THEY SAY A WATCHED POT NEVER BOILS,
but try telling that to Robert Ciborowski, top
chef at Orlando’s Walt Disney World Swan and
Dolphin Hotel, who by once waiting patiently
forged a successful career in the field.
A graduate of San Francisco’s California
Culinary Academy, Ciborowski got the rare
opportunity early in his career to work as a
prep chef at the famed French Laundry, lo-
cated about two hours north of San Francisco.
“The chef de cuisine said, ‘Be here
tomorrow at 5 a.m.,’” Ciborowski remembers. “I got there and the kitchen was shut,
as it opened at 5: 30. They wanted to see if
I would wait. I worked the whole day and
then was made to stand in the alcove from
‘ What do you think?’ I said that I wanted to
learn. He said, ‘Be back at 6: 30 tomorrow.’ I
asked if I was going to get paid, and he said
‘ We’ll talk about it.’ The rest is history.”
Since then, the chef has worked AAA
Four Diamond and Mobil Four Star restaurants for Ritz-Carlton, as well as for The
Atlantis Resort in The Bahamas and various
traditional fine-dining restaurants.
Ciborowski’s efforts at the Swan and
Dolphin, which offers 17 restaurants and
lounges and boasts a banquet operation that
serves more than 1 million guests annually,
have reaped numerous awards.
Overseeing nearly 200 team members,
“Chef Cib’s” culinary style is informed by his
Italian upbringing, classical French training
and a respect for presentation he learned
while working in Southeast Asia and Japan.
Ciborowski and his crew pride themselves
on providing a dining experience that blows
away the expectations of participants, such as
innovative back-of-house progressive dinners
and other jaw-dropping feats of cuisine.
Taking dining programs into the kitchen—the “heart of the house,” as Ciborowski
describes it—brings a level of emotion to
guests in that it reminds them of their own
homes. It’s that emotive aspect of the cuisine experience that really hits home.
“What we do really well,” he says, “is
deliver something beyond a group’s expectations, such as doing stations and pop-up
restaurants—to execute the way it should be
executed, not just cook it. What distin-guishes us is the ability to do it the right
way. You need to put up a foundation before
you build a house.”
Executive Chef, Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotel
By Tyler Davidson
1. On a piece of plastic wrap large enough to wrap the entire rib cap, place ¼ of the sliced shallots, ¼ of the thyme sprigs
and ¼ of the toasted peppercorns. Generously coat one side of the rib cap with ½ tablespoon olive oil. Place the oiled
side of the beef onto the shallots, thyme and peppercorns. Do not season with salt. Repeat on the opposite side of the
rib cap and wrap tightly. Repeat on second rib cap and refrigerate overnight.
2. Remove beef from refrigerator one hour prior to cooking. Prepare grill for high heat with grates a fair distance from
flames in an attempt to keep “flare ups” to a minimum.
3. Just prior to grilling, remove and discard all shallots, thyme and peppercorns. Season all sides of rib caps with salt and pepper.
Immediately place on grill. Do not move the steaks, unless you have flare ups, for at least two minutes. After two minutes,
you may turn steaks to achieve the “diamond” look. After two more minutes, flip steak and let sit on grill untouched for three
minutes. This will achieve a medium-rare doneness. Remove steak from grill, let rest for seven minutes and serve.
1. Place potatoes and vinegar in saucepan with two quarts water and two tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil over high heat
and boil for 10 minutes. Potatoes should be tender, but not falling apart. Drain and spread on baking sheet lined with
paper towel. Dry for five minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil over high heat to 400˚ F. Add 1/3 of fries to oil (oil temperature should dry to around 360˚F). Cook for 50
seconds, agitating occasionally, then remove to second baking sheet lined with paper towel. Repeat with remaining potatoes
(two more batches), allowing oil to return to 400˚ F after each batch. Cool potatoes to room temperature. Continue with step 3,
or for best results, freeze potatoes overnight or up for two months.
3. Return oil to 400˚ F over high heat. Fry half of potatoes until crisp and light golden brown (about 3½ minutes), adjusting
heat to maintain around 360˚ F. Drain in bowl lined with paper towels. Salt immediately. Cooked fries can be kept hot
and crisp on a wire rack set on a baking set in oven at 200˚ F while second batch is cooked. Serve immediately.
CALOTTE DE BOEUF
2 pieces beef rib cap
6 large shallots—peeled, stem
removed, thinly sliced
24 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns,
toasted in dry pan until fragrant, then
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons salt
½ tablespoon black pepper
2 pounds russet potatoes—peeled, cut
into ¼” by ¼” fries, keep stored in
bowl of water
2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
2 quarts peanut oil
Salt to taste
CALOTTE DE BOEUF WITH POMMES FRITES