the food chain

The Food Chain: Jason Berthold Admires Beretta’s Fritto Misto

The Fritto Misto de Pesci at Beretta

The Fritto Misto de Pesci at BerettaPhoto: Adam Martin

One of the many pleasures of being a chef is, of course, the eating — and you can be sure that the gurus of gastronomy are, in their off hours, enjoying some of the most delectable dishes around (besides whatever's coming out of their own kitchens). Thus we bring you the Food Chain, wherein one chef tells us about a dish they enjoyed recently courtesy of another chef, and then that second chef tells us about a dish they enjoyed courtesy of yet another chef... and so on and so forth.

On Monday, Charlie Palmer praised the cassoulet at RN74, prepared by Jason Berthold, executive chef of San Francisco's RN74 . Today, Berthold selects his own dish.

What: Fritto Misto de Pesci. "Beer-battered fried squid, octopus, shrimp, vegetables, with grilled lemon and tomato dipping sauce"
Where: Beretta, executive chef Ruggero Gadaldi
When: July 13, 2009
Why Berthold loved it:

Everybody loves fried food but good fried really stands out. Everything in there is cooked perfectly — vegetables and shrimp together which is kind of hard to pull off. By the time you get to the bottom of the bowl, everything is still good… The lemon is something that you don't see a lot of. It's a lemon that's cut in half and grilled, so the sugars are caramelized. You squeeze the lemon over the frito misto and it's warm, but the sweetness from the grill gives it a great characteristic. Whether it's late night, or brunch, I have one of those at least every time I go there.

Over to you, Gadaldi:
Being a casual place, we looked at the typical pizzeria in Italy and it's something you always find there. That's why it ended up on our men. The beer batter gives you a little more shelf life. Once you fry the item it will stay a little longer compared to flour. With flour, either it gets cold fast or it gets soggy. With the grilled lemon, you want to do something a little cute to put on the dish, and it also kind of twists the flavor of the lemon as it comes out. I thought it was a very interesting combination.

See what Ruggero Gadaldi had to say about his pick, a hamburger from Father's Office in Los Angeles.

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