Marcus Samuelsson drew on African staples like yams and okra to create this completely original recipe of roasted sweet potatoes tossed with red potatoes, wilted spinach and sautéed okra. Toasted mustard seeds and a caper vinaigrette give this delicious salad a nutty, tangy flavor.
Wolfgang Puck may be the ultimate L.A. chef, but he grew up in Vienna, and the food there is one of his touchstones. These sausages, called Wiener Würstchen, are a favorite from his childhood. He splits the dogs, fills them with cheese and wraps them in bacon. Once they’ve been roasted, he serves them on a bun with a spicy horseradish mustard. Although they may seem over the top, they’re irresistible.
Richard Blais garnishes his take on a caprese salad of tomato and mozzarella with pickled walnuts, made by tossing candied walnuts with a little vinegar. (Alternatively, use British pickled walnuts, available at some specialty food stores.) “The blue cheese and the celery give this dish a little ‘adultness,’” he says.
“Succotash was one of those things I truly hated as a child. I grew up with the frozen kind—it was the lima beans I especially objected to,” says Thomas Keller. That changed as he got older and started eating succotash made with fresh vegetables. Now he thinks limas are extraordinary. For a lovely presentation, he spoons his buttery succotash into hollowed-out heirloom tomatoes.
“I love skirt steak because it’s just fatty enough, and it cooks quickly, which is great for dinner parties,” says Vinny Dotolo. He serves the steak thinly sliced, with a lightly smoky, tangy paprika butter.
The iconic Andalucian salmorejo is essentially a superthick gazpacho, made with plenty of ripe tomatoes, garlic and olive oil. Invariably, it’s topped with chopped hard-boiled eggs and ham and served with fried eggplant or toasted country bread.
“This crust is not what you’d expect," Marco Canora says. “Instead of being crunchy, it’s puffy and cakey.” The dough is terrific for impromptu baking, because it doesn’t need to be chilled before it’s rolled out. For the filling, Canora recommends using peaches that are ripe but still firm, as drippy fruit will make the soft crust soggy.
Elisabeth Prueitt cuts the pastry into a precise circle and weighs it down during baking to create an elegant base for sliced strawberries and whipped cream. The adaptable crust can be topped with almost any seasonal fruit.