Jeff O'Neill

The Mar-a-Lago Club
1100 South Ocean Boulevard
Palm Beach, Florida 33480
(561) 832-2600


Host Chef Jeff O'Neill
The Mar-a-Lago Club  | Palm Beach


While at the CIA Hyde Park, Jeff O’Neill spent his weekends in Manhattan, trailing the city’s best chefs; he spent most of those weekends with Charlie Pamler, and his first job out of school was at Aureole. From there he went on to work at Daniel and Le Bernardin before heading south to L’Escalier at The Breakers Hotel. O’Neill is currently executive chef of the Mar-A-Lago Club. He serves as chef for the Trump family during the winter season, and consults for the Trump Hotel Collection during the summer.


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Crispy Rougie Duck Confit with Cashew Butter, Tamarind, Candied Lime, Banana Brulee

Chef Jeff O’Neill of Mar–a–Lago— Palm Beach,FL
Adapted by

Yields: 6 Servings


  • 6 Rougie Muscovy duck legs
  • ¼ cup Chinese five spice
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 4 branches rosemary
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ¼ cup crushed Szechuan peppercorns
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, chopped
  • 1 dried lemon rind
  • 1 dried orange rind
  • 1 pound kosher salt
  • 1 pound sugar
  • 1 pound duck fat

    Cashew Butter:
  • 1 cup shelled cashew nuts
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • ½ Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ Tablespoon salt

    Candied Lime:
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ cinnamon stick

  • Tamarind Emulsion:
  • 2 cups orange juice
  • 2 ounces sweet soy sauce
  • 4 ounces tamarind concentrate
  • 1 ounce peanut butter
  • 4 ounces chili oil
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt

    Banana Brulee:
  • 1 Tablespoon whole butter
  • 1 cup crushed ginger snaps
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 5 plantains, peeled and quartered
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 bananas, thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar

    To Assemble and Serve:
  • Micro benitade sprouts

For the Duck:
The day before, trim the duck legs and season with five spice. Mix thyme, rosemary, garlic, peppercorns, lemongrass, lemon, orange, cloves, salt, and sugar in a food processor and blend to a powder. Lay 1 inch of the powder in a pan and arrange duck legs on top, skin—side up. Place the remainder of the powder over the legs, thoroughly covering them. Let cure for 18 hours. The next day, remove the legs, rinse, and pat dry. Bring the duck fat to 100°F. Add the duck legs and transfer to a CVap set at 140°F with zero browning for 24 hours. Remove from CVap and let cool in the fat. Reserve.

For the Cashew Butter:
Place the nuts and butter in a pan over low heat. Toss until butter starts to brown, transfer to a food processor and pulse into mixture turns into a paste. Add the honey and continue blending until thick. Season with lemon juice and salt. Reserve.

For the Candied Lime:
Peel rind off the limes and julienne. In a blender, juice the limes, strain, and reserve liquid. In a pot, add julienned rinds and water. Bring to a boil and strain. Add orange juice, sugar and cinnamon and reduce to syrup over low heat. Add lime juice, reduce again to syrup and reserve in a cool place.

For the Tamarind Emulsion:
Reduce orange juice to syrup consistency. Add to blender with soy, tamarind and peanut butter. Set blender to slow speed and incorporate oil. Season with lime juice and salt. Reserve.

For the Banana Brulee:
In a bowl, work the butter with the ginger snaps until pliable. Cook butter and plantains in a pan until caramelized. Season and crush with a fork. Line the bottom of six small 8-ounce cast iron pots with the butter and ginger snap mixture and press until crust is set. Fill pots with crushed plantains and smooth the top. Shingle the top with banana slices and sprinkle with sugar. Caramelize tops with a blow torch.

To Assemble and Serve:
Remove duck legs from fat and place under a salamander until the skin is evenly golden and crisp. Place a pool of Cashew Butter on a plate, lay the duck over the butter, and place a few strands of Candied Lime on top. Arrange Tamarind Emulsion in stripes on the plate. Serve Banana Brulee on the side. Garnish with micro benitade sprouts.


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   Published: February 2008