Chef Luke Venner Joins elm in New Canaan & Presents New Menu

Jeff "jfood" Schlesinger

This Friday May 1, 2015, elm restaurant in New Canaan will introduce its new Executive Chef Luke Venner and his new, completely revamped menu. CTBites was invited to meet the new chef and have a glimpse of the changes that elm’s guests can expect from the new chef whose philosophy is "I prefer simple compositions with an emphasis on technique and seasonality. 

Chef Luke joins elm from BLT Fish in NYC where he was the Executive Chef. Born in South Dakota, some of his earliest memories include sitting with his grandfather on the family farm eating buttered sweet corn, cherries poached in syrup and Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. He watched Julia Child on TV but his passion for the culinary arts was ignited when he saw “Great Chefs – Great Cities,” a behind the scenes documentary of chefs that included Daniel Boulud and Jean-Louis Palladin. He was one of twelve students in a European-style culinary training program in Colorado, where he was placed in the highly acclaimed Restaurant Picasso where he learned classical French techniques. After completing this four year program he joined Larkspur Restaurant in Vail, CO as the Chef de Cuisine and subsequently moved to Yountville, CA as the Chef de Partie of Redd Restaurant. He re-connected with, and joined, Chef Tyler Anderson as the Chef de Cuisine in the opening of Millwright Restaurant in Simsbury, CT where he was instrumental in the receipt of perfect reviews from every local Farmington Valley publication and the highest rating from the NY Times before moving to BLT Fish

Chef Luke’s new spring menu at elm features several groupings to meet the desires of each guest. For diners interested in small plates to enjoy with one of elm’s creative cocktail, the “snacks” section offers Shishito Peppers topped with Old Bay seasoning and a Local Cheese & Charcuterie Selection, “smaller” plates include a Burrata with green garlic and nasturtium pesto, a Chilled Oysters & Clams, a Tuna Carpaccio with pea shoots and grain mustard, and an English Pea Soup. I sampled the Shishito Peppers and the Burrata as we spoke and each of these creations was fantastic. Options for a “larger” plate include a CT Lobster Roll, a Grassfed Burger with Raclette cheese, Sea Trout and a Beef Tenderloin. For those interested in sharing a dinner, Chef Venner is preparing a whole Salt Crusted Bass, a full Roasted Chicken, and Smoked Short Ribs with chimichurri. Lunch is also offered with many of the dinner selections plus a large selection of salads and sandwiches.

Stay tuned as CTbites visits elm restaurant to sample some of the creative cuisine of Executive Chef Luke Venner showcasing his talent for dishes that will highlight the freshest ingredients in creative compositions.

73 Elm St - New Canaan - 203-920-4994

Photos by Jane Beiles Photography