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Culinary CPR: Moroccan Roasted Leg of Lamb

Summary: Chef Luca Paris joins Dr. Mike to discuss his latest savory recipe.
Air Date: 7/26/17
Duration: 27:35
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: Moroccan Roasted Leg of Lamb
In this segment, Chef Luca Paris joins Dr. Mike to discuss his latest creation for Culinary CPR: Moroccan Roasted Leg of Lamb. 

  • 2 lbs leg of lamb, bone removed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup of mint leaves
  • 2 tsp of sea salt 
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/8 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of cous cous
  • 1/4 cup of dried currants
  • 1/4 cup of pinenuts, toasted
  • 1 cup of vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp of curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • Salt & pepper for seasoning

Cucumber Sauce Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups of natural yogurt
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp of chopped mint
  • 1 Tbsp of chopped cilantro


Prepare the marinade by grounding the garlic, mint, cumin, salt and paprika with a mortar and pestle. Alternatively you can use a food processor. Ground ingredients into a paste and then add the olive oil and lemon juice. Mix well.

Make little incisions in the lamb and then coat it well with the marinade. Make sure you coat the inside and outside of the lamb thoroughly.

Place lamb in a bowl and cover. Place it in the fridge for at least two hours or even overnight.

Remove the lamb from the fridge one hour prior to cooking. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

Place the lamb in a baking dish and roast for 1 hour and 20 minutes for pink meat. Roast the lamb for an extra 20 minutes for medium to well-done meat.

Meanwhile, prepare the cucumber sauce. Mix together the yogurt, cucumber, garlic, lemon juice, mint and cilantro. Add the salt and mix well. Set aside.

Prepare the cous cous about 20 minutes before serving the lamb. Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in small pot. Remove the pot from the heat and add the couscous. Cover and let it sit for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the couscous. Stir well with a fork. Add the curry powder and stir again. Next, add a pinch of salt.

Add the raisins and pinenuts to the couscous and stir with the fork.

Remove the lamb when ready and slice it. Spoon some of the liquid from the pan onto the lamb. Serve on a bed of cous cous and spoon the yogurt sauce on top.

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