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Culinary CPR: Viking Style Lamb Breast

Summary: Chef Luca Paris joins Dr. Mike to discuss his latest savory recipe.
Air Date: 7/13/16
Duration: 10 Minutes
Host: Dr. Mike Fenster
Guest Bio: Luca Paris, Chef
Luca Paris wineGianluca Paris is the Executive Chef and owner of Luca’s Mediterranean Café, a fine dining restaurant, The Market at Luca’s, offering light bistro style fare and gourmet take out and Luca's Culinary Journey Catering in Keene, New Hampshire, where he lives with his wife Lindy and his two children. He is the recipient of many accolades, including “Excellence in Dining” and “Best Service/Wait staff” every year since 2002 from Market Surveys of America, along with “Best Mediterranean Restaurant,” “Best Fine Dining Restaurant,” “Best Caterer in New Hampshire,” and, for four years, “Best Restaurant in the Monadnock Region” from New Hampshire Magazine.

Luca, as he is known to everyone, had a dream of opening his own restaurant since starting as a busboy at a family style Irish pub in New York at the age of 14.  Having been born in Italy, it would have to be a Mediterranean style restaurant and he never lost sight of his dream. He graduated from Johnson & Wales University 1989, where he met his wife of 22 years.

He began his professional career at Doral Arrowwood, a hotel and conference center in Westchester County, New York, but his first experience with his own culinary business began at the age of 22 opening a gourmet store in New York City called Gianluca’s Salumeria. This business flourished and spun off a very successful catering business.  While owning his own businesses, he honed his restaurant skills as the Manager of a fine dining Italian restaurant in Westchester County, New York before moving to Keene, New Hampshire, in the heart of New England where his wife Lindy grew up, to pursue his dream of a Mediterranean style restaurant.  

Luca has always had a love for entertaining through his food so Luca has his own weekly talk radio show, What’s Cooking with Luca Paris, and has had such notable guests as Mary Ann Esposito, host of Ciao Italia and will be a featured chef on an upcoming episode of Ciao Italia. Luca has been a featured chef in the national culinary magazine Culinary Trends. He is a monthly guest on “Cook’s Corner” segment on ABC's WMUR Channel 9 in New England. Luca is also the host of his own cooking show, also titled A Culinary Journey with Luca Paris, locally produced for Cheshire TV, the local cable access station for Keene and surrounding towns and can be seen in the Manchester, New Hampshire area and around the country on cable access stations. His show is one of the most downloaded shows by cable access stations around the nation. Luca has created his own Culinary Journey You Tube Channel, where all the episodes from his TV show can be seen. Luca was also a featured chef on the Resort Network in 2008 and 2009 and is a Chef Ambassador and spokesman for Roland Foods, doing live cooking demonstrations and cooking features on the Roland Foods You Tube channel. Most recently, Chef Luca was selected to compete on the new Food Network show, Guy's Grocery Games, which aired in December 2013 and he won! In 2011 Luca was selected as a New Hampshire Celebrity Chef and nominated for Restaurateur of the year. Luca loves to entertain while teaching about culinary arts. His philosophy is that food should be fun and entertaining and some of the best dishes come from the mistakes! He begins filming his new show, Kids in the Kitchen with Luca Paris, in January 2014.

In addition to his culinary accomplishments, Luca is a serious community supporter and an advocate for charitable organizations. He was on the board of directors of the Keene Chamber of Commerce, and was instrumental in promoting several local restaurants in a special week-long television segments on the local ABC affiliate. He was a founder of the “Keene Snow and Ice Festival” and the reinvented “Taste of Keene” event which supported Meals on Wheels for the elderly. In 2011 and 2012, Luca organized Keene Restaurant week, bringing local restaurants together. Luca has also taught adult culinary courses and has been a guest lecturer at Keene State College. He supports a culinary scholarship that he created, “The Culinary Journey Scholarship Fund,” to help a local high school student going to hospitality or culinary school. He will be teaching classes at the famed Stonewall Kitchen in Maine in the summer of 2014.

Luca was awarded the top honor of New Hampshire Chef of the Year from the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association for 2013.

Luca feels he has just begun his culinary journey and enjoys sharing it with guests and audiences everywhere and is looking forward to his next adventure.
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Culinary CPR: Viking Style Lamb Breast
In this segment, Chef Luca Paris joins Dr. Mike to discuss Dr. Mike's latest adaptation for Culinary CPR: Viking Style Lamb Breast with Pickled Cabbage and Arame, Turnip Purée and Seasonal Vegetables

(Adapted from “Pickled Kale Lamb” by Daniel Serra and Hanna Tunberg; An Early Meal: A Viking Age Cookbook and Odyssey; reprinted with permission)


For the Lamb:
  • 1 Lamb Breast
  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 6-8 ounces sauerkraut (I used a live culture mix of sauerkraut and arame)
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 cups of mead (or use white wine with 1Tbsp honey for each cup)
  • 1-2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 bouquet garni (thyme, parsley, oregano)

For the Turnip Purée:
  • 1 pound of peeled turnips, quartered
  • Reserved cooking liquid

Seasonal Greens:
  • 12 ounces of mixed seasonal greens
  • ¼ cup garlic scapes or 2 cloves, finely minced
  • 2 Tbsp butter


For the Lamb:

Lay the breast cap side down, after removing any excess fat. The meat fibers should be running left to right across the width of the breast. Season with the cumin and coriander. Spread the mustard over the flesh and then spread the sauerkraut on top of that. Reserve any liquid from the sauerkraut. Season with salt and pepper.

Roll the lamb toward you, tightly tucking in each layer. Tie off with butcher twine. Heat some oil over medium high heat until smoking. Add the lamb breast and cook each side until browned; approximately 2 minutes per side.

In a Dutch oven or other oven proof deep baking vessel, add any remaining liquid from the sauerkraut. Add mead and chicken stock (1:2) so that the liquid comes up ¾ of the way to the top of the lamb breast. Add the bouquet garni and allow to rest several hours to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Remove from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Add the turnips and bake for several hours (4-6), turning as needed.The meat should be fork tender.

To Serve:

Remove the lamb breast and allow to rest. Remove the bouquet garni and discard. Remove the turnips and reserve. Run the cooking liquid through a strainer to remove any debris. 

Using a fat separator, remove as much fat as possible. Alternatively, you can cool the liquid and remove the solidified fat if not serving immediately.

In a food processor, add the turnips, 1 Tbsp of butter and drizzle the cooking liquid in until the mixture is a smooth, gravy like consistency. In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add the remaining butter. To that add the scapes and cook until browned, or if using minced garlic cook until softened. Add the greens and cook quickly until just wilted; 1 to 2 minutes. 

To serve, assemble the greens on the base and slice the lamb breast crosswise. Top with a drizzle of the purée and garnish.

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