features Holiday Dinner with Charlie Palmer

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One of the most highly regarded chefs in America today, Charlie Palmer has received critical acclaim for his signature "Progressive American" cuisine, a style which reinterprets classic European cooking using American artisanal products and small farm producers.

Beginning with the opening of Aureole in 1988, Palmer has combined his creative cooking spirit with his flair for business to establish an impressive roster of restaurants across the country--Aureole and Métrazur in New York City; Aureole at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and Charlie Palmer Steak at The Four Seasons Hotel in Las Vegas; and, Dry Creek Kitchen, located in the Palmer-owned boutique Hotel Healdsburg in Sonoma, California. In September 2002, he opened his newest property, Kitchen 22, an intimate neighborhood restaurant in the Flatiron section of New York City. Manhattan is also home to Astra, a café by day and impressive catering location by nights and weekends. Astra West and the Lounge at Astra, opened in Los Angeles in early 2002. Palmer also has a line of specialty food products sauces.

Born and raised in upstate New York and classically trained at the Culinary Institute of America, Charlie Palmer first burst onto the New York dining scene in the mid-eighties when he was named executive chef at The River Café. He soon earned a prestigious three stars from The New York Times. It was also at The River Café that Palmer hired, trained and inspired a legion of young cooks who have gone on to become some of America's leading chefs-from Diane Forley of Verbena in New York and Michael Mina of Aqua in San Francisco.

At the young age of 28, Palmer opened Aureole restaurant as chef and proprietor. It was at Aureole that his signature style began to emerge. "I realized that American cuisine was just in its infancy and I spent a lot of time thinking about what the idea of American cooking really meant to me as a chef," says Palmer. "My experience growing up on a farm and my time spent at Georges Blanc in France where one artisanal producer would bring all of his perfectly made goat cheese to the doorstep of our kitchen had a strong impact on me. So, I began to research my own small American producers and support them in an effort to use the best raw products available at Aureole - it inspired my creative juices and helped to mold my style."

Today, Palmer's creativity is sparked by working with his team of cooks at all of his locations. "My juices really get flowing when I talk to one of our chefs about new products or a trip one of us took - we play at coming up with pages and pages of new dishes. And right now, I cook more than ever - there's nothing like jumping behind the line and cooking with the new guy on the fish station for three hours for establishing a good rapport and having him learn to cook to the standards of my palate."

Charlie Palmer is the author of two cookbooks, Great American Food, published by Random House in 1996 and Charlie Palmer's Casual Cooking, published by Harper Collins in 2001. His third cookbook, The Art of Aureole, will be published in 2003. Charlie is also a frequent guest on NBC's Today Show. In a partnership with Seabourn Cruise Lines, Charlie has designed over 200 recipes that are featured aboard their elegant ships.

1998 James Beard Award - "Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America"
1997 James Beard Award - "Best Chef" New York
1997 Restaurant & Institutions IVY award
1997 Relais & Chateaux the prestigious association of quality hotels and restaurants inducted Aureole as a new member. Aureole joins only a handful of other U.S. restaurants invited to be members.
2001 Wine Spectator Best of Award-Aureole New York
2000 Wine Spectator Grand Award - Aureole Las Vegas