‘Top Chef’ fever

  • Tue Aug 21st, 2012 7:20pm

<b>FOOD FINDS | </b>By Deanna Duff For the Weekly Herald

The Northwest has “Top Chef” fever. The popular cooking competition TV show was spotted filming around town and whetted fans’ appetites for the upcoming Seattle season.

Until then, tune into “Top Chef Masters” and cheer local master chef Thierry Rautureau. Affectionately nicknamed the “Chef In the Hat” thanks to his ever-present topper, Rautureau is one of the nation’s 12 best chefs competing for charity. His culinary skills have already won big money for Northwest-based Food Lifeline.

The James Beard Award-winner is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Rover’s Restaurant. To enjoy a taste of his culinary expertise at home, the Chef In the Hat shares this recipe for grilled lamb.

“When I have a day or evening away from the restaurants, I love to cook for family and friends. One of my favorite ways to cook is over a charcoal grill. My ‘Moroccan Lamb with Salt Spiced Rub’ is so simple that you can have a glass of wine with friends while it marinates,” says Rautureau.

Chef Rautureau’s Moroccan rub is a combination of 14 spices such as cumin, coriander, red pepper and Moroccan sea salt and is available for purchase at his restaurants. However, you can also experiment with creating your own blend of spices.

To root on our hometown chef, “Top Chef Masters” viewing parties are offered Wednesday nights at LUC, Rautureau’s French-American café and bar. RSVP by calling 206-328-6645 or email info@thechefinthehat.com.

Grilled Leg of Lamb Moroccan Style with Salt Spiced Rub

Can serve 8-10 people


1 leg of lamb, about 3 pounds (boned out and butterflied)

3 tablespoons of Moroccan Salt Spiced Rub

¾ cup Moroccan olive oil


Spread half the rub and olive oil on the top of the lamb meat, patting gently. Then turn the meat and spread the leftover rub and olive oil on that side as well. Let marinate for at least 1 ½ hours.

Start your barbecue with all the coals in the center. When all the coals are really hot move them to the side, close the lid and get the grill really hot.

Place the lamb in the middle on the skin side first and once marked turn over and repeat the searing and close lid of the barbecue to finish cooking. Once pink, or about 120 degrees Fahrenheit, pull aside on a platter and let the lamb rest for about 30 minutes before slicing. Re-warm the sliced meat for a minute or two if necessary, then serve.

Great side dish: couscous, roasted garlic toasts and harissa sauce.

&Copy; 2011 Thierry Rautureau, The Chef In The Hat