6:00pm | April 3, 2013

Cooking for a Legend: Lunch with Sirio Maccioni of Le Cirque

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Everyone needs a bucket list, right? Well, as I mark my 25 years as a professional chef, I am thinking more and more about my influences, early mentors, and people I’d like to spend time more time with. At the top of my professional bucket list, is Sirio Maccioni, the legend behind Le Cirque restaurant in New York.

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When I was a young chef, Le Cirque was one of a small handful of restaurant institutions that set the bar for us all. As I traveled and studied, I was lucky to spend time in the kitchens of others like him, such as Lidia Bastianich, Piero Selvaggio and Larry Forgione, but I had always craved time with the man behind Le Cirque. Last month, I was able to share a private lunch during which I cooked for him and asked all the questions I’d wondered about for years. As he described his biggest successes, his thoughts about the current state of the restaurant world, and what he would have done differently, we share family wines from Chiarello Vineyards and the Maccioni family, and feasted on rabbit porchetta with mandarin mostarda. This is a day I will long remember and cherish, and you can watch some of the best moments of our interview on A&E’s Celebrity Bucket List soon. Stay tuned for air times.

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