Have you ever dreamed that you could have a multi-course lunch at the home of an amazing chef, hang out in his kitchen while he prepares it and pick up some cooking tips and recipes along the way? It’s possible. One way is to befriend (or maybe even date) a chef. Another is through By Invitation Only events, open to platinum American Express card members. Chef Cyril Renaud of Fleur de Sel opened up his Brooklyn kitchen to some Platinum AmEx cardholders, many of whom had used their reward points to attend the event. If you've been saving your reward points for a rainy day, now's a great time to use them.

Renaud wanted to be a chef from the age of 7, and he never strayed from his path. He was born in Brittany, and learned a great deal about cooking in his early years from his mother. He ultimately enrolled at Les Sorbets vocational school in Brittany and then worked restaurants in Paris, Belgium, and London. He moved to New York in 1991. After arriving in New York, he ran the kitchen of Bouley restaurant as Chef de Cuisine and later became the Executive Chef of La Caravelle. In 2000, he opened his own restaurant, Fleur de Sel.

At Fleur de Sel, Renaud’s goal is to capture the essence of seasonal ingredients while highlighting the Breton food he grew up eating. He and his team shop regularly at the Union Square Greenmarket, arrive early to get the best produce, and let their finds drive the menu. His recipe for a light and delicious smoked salmon salad follows after the jump.

Smoked Salmon Salad (serves 4)

12 oz smoked salmon (preferably not sliced)
1 coconut (flesh only)
1 fennel root (remove the top layer)
1 plum
1 peach
2 shallots (sliced)
1 carrot
1 golden beet
1 celery stalk
½ cup white wine vinegar
1 tsp coriander seeds
½ cup plain yogurt
½ tsp sugar
Olive oil
Fleur de sel
White pepper

For the salmon: Dice the salmon into ¼ inch cubes and set aside.

For the vinaigrette: In a small pot, mix the vinegar, the coriander seeds and the sugar. Bring to a boil, then add the sliced shallots and let it cool.

For the salad: In a bowl mix the yogurt, a touch of the vinaigrette mix, and salt and pepper to taste. In another bowl, add 2 tsp of olive oil, 1 tsp of the vinaigrette mix, salt and pepper. With a peeler, shave the coconut, carrot and the celery into strips. Then slice the fennel and the beets into thin slices, and cut the plum and peach into segments. Add to the bowl.

For plating: For each of the four plates, drag a spoonful of the yogurt mixture across the plate for a base. Add ¼ of the diced salmon and ¼ of the salad mixture on top. Remove the coriander seed and shallots from the vinaigrette and top each salad with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with fleur de sel. Garnish with sprigs of dill.

Upcoming By Invitation Only events in New York include Perfect Cheese Pairings with Max McCalman on October 25 and November 22; Celebrate Aureole's 20th Anniversary with Charlie Palmer on November 6; Chef Todd English at The Libertine on November 11; and On the Line with Chef Eric Ripert on November 12.