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Fresh Picks

One of Boston's best tells us what he’s loving right now.

08.24.11 3:22 PM ET

An early bloomer in the kitchen, chef Jamie Bissonnette gravitated toward cooking shows instead of cartoons. By the age of 19 he had already earned his culinary-arts degree from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. His early 20s were spent eating and working in Paris, San Francisco, New York, and Phoenix. On the local Boston scene he has headed up the kitchen at Peking Tom'sPigalle, Andy Husband's Tremont 647, and Kenmore Square behemoth Eastern Standard. Comfortable with a full range of international cuisines and culinary techniques, Bissonnette partnered with notable chef Ken Oringer in 2005 to open Toro—a Barcelona-style tapas restaurant located in Boston’s South End that has garnered rave reviews and awards. Then in 2009, Bissonnette and Oringer partnered once again to open Coppa—an intimate, Italian enoteca that received three starts from the Boston Globe and honorable mention in Esquire magazine’s 2010 Best New Restaurant list. Most recently in 2011, Jamie was awarded Best New Chef: People’s Choice Award by Food & Wine magazine.

Recipe

Meet the perfect way to bring max flavor to one of summer’s simplest and most delicious vegetables before you miss your chance.

Asparagus

Pan-Roasted Asparagus With Fried Eggs and Anchovy Bread Crumbs. I love this recipe. Asparagus is one of those ingredients that I need to eat once it's around, and eggs are my all-time favorite food. Plus, anchovies are a great way to add umami. It’s one pan, simple and wicked tasty—this recipe is perfect.

Restaurant

For Southern cuisine and charm look no further than this Charleston staple.

Husk Restaurant, Charleston, SC.

Husk. I went to Husk in February and loved it so much that I booked a trip to Charleston for a day and a half just to eat there for lunch. It's great—all Southern ingredients, treated well, simply, and with refined technique. Local fish cooked perfectly, with seasonal local vegetables and rad preserved pickles from last season. The tomato salad with peaches, plums, and whole-made ricotta is a perfect dish for spring/summer.

Cookbook

Mastering your Southern-food kitchen skills is simple with this brilliant book.

Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor by The Lee Bros.

I cannot get enough of would-be Southerners the Lee Bros.’ Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes With Down-Home Flavor. It's a style of food I didn't grow up with but wish I did. It's interesting and informative and a fun book to read.

Food Destination

Getting planning on next summer’s vacation and head south for some seriously good eats.

Charleston, SC

Charleston, S.C. Between the Lee Bros., Sean Brock's restaurants Husk and McGrady's, Michael at Fig, and Marth Lou's, I could eat in that town three meals a day and never get bored. It's perfect there in the early summer. For hot beach weather during the day, rent a scooter and ride out to Folly Beach to eat shack foods like chicken wings or crab cakes. Grab some beers at the Surf Bar. Head back to Charleston, shower, and it'll be just cool enough to walk around and bar hop. Start at the Gin Joint for cocktails and a few snacks, then head to McGrady's for dinner, Social for a glass of wine, and back to the Gin Joint to see Joe and have a nightcap cocktail. It's a city that makes me feel like a regular my first night in town.