Interview with Eli Kaimeh of Per Se, Nominated for Outstanding Restaurant

 

Although Per Se debuted a decade after a certain acclaimed sibling restaurant in California, this fine-dining temple, perched high in New York City's Time Warner building, has enjoyed its own abundant successes. The three-Michelin-starred property is an oasis on every level, beckoning epicureans from all corners of the globe with its unparalleled luxuries and cuisine. Below, we caught up with chef de cuisine Eli Kaimeh to get the inside scoop on the Outstanding Restaurant nominee’s tasting menus, the team's pioneering work with vegetables, and their take on gluten-free substitutions. 

 

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JBF: While some of Per Se’s signature dishes (such as oysters and pearls) remain, we know that the world-renowned menu is constantly evolving. Can you tell us about a dish or two that’s currently on the menu that really captures the restaurant’s point of... Read more >

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Carol Blymire: Jonathan Benno

Just spent a few minutes with former Per Se chef Jonathan Benno, who is set to open his new as-yet-unnamed restaurant right here at Lincoln Center in September—just in time for Fashion Week. Tonight Jonathan is serving a rustic yet lovely vitello tonnato "sandwich;" my sources tell me he has spent many hours back at his old stomping grounds, getting everything ready to make all 1,500 of them.

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What's in a Name: Per Se

“Per Se, quite frankly, was named because we were looking at the ampersand symbol and found that in the word ‘ampersand’ is the word ‘per se.’ We researched the definition of “per se” and found it meant something unique—something ‘in and of itself.’ It really personified what the restaurant was going to be. Despite the fact that its philosophical and culinary roots are based on the French Laundry, Per Se has its own personality; it is its own restaurant.” –JBF Award Winner Thomas Keller

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