What's your favorite new ingredient?
Saba, a cooked, reduced grape must that I found at Aniata Cheese Company in Del Mar [California]. We use it as an accompaniment for cheese, adding some cinnamon and vanilla and doing a little line on the plate. We also use it as a glaze for sturgeon.
What's the most versatile spice?
Black pepper, but we like to use pimente d'Espelette, a ground red chile pepper. I especially like using it on whitefish for that bright red contrast. It looks sexy.
What's the most underused spice?
In my kitchen, it's turmeric. We use it in one recipe, a cucumber-milk sauce, that we serve with tuna and crab. But it's very refreshing. It's such a summer thing.