Techniques » Breaking Down a Chicken
If you only buy chicken wings, thighs or breasts because you're intimated by cutting up a whole chicken, fret no more. Wiliam Kovel of the Four Seasons Hotel's Aujourd'hui demonstrates the art of breaking down a chicken and explains how every piece is useful. Then try your hand at making his Herb Marinated Chicken with Corn Ragu.
William Kovel & Joshua Smith
In June 2006, William Kovel joined Four Seasons Hotel Boston as Chef de Cuisine of Aujourd’hui. “The food I prepare comes from a passion for fresh, simple flavors cultivated in California, Boston and Europe, threaded together with classic French techniques,” says Kovel. A native of West Hartford, CT, Kovel’s desire to cook professionally started in elementary school when in 5th grade he announced his desire to become a chef…or a garbage man. From that point, his education and career decisions led him to culinary school at Southern New Hampshire University. After receiving his degrees in Culinary Studies & Hospitality Studies, he headed to San Francisco where he lucked into an entry-level garde manger position shucking oysters and learning from one of the best chefs in the country, Traci Des Jardins of Jardinière. His next career move was a stint at the Ritz-Carlton in The Dining Room under Chef Sylvan Portay. When family called him back to the East Coast, Kovel settled on Boston. “I decided if I was going to work in Boston, it had to be for the best chef in town -- and Michael Schlow was it, in my mind.” At Radius, Kovel worked his way up to sous chef and helped run Schlow’s flagship restaurant for three years. Once again he needed a challenge and accepted a position as chef de partie at Michelin-rated Orrery in London. The year abroad refreshed his focus on French technique and the demands of a Michelin kitchen. “Now, it’s my goal to evolve Aujourd’hui into a restaurant known not only for it’s grand elegance and superior service, but also for it’s approachable ambience and impeccable cuisine.”
Josh Smith was raised in North Carolina and was turned onto Charcuterie from a Master French Chef Charles Semail at Dean and Deluca. There he was the Butcher/Charcuter and was taught to make pates, sausages and terrines. From there Josh went on to travel the United States for many years attending the school of hard knocks, practicing the new found ancient art all across the country in cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, and now Boston where he intends to make his mark. Throughout Josh's career he has always maintained his passion for artisan foods and old world methods of preserving the seasons and nature's bounty.