Residence: Mount Pleasant.
Occupation: Financial adviser with UBS.
Family: Wife, daughter, son, two cats, one dog and a partridge in a pear tree!
Q: You're a stockbroker by day, home chef by night. Considering your personality traits, which ones apply to both jobs and in what way?
A: I have a tendency to be analytical, which is of great benefit when seeking investments or investigating a recipe. When I find something I like, I don't just take what I see at face value. I like to find out about the background, evolution, etc.
Q: What exactly piqued your interest in cooking?
A: I have always had it really. I enjoy preparing a meal; the actual process is different than what I do during the day. It allows me to concentrate on something that I am in complete control of.
Q: Your wife says you learned a lot from TV chefs. Which ones and what did you like about them?
A: What I liked was their organization — everything was logically presented, explained and prepared. Seeing cooking demonstrated this way made it easy for me to dive in. By breaking down the process into a series of steps, it became easier for a novice to grasp fundamentals and actually accomplish something. This is going back before we had a celebrity culture around chefs. Ones I liked were John Folse, Nathalie Dupree, Julia Child.
Q: Your wife also says you're very selective about your ingredients. What does she mean?
A: My family and I have learned that you can taste quality differences in food. For example if a recipe calls for parmesan cheese, the flavor difference is apparent if you substitute domestic for Parmigiano-Reggiano. To me, cooking is about balance, and on a scientific level, it is somewhat like a chemical equation. Through experimentation you find out that different varieties of the same raw ingredient each have unique characteristics that subtly affect the final dish.
Q: Some of your signature dishes are ...
A: Hard to say, really. Ones that I like are Chicken Piccata, Shrimp and Fettuccine With Creamy Pesto, Tomato Pie.
Q: You keep working with a recipe until you have perfected it. What was the most challenging one of all?
A: Well, I am working on Pad Thai currently, which has proven to be very challenging because there are so many regional variations in the recipes.
A favorite recipe:
"Wonderful with a nice bottle of Cabernet or Pinot Noir," Lipman says.
Braised Lamb Shanks With Yukon Gold Potatoes
For lamb shanks:
6 lamb shanks, 1 pound each
Flour for dredging
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
3 ribs celery, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 large or 3 small yellow onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 leeks, white part only, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 bottle red wine, such as Cabernet
1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes with juice
12 ounces low-fat chicken stock
12 ounces low-fat beef stock
2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
For garnish: 1 teaspoon each: minced fresh thyme, minced fresh rosemary, minced fresh chives, minced fresh oregano, grated lemon peel; combine and set aside
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Trim fat and membrane from the lamb shanks; wash and pat dry. Dredge in flour.
In a 6-quart or larger Dutch oven or covered stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil to hot but not smoking. Working in batches, add dredged shanks; they should sizzle when added to the oil. Brown on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes for each batch. Remove and set aside. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to pan before each successive batch of shanks to be browned.
After browning, add celery, carrots, onions, leeks and garlic and saute for 8 to 10 minutes.
Turn heat to high and add wine. Scrape bottom of pan to deglaze, then add tomatoes, stocks, herbs, salt and pepper, and bring to a boil.
Remove from top of stove.
Add browned shanks to pot. Shanks should be submerged in liquid. Cover pot and put into preheated oven.
Check after 1 hour and add more stock to cover shanks if needed.
Braise until meat is falling off of the bone, about 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
After meat is cooked, take out of pot, set aside and cover.
Put pot on top of stove, heat on high and boil rapidly until liquid is reduced by a third. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly, then add shanks back to pot and hold until ready to serve.
Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes.
5 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, unpeeled and quartered
1 stick butter
4 ounces sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil potatoes until fork tender. Drain, then immediately add butter, sour cream, salt and pepper. Using a hand mixer, mash to desired consistency.
Variations: Omit butter and add 1/4 cup good olive oil, 1 tablespoon minced garlic and 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary before mashing. Chop 2 leeks in 1/2-inch pieces, white part only, and add.
To serve: Mashed potatoes on one side of the plate, shank on the other side. Ladle braising liquid over and around shank. Garnish with chopped herbs/lemon peel mixture.