Michael Gulotta
Michael Gulotta

Michael Gulotta

Restaurant: Mopho Location: New Orleans Michael Gulotta, a veteran of Restaurant August, is a Southeast Asia devotee who prepares stellar Delta-inspired Vietnamese food in a strip mall. A huge local booster, he enlists his neighbors in ventures that now include Tana, an Italian counter spot within the gallery space Trèo.
Next mission: To work with New Orleans's Vietnamese fishing community to create a locavore fish sauce. Read more about this amazing New Orleans talent, one of the new Food & Wine Best New Chefs.
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Michael Gulotta, the chef at MoPho in New Orleans, uses a traditional Southern ingredient—pepper jelly—in a decidedly Asian preparation for braised clams. The result is a deeply fragrant dish that's a fantastic blend of briny, sweet and spicy. He likes draping the hot clams with lardo (seasoned fatback), but bits of crispy bacon are delicious as well. This is best served with crusty bread to soak up the delicious coconut broth. Slideshow:  More Clam Recipes  F&W's Firstleaf Pairing:  2013 Uvaggio Vermentino from Lodi, California 
New Orleans chef Michael Gulotta uses fragrant Thai chile paste as well as crab paste to pack flavor into his fresh crab-and-mushroom noodle stir-fry. He makes the noodles from scratch at his restaurant, MoPho, but using store-bought ramen (minus the seasoning packet) is a smart shortcut. Slideshow:  More Ramen Recipes