Interview with Frederick De Pue of Smith Commons

Frederick De Pue
Executive Chef of Smith Commons DC
1245 H-Street NE Washington DC

Chef Frederick De Pue

Brief Bio: Chef Frederik De Pue is known throughout DC’s dynamic food scene as an international trend setter and he translates his global culinary experience through his unique menus, crafted for a sophisticated and modern palate.Born and raised in Belgium, Chef Frederik trained at the Hotel School Ter Duinen and worked at several top European restaurants. He worked under Chef Alain Ducasse at Louis XV and later became Sous Chef at Alain Chapel. In 1998, at age 21, he joined Yves Mattagne’s Sea Grill in Brussels and worked there for three years. In 2001, he traveled to DC to become the Executive Chef of the European Commission Delegation Ambassador. Chef Frederik was highly praised in the diplomatic circles where he would spend the next five years creating one of the most exceptional dining tables in the Embassy world.Quickly inspired by his impressive guests, Chef Frederik recognized the opportunity to expand beyond DC’s Embassy Row. Chef Frederik and his partner launched 42˚ Catering in 2007, naming the company after the 42nd parallel that connects many of the greatest gastronomic cities in the world. Since then, 42˚ Catering has served events ranging in size from intimate dinner parties to lavish society extravaganzas. Chef Frederik’s passion in the kitchen pushes him to find perfection in every dish he creates. Guests are consistently delighted by the small subtleties of an enticing rich sauce, the whimsy of an elaborate garnish and the depth and decadence of a dessert.

Why is the pairing of food & beer important to you? Due that I’m from Belgium, we have grown up doing so, it’s a great combination, due that we have so many different beers that can give such a unique flavor to each dish makes it a must having on a restaurant menu.

What got you started on pairing food & beer? The uniqueness of each beer that goes super well with either fish or meat

Who are the chefs you admire? Alain Chapel, Yves Mattagne,

What are some of your favorite pairings? Love to pair venison, squab with a nice dark ale

Favorite style / beer to pair with? A blanche beer!

Favorite all time beer? Delirium Tremens

Feature dish in which you pair beer with food or use beer in preparing the dish? Braised Rabbit with hickory smoked bacon, prunes and Abbey ale jus.

Thoughts on the future of food & beer in fine dining? People still need to learn about it, I think younger generation will do so over time, due that most beers are available all over.

Favorite restaurant in a city not your own? Central, Black Salt

For 4 guests
1 rabbit
1 bottle Ommegang Abbey Ale
3 oz smoked bacon
1/2 onion
1/2 carrot
8 dried prunes
1 spoon full flour
Veal stock
2 laurel leaves
2 branches of oregano

Take one whole rabbit and marinated overnight in Ommegang Abbey ale, take out of the beer and cut the rabbit in 6 equal piece, dry up the meat and season with salt and pepper, Sautee in little oil, once obtained a nice coloration add, 3 oz of smoked bacon, ½ onion thin sliced, ½ carrot, 8 dried prunes and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Add a spoon full of flour and dry above fire. Deglaze with Abbey ale and bring to a boil. Add some veal stock, 2 laurel leaves, 2 branches of oregano and let simmer for 45 minutes. Serve with some mashed potatoes

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1 Response to Interview with Frederick De Pue of Smith Commons

  1. Tom says:

    This recipe sounds intriguing, but I am confused about what this direction means: “Add a spoon full of flour and dry above fire.” I assume this means to add the flour to what is essentially a dry pan holding the rabbit, etc. and letting it cook for a minute before deglazing. But if you can clarify, please do. Thanks!

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