Marc Murphy grew up in Milan, Paris, Villefranche, Washington DC, Rome and Genoa — “and that’s before I turned 12,” he notes. This dizzying list of hometowns served as an excellent education in French and Italian cooking, although kitchens were not really his passion as a kid. When the reality hit that he didn't have the funds to become a professional racecar driver, Murphy followed his brother to the Institute of Culinary Education. Everything about his life (including caramel) flows from that fork.
Marc was lucky to land at Michelin one-star Le Miraville in Paris. It is there that he first learned to make a version of the caramel. Fast forward through many more places (France, Italy, Monte Carlo, New York), restaurants (Le Cirque, Layla, Cellar in the Sky, La Fourchette) and mentors (Terrance Brennan, Alain Ducasse, Sylvain Portay, Joseph Fortunato), in 2006, Marc opened the first Landmarc in NYC's Tribeca. Met with rave reviews, he went on to open Ditch Plains (a beachy West Village eatery) and another Landmarc in the Time Warner Center.
Marc always remembered the caramels, and thought they would be a fun, memorable schtick at Landmarc. At the end of every delicious meal, a plate full of caramels arrives. It has become a tradition, a treat for diners and an appropriate souvenir to remember an excellent meal.
Heavy cream, honey and sugar are the main flavors with a background note of Tahitian vanilla beans. The mixture is watched on the stove (verrrrry carefully) until it is a medium amber color. Butter is then swirled in and the batch is poured, cooled, cut before being wrapped individually by hand.
Marc's busy, busy, busy these days with new locations (like Ditch Plains in Brooklyn Bridge Park and on the Upper West Side) and appearances on the cooking show circuit with a regular role as a judge on Chopped, but he's wanted to jar the caramels for a long time. Now no one has to travel far to enjoy this reknown chef's masterful creations.