Recognition and appreciation are fundamental human needs, and for many a budding chef, they can mean the difference between a good career and a great career. Back in 2002, soon after Laurent Hollaender was appointed to the position of executive chef at the celebrated Café Lombardy in Washington, D.C., he was invited to appear on Recipes From the Chef's Kitchen, a popular TV show on the local PBS affiliate.
Hollaender whipped up a roasted Colorado rack of lamb with wild thyme jus, gratin Dauphinois, tomato Provençal and whole garlic confit for the show's Valentine's Day episode, and the show returned the love by giving credence (and attention) to what the Alsatian chef was doing at the Pennsylvania Avenue resto, adding to his growing cachet. Newspapers like the Washington Times picked up on his roasted lamb creation, as did other publications. "I had this dish on my menu for many years, and it was always a top seller," says Hollaender.