In addition to his teaching, Allen will oversee the Culinary Institute's eventual launch as a locavore restaurant open to the public and run by LiHigh School students. He and the students will work closely with local farms and food purveyors to ensure healthy choices for students and customers. Allen is an active proponent of healthy nutrition for children and was a guest at the White House for the First Lady's "No Kid Hungry" initiative.
Allen grew up in an Italian family that revered wonderful food and spent 17 years honing his culinary skills in New York City, working in the acclaimed kitchen of Susan Sugarman. Later, he made a point to learn as much about food as possible and worked in kitchens that specialized in various techniques of global cuisine. Taking a two-year sabbatical from restaurants, Allen developed over 115 flavors for a New York City soft ice-cream company, where New York food critics dubbed him the "Custard King" and "Flavor Wizard." Some of his most popular flavors included creme brulee, tiramisu, apple pie, and honey lavender. Weary of life in New York City, Allen began a quest to discover regional cooking firsthand. He traveled through kitchens in Connecticut, Long Island, Vermont, and eventually Los Angeles, where he was hired as the Lead Chef for the PBS series, "New Jewish Cuisine." He also cooked Louisiana-influenced cuisine in Hermosa Beach's Cafe Boogaloo.
Allen lives in Pawlet with his partner, Heather, her three daughters, and his dog, Truffles.
LiHigh School is an approved independent school in Poultney Vservicing general education and special education students in grades six through twelve. A private school charging the state's average for tuition, it has been approved by the state to accept public funds from sending towns such as Middletown Springs, Wells, Pawlet, Rupert, and Dorset. LiHigh School has been open for special education students since 2007 and for general education students since 2011, and its unique model of learning guides students to take control of their own education.MANCHESTER - The internationally recognized 'Travel & Leisure' magazine compiled a list of the 'Best French Restaurants in the U.S.' in their Aug. 2013 issue and placed Manchester's Brasserie L'Oustau de Provence in fifth nation-wide. Rated along with well-known culinary meccas such as Daniel in New York City, La Chaumiere in D.C. and Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas, Brasserie L'Oustau was celebrated for its homage to classic French cuisine and hospitality. "Authenticity and service are always in style at this southern Vermont brasserie, which attracts diners from as far as New York and Canada. Owned by Michel Boyer, a well-respected connoisseur of French gastronomy, this is a real gathering spot where friends and family meet for American interpretations of French food - pommes frites, slow-cooked onion soup, roasted chicken, savory sausages, and vegetables - all sourced locally," said Travel & Leisure, on their list of best French restaurants. Launched in Jan. 2012 and pushing through possibly the worst ski and foliage seasons on record, Brasserie L'Oustau has implemented some very unique culinary programs: monthly wine dinners to feature wine pairings from specific regions of the world such as the Loire Valley and New Zealand, a July 2013 dinner promotion with a menu highlighting six special lobster dishes and a small-dish menu for their newly named Bar Matisse located within the restaurant. "The greatest compliment possible is when a customer tells us we remind them of a wonderful brasserie they visited in Paris - except we're better," says Michel Boyer, owner of Brasserie L'Oustau. "That has been our goal - to provide classic French service and cuisine in a refined and casual ambiance without having to be in France." Having spearheaded a 'Manchester, VT Restaurant Week' in Oct. 2012 and again in April 2013, Brasserie L'Outstau has been helping and inspiring southern Vermont restaurants to establish the area as a destination for culinary tourism. For information about Brasserie L'Oustau de Provence and Michel Boyer, visit www.brasserieloustau.com, Twitter @BrassLOustau, Facebook at "Brassierie "L'Outstau" or call 802-768-8537.