Each week, we highlight one of the city’s great but obscure young chefs.Name: Jason Kallert
Restaurant: Le CirqueBackground: Kallert is a CIA graduate who, after time spent under the late Patrick Clark at Tavern on the Green and Union Pacific with Rocco DiSpirito, began a long association with Le Cirque, outlasting three executive chefs: Sottha Kuhnn at the original Le Cirque, Pierre Schaedelin at Le Cirque 2000 and the current iteration of the restaurant, and his replacement, Christophe Bellanca.
Self-described style: “Very simple and traditional. I’m not into too much technical stuff or using crazy Asian flavors and herbs. If garlic and thyme goes with lamb, I use garlic and thyme. I’m not as creative as some chefs. I like a classic approach.”
Christophe Bellanca, the new chef at Le Cirque, is a veteran of a number of Michelin-starred kitchens in France, and his work at the venerable restaurant shows off classical French technique in spades. Everything is pared down to its most basic essence, and even dishes like this lamb trio seem elemental in a very purified, austere way. “I wanted something that was interesting, clean, and elegant,” the chef says, and he got it. As always, mouse over the different sections of the image to hear it described in Bellanca’s own words.