An insider's view of the Connecticut dining scene
Jun 8, 2014
06:25 AM
The Connecticut Table

French Riviera, Connecticut’s Gold Coast Meld in Collaboration Dinner

French Riviera, Connecticut’s Gold Coast Meld in Collaboration Dinner

Michael Weschler

Chef Brian Lewis.

Two renowned chefs from two different continents will join forces for a one-of-a-kind dinner at Elm Restaurant in New Canaan.  

Chef Brian Lewis will be joined by guest chef Didier Elena, a native of Monaco, for a collaboration dinner on June 12 aimed at unifying the “flavors from the French Riviera to the Connecticut River.”

The dinner will begin with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. A five-course seated dinner with wine pairings will follow at 7 p.m. Tickets for this event cost $150 per person.

See our November 2013 review giving Elm a rating of "Superior."

Both chefs have been tasked with preparing dished based on the seasonal flavors found in their native regions. For Didier (below) that means the pure ingredients of southern French-Mediterranean cuisine. Lewis will be focusing on the farm-fresh ingredients found in Connecticut, and will largely feature the produce, pork and chickens from the neighboring Millstone Farm in Wilton.

“The menu perfectly reflects our individual backgrounds, yet it's very cohesive,” says Didier, who worked under famed chef Alain Ducasse for more than two decades and now works with Chefs Club by Food & Wine. “I think it shows our similar values and how much we both enjoy working with pure and seasonal ingredients.”

Lewis’s technique also reflects classic French cooking, so there will be a certain sense of “synergy” between the two different chefs. Together, they’ve created a memorable menu.


Cocktail & Hors D’oeuvres
smoked bacon tart and peas
zucchini flowers ‘beignet’ and ricotta
Lobster “roll” brioche and caviar
whipped lardo toasts sea urchin, espelette
cockscomb tempura,  nasturtium, togarashi aioli
chilled wellfleet oysters yuzu kosho & ginger mignonette


Lallier Grand Cru Reserve Brut
Socca Riviera
artichokes, spring onions, fava bean, zucchini flowers, olives, basil, tomatoes
Chateau de Saint Martin Cru Classe Rose’ “Grande Reserve” 2013
English Pea Sachetti
lemon brown butter, castelmagno cheese
Tenuta Michele Chiarlo Arneis “Le Madri” 2012
Grilled Monkfish
vin jaune, razor clams, rainbow swiss chard, quinoa
Domaine de Chalet Pouilly Saint-Veran 2012
St. Canut Suckling Pig
morels, beet greens, grits, apple mustard
Domaine de la Solitude Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2011
Rhubarb Shortcake
yogurt shiso sorbet, rhubarb salad, almond
Vitteaut-Alberti Cremant de Bourgogne Brut NV


When asked which ingredients they’re most excited to work with, both chefs named the ingredients native to the other’s region. Didier wants to get his hands on come of Connecticut’s produce, while Lewis is excited to pay homage to Didier by highlighting a St. Canut Suckling Pig, which he assures will be a, “truly a special part of the evening.”

Both are excited for the collaboration dinner, and most importantly, they’re excited to be working together.

“It's a pleasure to cook with such an accomplished and talented chef,” says Lewis. “I cut my teeth as a sous chef at one of the most celebrated French restaurants in the country, Lutece, so it will be a treat to work with Didier who, with two decades with Alain Ducasse, has made such an incredible impact on cooking in France and America.”

Didier says he’s excited to “cook from the soul” with Lewis. “I'm excited to share this moment in his restaurant.”

Reservations for this dinner can be made by calling 203-920-4994 or emailing

For more information on elm restaurant, visit their website at For more on the dinner, click here

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French Riviera, Connecticut’s Gold Coast Meld in Collaboration Dinner

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