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Watch & Learn: Chef Salou tickles taste buds at Estérel Resort

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French-trained chef Jean-Yves Salou needed just the right sauce for his rack of beef.

By Jane Auster

Photography by David Simard

The executive chef, who has overseen the food & beverage operations at Estérel Resort in the heart of the Laurentians in Québec for the past three years, turned to Kraft for both the taste he needed and the right partner to find the best menu solution.

Chef Salou called on his Kraft sales rep to find the most creative recipe for success. The chef was looking for the “secret ingredient” that would form the basis of a killer sauce. He found that killer ingredient.

“We cooked the rack of beef in Bull’s-Eye Barbecue Sauce,” recalls the chef, who manages the operations of Estérel Resort’s three restaurants — L’Ultime fine dining, 260° bistro, and ROK hot stone cooking. “The Bull’s-Eye is concentrated, so we modified it first with a little water, ketchup and vinegar. It took some experimentation and testing with my staff in the kitchen, but we finally found the perfect way to work with the Bull’s-Eye Barbecue Sauce as our base. Now the rack of beef is one of the items on my menu that I can never remove, because it is so popular. The smell of the sauce is such that everyone wants to order this dish.”

Behind so many of the premier dishes at Chef Salou’s restaurants is a strong business partner, offering not only products of fine quality, consistency and labour-saving, but more importantly top-notch creative solutions.

The chef has worked with the Kraft business team and Kraft’s lineup of premium products for more than two decades in restaurants around the world. Among his favourite products, in addition to the Bull’s-Eye line of barbecue sauces, are Kraft Blue Cheese Dressing, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, and Kraft Mayo Real Mayonnaise. The breadth of products helps ensure that Chef Salou’s menu items satisfy a broad range of diner tastes.

“I will not buy anything else,” he emphasizes.

Chef Salou collaborated closely with Kraft when Estérel Resort launched the 80-seat ROK restaurant nearly two years ago. The innovative concept features cooking on a hot stone without using any oil. The stone, heated to 1,000° F, cooks everything from meats to giant shrimp and scallops. Without oil or fat of any kind and seasoned with just a little rock salt, the dishes are gluten-free and low-fat.

The chef tapped Kraft products to create salad dressings and dipping sauces to round out the menu.

When Chef Salou plans to add new menu items or tweak his offerings as the seasons change, he turns first to his most reliable business partner, Kraft. “When I am looking for something new, the Kraft sales rep comes to me immediately and spends lots of energy to find solutions to problems.”

On one such occasion, he needed to create three different types of sauces to dip the meat. He turned to his trustiest culinary business partner to help out. “I made an appointment with Kraft, they brought samples, and we started to test,” he says. “Getting the right product from a supplier can take a lot of time and can be very complicated. And as you know, a chef always wants something yesterday. Kraft recognizes that.”


The Top 5 benefits for chefs and operators to work with Kraft

#1 Strong business partner. Having the products you need when you need them is vital for a chef in any size operation. With a business partner like Kraft, you have a problem-solving partner with supplies you can count on.

#2 Menu ideation. Kraft provides not only the products but also the expertise at every step of the process.

#3 Quality. You can trust the consistent quality of Kraft products. This is especially important in developing menus where each item has to taste right every time.

#4 Versatility. As Chef Salou knows, Kraft products can form the basis for any number of recipes.

#5 Time-saving. Menu development is much more efficient when you can rely on a host of quality products.

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