Brasserie Ten Ten Steeps it Loose…

We are excited to announce that Brasserie Ten Ten is now serving our hand-crafted loose leaf tea in our artisan-made Steeping Mugs. Executive Chef Anthony (Tony) Hessel says ‘Personally I enjoy giving our customers a wide range of choice in teas, the fact that it is local and the customers really enjoy it is an added plus. Karen’s Knowledge of the teas have brought us to another level of service to the brasserie.’

Brasserie Ten Ten is located at 1011 Walnut St. in historic downtown Boulder, CO. Directly across the street from its sister restaurant, The Med. Brasserie Ten Ten seats about 88 customers and serves lunch, dinner and brunch on weekends. The restaurant is co-owned by Med owners Joe and Peggy Romano, Rob Kukura and executive chef Anthony (Tony) Hessel. Offering a French inspired cuisine since July 2003, Hessel uses French cooking techniques that include saucing, braising and sautéing as well as preserving meats. French classics include Bouillabaisse, Daube de Boeuf, Duck Confit and Bocuse.

Hessel, like many chefs’, learned how to cook by helping his mother. “My mom was an amazing chef and I would frequently help her out in the kitchen.” Growing up he always hated school but loved food. In high school he got a part time job at a big restaurant in Wilton, Connecticut where he fell in love with the restaurant industry. He starting washing dishes and worked his way up to busing tables, tending bar and eventually made his way into the kitchen where he worked with chef Steve Alwood who taught him how to keep his head down and ears in open.

During the early-80’s, after graduating highschool, Hessel moved to NY where he attended culinary school and worked with executive chef Patrick Clark at Tavern on The Green. Clark, an innovator of American Cuisine, taught Hessel how to combine flavors. Dropping out of culinary school right before his final exam, he decided to move to Paris. Like Julia Childs, his passion for cooking and food was ignited in Paris. Working illegally in kitchens for two years he learned how to see and taste the final dish before it was even made. He learned hands-on where the food came from. For example, he learned how to kill and pluck chickens in order to prepare it for the night’s dinner. After learning almost every aspect of the restaurant business, he moved to Denver and worked all over. He eventually made his way to San Francisco to work at Stars with executive chef/owner Jeremiah Towers. Towers, a crusader for ‘California Regional Cuisine’, worked with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse for many years until he opened Stars in 1984. At Stars, like in Paris, Hessel learned the importance of using locally grown ingredients to elevate simple dishes to fine delicacies. After 9 nine months he moved back to Denver. Working all over the place he eventually moved to Boulder where he worked at Pour de France and took trips to NY to work at their sister restaurant, Windows of World. Working himself to exhaustion and a divorce, he decided he wanted to step back from management to just work the line.

In 1995 he got a job in Boulder at the Med, where he kept his head down and his ears open. With a passion for food and a talent to control chaos, he was quickly promoted to executive chef. A few years later, Hessel began talking with Kukura and the Romanos about opening up another restaurant where Hessel could offer patrons dishes that would be more delicate to prepare. When the restaurant Dandelion closed across from the Med, the location and timing were perfect. The space fit the partners’ concept of a bustling European brasserie and the menu was already outlined in chef Anthony’s head.

BBocuse, another popular item on their menu is a spin on Paul Bocuse’s classic chicken dish that he created some 35 years ago. Hunger-style braised and pulled chicken thigh and leg, mushrooms, five lily (shallots, garlic, scallions, Bermuda onion, & sweet onion) served in a brandy cream sauce and nestled over seared spinach. The brandycream sauce is made of vealstock, chicken stock, cream, butter, salt and pepper. I highly recommend pairing the Earl of Grey with the Bocuse because it complements the brandy cream sauce and five lily. Lunch $9.95 / Dinner $14.95

The most complicated, time consuming and popular item on the menu, the Duck Confit is served with Potato Gratin, glazed baby carrots & pommery mustard crémeis. I highly recommend pairing the Green Roasted Mint with the duck because it helps cleanse the pallet after every bite of the rich flavor.

For Duck: Make a green salt of equal parts, basil, thyme, rosemary, chives & marjoram with 3 cups of kosher salt, liberally cover duck legs (not breast) and cure for twenty-four hours. Wipe off excess salt and cover with clarified duck fat and cook for 12 hours at 175 degrees.

Remove from oven and chill until needed. For gratin: thinly slice Kennebec on mandolin, julienne onions, fresh thyme, salt pepper, butter, cream & olive oil. Mix all ingredient together, let sit for 1 hour and then place in a buttered hotel pan, cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees until done, about 1.5 hours. The Pommery Mustard sauce is a two part sauce of fist brandy, Coleman’s mustard, bay leaf, shallots that is reduced by half and strained. Then take 2 tbsp of that reduction with a bottle of white wine, veal stock & thyme and reduce by half, add cream then reduce by half again. To finish, add Dijon mustard, brown mustards seeds and season with salt, pepper, cayenne and lemon juice. To Compose dish: heat grapeseed oil in sauté pan add duck leg and sear on both side then place in oven to crisp. Heat a portion of the potato gratin in the oven until ready. Sauté the carrots (organic is best from one of the local farms, regular carrots don’t have flavor) in butter until the natural sugar is released and they begin to caramelize slightly (be careful, too much heat will burn the carrots) To Plate: Place 2 oz of sauce in the center of the plate, place duck in on top place gratin to one side and carrots on other and serve immediately. Lunch $13.95 / Dinner $18.95

Aside from fabulous lunch and dinners, they probably have the best happy hour in town and brunch on the weekend.

What’s your favorite meal at Brasserie Ten Ten?




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