One of my favorite chefs turned up in our Ask The Chef segment of the radio show yesterday (airs live weekdays 2-4pm WGSO 990AM.) Vic Gerrets, who now has a private chef service called Luigi’s, has had a long and winding career that began at Andrea’s and included stints at fancy places in NYC and The Chimes as corporate chef (a Katrina thing) and everything in between.
He has worked beside Scott Conant and been mentored by Tony May, which is not a bad resume for a graduate of our local Delgado Culinary Institute. Vic gives Andrea credit for the most important thing he learned in the business. Give the customer what they want. Translation: “Mi Casa es tu Casa.”
Vic is Italian in spirit and a local boy at heart, so it’s no surprise that he landed “at home” in Lakeview, opening Elle-J’s, which has a She Crab soup that excites the people who best know the dish. (It’s a Mid-Atlantic heading north thing.)
There were a lot of good things on that menu which Vic brought to his own company Luigi’s, where he does things like Chicken Parm and Lasagna and Piccata for four.
He called us from vacation in Bay St. Louis, and we also talked about that. Vic is as fun as he is good in the kitchen, and it was a nice chat. He gave us a few brief recipes, and this more complicated one called Chicken Palermo, which is a basic Piccata with artichokes and mushrooms added. The recipe is below.
4 6 oz chicken breasts dusted with seasoned flour
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 cup white wine
1 Tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
2 chicken bouillon cubes
½ stick butter
½ cup water
2 Tbs. corn starch
2 Tbs. chopped parsley
½ cup quartered mushrooms
½ cup quartered artichokes
Heat oil in a skillet on medium high heat. When heated, place floured chicken breasts in skillet to brown. Remove when done and place on paper towels to drain. Add the lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce and wine back to the pan and reduce. Add water and bouillon cubes. And bring to a boil. Reduce again, then add parsley artichokes and mushrooms and simmer. Return chicken to the pan and simmer together before serving.