Most Wanted Recipe
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of F&W’s Best New Chef awards, one of our biggest stars shares one of his most requested recipes.
Marc Vetri was named an F&W Best New Chef 1999 at Vetri Ristorante in Philadelphia. His restaurant empire now includes Amis Trattoria, Osteria and Alla Spina.
Carrot gnocchi. Squash gnocchi. Beet gnocchi. Eating in restaurants around Italy in the mid 1990s, Marc Vetri discovered these vegetable-based versions of one of his favorite pastas. They inspired him to create a recipe for spinach gnocchi using eggs, bread crumbs, Grana Padano cheese and a little flour; they’re more intensely flavorful than the traditional ricotta kind. Vetri finishes the dish with brown butter and ricotta salata shavings. The gnocchi have been on Vetri Ristorante’s menu since the place opened in 1998, and the only thing that’s changed is the size. “We first made one that looked like a big spinach meatball,” says Vetri. “But guests thought the other pastas were small in comparison. Since then, we’ve served the gnocchi in all sizes, from three large ones to 12 very small ones.” SEE RECIPE »
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Lutèce; courtesy of chef André Soltner (wearing toque).
The legendary New York City French restaurant Lutèce closed in 2004, but it will be reborn for one night only, on April 16, to benefit University Settlement. Alsace native André Soltner—now the dean of classic studies at the International Culinary Center—opened Lutèce in 1961, just as America’s obsession with food and cooking was beginning. “When we opened 50 years ago, there were restaurants that served canned or frozen food. We were very focused on the best ingredients you can get,” remembers the pioneering chef. During his 35 years behind the stove, Soltner’s celebrity and flawless classic French cuisine attracted New York’s glitterati and the country’s most respected food lovers, including Julia Child.
Soltner will bring back the spirit of Lutèce by orchestrating an extravagant French wine dinner of iconic dishes such as seafood en croûte and tournedos Rossini: filet mignon with foie gras and Madeira sauce. The cost for entry to this once-in-a-lifetime reboot (with dessert from Jacques Torres) starts at $3,000, which will aid the University Settlement’s many programs aimed at uplifting low-income families and immigrants through education, decent housing, and improving physical and emotional well being. Tickets here.
For those whose interest in the French classics is piqued, we asked Soltner to describe some of the incredibly complex dishes that wowed guests during his restaurant’s prime. “People nowadays think classic French cuisine was heavy, but when it was done the right way then it was not. It was very tasty,” he says. Click through the slideshow to see the Endangered French Classics.
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Grace in the Kitchen
This is a stellar combination of juicy roast beef with bitter broccoli
rabe and melty provolone cheese. © Christina Holmes
Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.
Never have nine ingredients come together to make my mouth water as much as the ones in this crazy-good, Italian grilled-cheese sandwich. Olive oil-sautéed bitter broccoli rabe, anchovies, garlic, crushed red pepper, roast beef, sweet-spicy Peppadew peppers, provolone and crusty bread are all pressed together to make a gooey, crunchy mess. For me, it honestly doesn’t get better. If I’m rushed, I don’t even blanch the broccoli rabe before sautéing it. All good, since I love bitter flavors. I can feel my salivary glands getting a bit active! SEE RECIPE »
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Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures
This dish has all the complex flavors of traditional North African cuisine, yet it’s surprisingly simple. If sardines aren’t available, try using any fresh fish. I prefer small fish: anything from 5 ounces to 2 pounds is perfect. I also make this recipe once a year with a whole wild salmon—I just triple the rub/sauce elements and cut deep slashes in the fish for holding the seasonings and to help it cook evenly. Look, the world would be a better place if we all ate small fish with the heads on once a month, so go buy some mackerel, sardines, mullet, rouget, small pompano, porgies, skate, you name it... and get your fish groove on. Last thought, this makes a great fish dish for Passover. From my lips to God’s ears. SEE RECIPE »
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