Michel Richard, shown here in 2007, supervises sisters Elizabeth and Julia Rosenbaum of Potomac as they cook the chef’s Snow Pea Linguine side dish. He visited their home for a Food section feature named Chef on Call. (Len Spoden for The Washington Post)

The recipes Michel Richard shared with Washington Post readers over the years reflect the same playful spirit that sparked his restaurant creations and cookbooks, “Happy in the Kitchen” (Artisan, 2006) and “Sweet Magic” (Ecco, 2010).

“Michel was all about the recipes,” says Mel Davis, his fiercely loyal and close assistant for the past 15 years. “They were the most important thing. His love.”

The French chef, who died Saturday at 68, often began the process with one of his well-known doodles. “He tasted it in his head, drew a picture then went into the kitchen,” she says. “There were sketches on every scrap of paper.”

It was up to Davis to interpret recipes for the media, and she remembers her boss would huff and puff over simple questions such as: How hot should the flame be? “The chef expected anyone who cooked to figure out the answers.”

But when he taught classes at his Citronelle in Georgetown, or when he mentored young sisters on a mission for the Food section, he was patient and charming. Each preparation on the menu he devised for them included “the foundation on which to build a cooking repertoire,” wrote Chef on Call columnist David Hagedorn.

Richard’s declining health prevented him from cooking the last few years of his life, but he did take pleasure in two of his Central bistro signatures: the ahi tuna burger and the coconut sorbet, both of which he ate almost every day, Davis says.

His legacy lives on in our Recipe Finder. Cook in his memory by choosing one of these dishes — or a menu’s worth:

Snow Pea Linguine, shown at top. The crisp vegetable is transformed with knife work (julienne) and a pan glaze.


(Mette Randem for The Washington Post)

(Len Spoden for The Washington Post)

Onion Low Carb-o-Nara; Cheese Puffs (Gougeres) Tromp l’oeil spirit in a “pasta dish” of the thinnest onion slices steamed to tenderness; a French hors d’oeuvre that works every time.

Figgy Piggy With Sweet Spiced Port Sauce. The chef introduced Post readers to sous-vide in 2006 by wrapping a seared, honey-rubbed pork tenderloin in plastic wrap, chilling it overnight and then poaching it in 140-degree water.

Michel Richard’s Fried Chicken Nuggets. His early fondness for KFC may have inspired this 2011 dish, which also relies on a sous-vide technique.


(Robert A. Reeder/The Washington Post)

(Robert A. Reeder/The Washington Post)

Asparagus Salmon. Challenging but doable for home cooks; the finished dish looks stunning.


(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Michel Richard’s Green Peppercorn Sauce. What a way to class up a steak.

Salmon With Red Wine Shiitake Sauce. Quick yet elegant; the fish is baked at a low temperature. From his Chef on Call mission.


(Len Spoden for The Washington Post)

Vegetable Bouillabaisse With Aioli. Another 2007 Chef on Call recipe that holds up, years later, flavored with classic French fish stew components including Pernod and saffron.


(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Sesame-Poppy Crisps. Delicate and tuile-thin. The recipe appeared in @WaPoFood’s 2011 Holiday Cookies.


(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Haute-Meal Cookies. With bacon! These were part of @WaPoFood’s Holiday Cookies 2010 collection.


(Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post)

Chocolate Grapes. Ingenious, from his 2006 “Happy in the Kitchen” (Artisan). Food staffers make them to this day.