One of the youngest and freshest culinary talents tells us what he's loving right now.
Sam Talbot is executive chef of Imperial No. Nine in the Mondrian Hotel SoHo in New York. At the forefront of the "integrative kitchen" movement, which breaks down the walls between the way we eat and the way we live, Talbot is one of America’s most original chefs. At 24, Talbot moved to New York as executive chef of the Black Duck Restaurant in the New York’s legendary Gramercy Park neighborhood. Two years later, he opened his own restaurant, the Williamsburgh Cafe in Brooklyn’s trendiest locale; he was nominated for Best New Chef in Brooklyn by CitySearch and Best Restaurant in Brooklyn by the New York Post. Talbot's inventive dishes have been praised by The New York Times, New York magazine, the Daily News, the New York Post, Zink magazine, Time Out New York and Forbes. Unique even among celebrity chefs, Talbot brings to his kitchen his deep love of nature, keen sense of taste, creative mind, and intrinsic understanding of the relationship between food and health.
This pasta dish lets you get creative and puts your mind to work, instead of just your knives.
Garganelli with Spring Onions, Asparagus, and Peas. I like this recipe because it leaves a hole for the cook to fill, which can be rare with recipes. It basically says pick your favorite spring vegetable, which means the recipe could be adapted to the best items available at the market. I made this with fresh fava beans and foraged hedgehog mushrooms—it was divine. Some of spring’s heaviest hitters would have subbed-in just fine, like ramps, fiddle heads or even the very pungent green garlic scapes. Have some fun with this recipe . . . The basic template is here so use your imagination and get creative.
Summer is just over the surf, so start looking now for those hidden beach shacks where the best grub of the season is found.
Fish tacos from a tiny beach shack. What really does it for me are the people in these small beach towns who serve up some of the day’s most sustainable fish, caught just 20 feet in front of them, grilled with a corn tortilla—it’s a small slice of heaven. On some recent beach and surf trips, I ran into these small families who make their living by slinging fish tacos. These fish tacos, eaten right on the beach, will change your life and make you want to write about them . . . but not give up their exact destinations. They’re cherished and loved, and to those families who make these amazing meals, thank you for true inspiration.
This is the must-have cookbook du jour that has everything you need.
Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking. I’m a fan of Modernist Cuisine. My copy just arrived and it has to be one of the best step-by-step and recipe compilations available. While it’s good for foodies, it also has recipes and techniques that are easy enough to follow. It’s filled to the brim with information, so while it’s expensive and heavy, it’s worth every penny in my opinion.
For a great getaway within reach, pack up and head to the Carolina coast where sun and seafood are waiting.
The Carolinas, where I grew up. The Carolinas this time of year are heaven, and I would rather be there than anywhere else on vacation in the spring. The crops are abundant so the restaurants are serving the best of the best local produce. The breeze off the ocean in Charleston smells of salt and reminds you of where you are. You basically need two things for a spring trip to the Carolinas—jeans and a shirt. Got those and you’re good to go. And if that’s not enough, another reason to head there this time of year are the oyster festivals which are rampant throughout the spring. If you haven’t been, you’re truly missing out on one of the finer things that low country has to offer.