. The LeNôtre name is synonymous with the highest standard in French cuisine, and the LeNôtre family is regarded as one of the greatest culinary families of France. 

CIL is the only French-owned culinary school in the United States and the largest culinary college in Houston. Alain and Marie have taught their well-honed techniques to CIL students for over 20 years. By doing so, they are ensuring the LeNôtre legacy endures. For three years in a row: 2019, 2020, and 2021 the institute has received the prestigious honor of being named the number one culinary college in America by

The goal of the institute is to train students from all over the world to become the culinary experts of tomorrow. A highly structured curriculum, low student-to-teacher ratio, and training in classic and innovative techniques ensures students learn the skills they need to become model chefs. The institute offers four diplomas and three associate degrees in applied science, respected credentials in the food industry. 

CIL occupies two buildings, including its own restaurant, Le Bistro, where students gain practical experience, in Independence Heights. Here, 320 students are taught baking and pastry arts, culinary arts, and hospitality and restaurant management by 14 full-time international chef-instructors. The student-to-staff ratio is one of the best at eight to one, which is higher than the national average of 15 to one. 

CKW LUXE is delighted to present a selection of CIL’s most delicious recipes especially designed for summer and fall for our readers to make and enjoy at home.

Gravlax and Homastasa Sauce (Appetizer)


Gravlax is a famous dish from Scandinavia.

1 each salmon filet (skin on)

For curing:
600 grams (2.5 cups) salt
150 grams (.6 cup) sugar
25 grams (1.5 tablespoons) pepper
100 grams (.42 cup) dill

For the homastasa sauce:
1 each egg yolk
Salt to taste
50 grams (3 tablespoons) Dijon mustard
6 grams (1.1 teaspoons) white wine vinegar
10 grams (2. 25 teaspoons) sugar
250 grams (1 cup plus 3 tablespoons) vegetable oil
Chopped dill to taste

Fabricate the salmon. Prepare the curing mix. Cure the salmon filet in the fridge overnight. Next day, rinse the filet. Make the sauce like a mayonnaise. Slice the salmon very thin and serve with buckwheat blinis.

To make the buckwheat blinis (small savory pancakes):
125 grams (.88 cup) buckwheat flour
165 grams (1 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour
5 grams (.88 teaspoon) salt
5 grams (.6 teaspoon) dried yeast
350 grams (1.4 cups) milk, warm
20 grams (1.4 tablespoons) butter melted
1 each egg yolk
1 each egg white, whipped 

Dissolve the dry yeast in the warm milk. Sift the flours. Combine everything but the egg whites together. Let proof for about an hour. Whip the egg whites, and fold them into the dough. Cook the blinis the desired size on a nonstick pan. Serve with the gravlax and homastasa sauce.

Lobster Thermidor (Entrée)


Lobster thermidor is a French dish consisting of a creamy mixture of cooked lobster meat, egg yolks, and brandy, stuffed into a lobster shell.

1 each lobster

For the court-bouillon:
100 grams (.42 cup) chopped carrot
50 grams (3 tablespoons) chopped celery
50 grams (3 tablespoons) chopped shallot
3 each garlic cloves
1 each bouquet garni
Juice of half a lemon

For the lobsters:
200 grams (.85 cup) button mushrooms
50 grams (1 cup) minced shallots
50 grams (3 tablespoons) brandy (cognac)
250 grams (1 cup) American sauce 
100 grams (.42 cup) cream
20 grams (1.5 tablespoons) Dijon mustard
100 grams (1 cup) grated Gruyère cheese

Poach the lobster in the court-bouillon at 160 degrees Celsius (320 degrees Fahrenheit), and cool them down. Cut them in half, clean them, and keep the tamale. Quarter the lobster flesh and the mushrooms and sweat them together with the minced shallots. Flambé with brandy. Make the American Sauce, finish it with cream and mustard. Fill up the lobster body with the lobster/mushroom preparation and some of the sauce. Gratiné (brown) with the cheese under a salamander or broiler.

Duck Magret Montmorency with Butternut Squash Mash ( Course)

The city of Montmorency, for which this dish is named, is known for its cherries.
2 each duck magrets (Moulard duck breasts)
100 grams (4 ¾ tablespoons) honey

For the sauce:
50 grams (1/3 cup) dried cherries
50 grams (3 tablespoons) kirsch
50 grams (1/4 cup) sugar
50 grams (3 tablespoons) red wine vinegar
500 grams (2 cups) demi-glace
50 grams (3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons) butter

For the mash:
1 each butternut squash
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
100 grams (1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons) butter
50 grams (3 tablespoons) olive oil

Score the skin of the magrets and marinate with the honey. Macerate the dried cherries with the kirsch. Start the sauce, making a gastrique by reducing the vinegar with the sugar. Flambé with the kirsch (from the cherries). Add demi-glace, and reduce. Finish with butter and cherries. Pan-roast the duck magrets to an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Make the mash by roasting the butternut squash and combining it with the remaining ingredients.

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