The Pâté de Pays at Etoile Cuisine et Bar has been on the menu since the French restaurant opened in late 2012. While it might seem like the kind of thing that is a staple of French eateries, it's personal for Philippe Verpiand, chef and owner of the popular Uptown Park spot.
"My father and grandfathers were butchers," says the native of southern France. "My grandfather opened the shop in 1934, and he always had quality beef, pork and lamb. In the 1960s, my father went to Lyon, which is a leader in charcuterie to learn from the makers there. He came home to my grandfather's butcher shop and began making the pate there."
He goes on to explain that the dish is something that's always been a part of his life. "I grew up learning to do this," the chef recalls, "I probably started working in the shop when I was about 14, and I was taught to mix the meat, and always, my dad would check to make sure it was ground small enough to get the right texture." Verpiand shares, "ours is in the country style, done with pork and chicken livers, some brandy, prunes and juniper spice. We put it on the lunch menu and on the happy hour menu."
The dish is both savory and rich — and even though Verpiand has opened restaurants and created cuisine all over France, Europe and the States, his father's pate is a reminder of where he comes from.
"This is my father's recipe," he says. "I haven't changed anything in the way that he did it."