Chef Chris Cosentino
Chef Chris Cosentino

Chris Cosentino

F&W Star Chef » See All F&W Chef Superstars Restaurants: Incanto, Boccalone Artisanal Salumeria (San Francisco) Experience: Red Sage (Washington, DC); Rubicon, Redwood Park (San Francisco); Chez Panisse (Berkeley) Education: Johnson & Wales (Rhode Island) What’s your favorite cookbook of all time?White Heat, by Marco Pierre White. When I was culinary school, they didn’t want us to own it. In those days, culinary school was like military life. They would check our faces with a credit card to see if we needed to shave. We had to press our coats, pants and aprons, and that kerchief had to be perfection. If we had a stain on our white coat we were sent home, even if it was espagnole sauce made in class. White Heat showed me that you didn’t have to look a certain way to be an amazing chef. The point was that it was all about the food. You didn’t have to fall in line and wear a tall white toque. It was OK to be an individual. What are your current food obsessions? We’re focusing a lot on historical recipes, like garum, ancient Roman fish sauce. We salt and ferment it with squid, local anchovies and sardines. I’m also enamored with radishes; I think they’re the most beautiful vegetables. Cooked or raw, I love everything about them. We make pesto out of the greens. Name a secret-weapon cooking technique. Seasoning with acids. Especially with a lot of the rich offal and other meats we serve, acids help cut that richness. Our goal is to use acid before salt. It’s something Mark Miller taught me years ago. What’s a common food misconception? That rustic means sloppy. Rustic just means that it’s not plated with tweezers and an eyedropper. Rustic can mean torn lettuce instead of hachéed. You still have to pay attention. What ingredient will people be talking about in five years? “What’s tuna?” That’s what children will be asking, I’m afraid. The rest of us will be saying, “Do you remember what fish used to taste like?” Can you name a favorite bang-for-the-buck restaurant? Yummy Yummy is this awesome Vietnamese spot in San Francisco’s Sunset District. They do amazing seafood pancakes, and the pho is my favorite in the city. If you were going to take Mario Batali out to eat, where would you go? I would take Mario to Old Islamic Mandarin in the Outer Sunset. It’s this crazy Muslim-Chinese restaurant that does a ton of lamb dishes. Do you have a favorite new store-bought ingredient? Red Boat fish sauce. It’s barrel-aged. They do a special edition in bourbon barrels, and it tastes like liquid prosciutto. It enhances salad dressings and pretty much anything else. What’s the best beer? I think I drink more Anchor Steam than anybody in the country. That’s a clean, straightforward, honest beer. If you could invent an imaginary restaurant for your next project, what would it be? I would love to create a restaurant where you could have a nun, a family, a plumber, a lawyer and a hooker all sit comfortably at the same bar. On Martha’s Vineyard I used to go to this tiny diner that sold the best T-shirt in the world: A cartoon of Dracula, a drunk, a fly fisherman, a dressed-up woman, and two kids and a dad, all sitting at the counter. That’s the ultimate in hospitality.
Chef Chris Cosentino proves here that you can elevate the humble grilled cheese sandwich into something magical with just a few tweaks. His buttery, crisp version is filled with luscious Taleggio cheese, then drizzled with honey and sprinkled with flaky salt and coarsely ground black pepper. It’s so simple, but also jaw-droppingly good. Slideshow: More Grilled Cheese Recipes 
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Chef Chris Cosentino of Porcellino in San Francisco loves pork blade steak: It’s well marbled, intensely flavorful and nicely chewy, plus it cooks quickly in a skillet. Also called pork steak or pork shoulder steak, it’s an inexpensive cut from the shoulder that contains the blade bone. Slideshow:  More Pork RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Chefs' Easy Weeknight Dinners
Making pesto with kale instead of basil isn't just healthier, it's unexpectedly delicious. And according to the dish's creator, chef Chris Cosentino, it's a simple way to get kids to eat kale. Plus:  Pasta Recipes 
A classic Italian panzanella (bread salad) combines juicy tomatoes and bread cubes. Here, Chris Cosentino swaps in stone fruits like apricots and peaches for the tomatoes. Then he pushes the dessert over the top by dolloping the "salad" with an airy zabaglione, a frothy sauce of egg yolks whipped with sweet dessert wine. More Fruit Desserts
Chef Way Chris Cosentino adds briny flavor to his pasta with cured tuna heart. He shaves it on right before serving.Easy Way This recipe calls for anchovies, rather than the tuna heart Cosentino uses. Egg yolks form a silky sauce. More Recipes by Chris Cosentino
Chris Cosentino remembers charring tomatoes when he was a line cook under chef Mark Miller at Red Sage in Washington, DC. "Mark always said, 'It needs fleck,' " Cosentino says, referring to the blackened bits on the skins. "The fire brings out the sweetness in the tomatoes." More Tomato Recipes
Salsa verde means "green sauce" in both Italian and Spanish. In Chris Cosentino's lemony version, fresh tarragon gives the salsa a nice summery quality. The salsa verde also goes well with grilled fish like swordfish or tuna steaks, as well as in sandwiches or swirled into soups. If chervil proves difficult to find, a mixture of extra tarragon and parsley is a fine substitute. More Salsa Recipes
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Chris Cosentino of San Francisco's Incanto is known for his offal dishes but a hearty fish like sardine, served whole, can also appeal to the nose-to-tail crowd. Cosentino pan-fries the omega-3-rich fish with an exhilarating mix of olives, capers, lemon zest, parsley and chiles. To make this more of a main course, he prepares a crunchy salad of artichokes and sunchokes to eat alongside. Restaurant Coverage from F&W Editors  Fast Fish Recipes
This garnet sauce is Chris Cosentino's take on the classic Piedmontese anchovy-and-olive-oil dip, enriched here with red wine. Italian for "hot bath," bagna cauda is served warm with crudités. This version, with both oil-packed and marinated anchovies, doubles as a terrific sauce for grilled meat. More Party Dip Recipes
Salsa verde means "green sauce" in both Italian and Spanish. In Chris Cosentino's lemony version, fresh tarragon gives the salsa a nice summery quality. The salsa verde also goes well with grilled fish like swordfish or tuna steaks, as well as in sandwiches or swirled into soups. If chervil proves difficult to find, a mixture of extra tarragon and parsley is a fine substitute. More Salsa Recipes
Chris Cosentino of San Francisco's Incanto is known for his offal dishes but a hearty fish like sardine, served whole, can also appeal to the nose-to-tail crowd. Cosentino pan-fries the omega-3-rich fish with an exhilarating mix of olives, capers, lemon zest, parsley and chiles. To make this more of a main course, he prepares a crunchy salad of artichokes and sunchokes to eat alongside. Restaurant Coverage from F&W Editors  Fast Fish Recipes
This garnet sauce is Chris Cosentino's take on the classic Piedmontese anchovy-and-olive-oil dip, enriched here with red wine. Italian for "hot bath," bagna cauda is served warm with crudités. This version, with both oil-packed and marinated anchovies, doubles as a terrific sauce for grilled meat. More Party Dip Recipes
Chris Cosentino uses the phrase God's butter to describe rich, decadent bone marrow. Here he serves it alongside grilled toasts rubbed with rosemary and lemon. For a more potent herbal flavor, singe the rosemary sprigs on the grill for a few moments before rubbing the toasts.
Chef Way At Incanto, chef Chris Cosentino braises beef shank and oxtail in red wine to make a brasato he serves with house-made mint pappardelle.Easy Way Instead of oxtail, the dish uses just beef shank. Fresh pappardelle from a store replaces the house-made kind. More Recipes by Chris Cosentino
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