Chef Benoit Rovan

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | May 2nd, 2012 | Chef Interviews

While we are touring New York City, it makes the journey more interesting to move from borough to borough.  Conveniently, each of our three interviews in the Big Apple is located in a different borough.  After a stop in Queens, we head south to Brooklyn to meet our next chef.  Located on Smith Street, we found Sue Perette.

At the helm of this restaurant is Chef Benoit Rovan.  Entering this restaurant your are transported from New York City to the countryside of France.  This spring Chef Benoit has created special journeys to different regions of France.  Currently, the menu is featuring dishes from Bourgogne and Champagne.

TT:  How many new dishes have you added to your menu for Bourgogne & Champagne?

CB:  As for every region we offer two appetizers, two main and one dessert.  This month we are visiting Bourgogne area and Champagne. For appetizers we prepared:

  • a champagne salad with dressing served with brie croutons, duo of pears, and lardons.
  • Escargots. Escargots (snail) are a staple of Burgundy cuisine. We are cooking ours not in the traditional way, but with a spring twist. Escargots with green peas on a bed of pesto.

For main courses :

  • boeuf bourguignon, served traditionally with mashed potatoes
  • truite bourguignone, it’s a burgundy style trout (poached in red wine with pearl onions and mirepoix.

For dessert :

  • a Baba, normally made with rhum that for the occasion we substitute with champagne rosé, and berries compote.

TT:  Out of these dishes which is your favorite menu item?

CB:  My favorite would be the escargots, since it’s very spring-like in the way we do them, which is very far from the traditional way of cooking.

TT:  Are any of the ingredients in this dish locally sourced?

CB:  For this dish in particular, not really, but Sue Perette is committed to sourcing local and environment-friendly products. We source most of our produce from the local produce market, all of our meats comes from the butcher down the street, coffees from d’Amico, fish from the local fish store, etc. So even more than being local we also work closely with our neighborhood businesses. It’s not always possible to have everything locally produced, but as another example of our commitment to a responsible economy, we do not carry sparkling water or still water from abroad.

TT:  Do you offer wine pairings that coordinate with this menu?

CB:  We do not offer a wine paring for every dish, although as a common rule in France it’s better to drink a wine from the same area as your meal. We do carry some Burgundy wine for our customers to choose. Our wine list is changing all the time, and we like also to discover other varieties or vintages to choose from. As long as the wine is good and to your liking, there is no problem to pair it with any food.

TT:  What makes your spring menu unique?

CB:  Our spring menu is unique because we change it according to market and also because for spring we are going to visit three regions of France! Plus at Sue Perette, you’ll find something for everybody, from a typical bistro or countryside dish to a more “adventurous” dish.

TT:  I love the name of your restaurant and the reasons that it is such.  Do you have many customers that don’t know what “Sue Perette” is?

CB:  Most of our regular customers know, of course. But many new guests are asking about the name because it makes them wonder who is Sue Perette? And then we tell them and it’s another reason to like our restaurant!

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