Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Super Chef

We have a Saturday morning Slanted Door - After -The- Ferry -Building -Market habit.
This Saturday we were fortunate enough to meet and chat a bit with Justine Kelly, the executive chef.
Justine has been with Slanted Door as far back as the time this wonderful and hugely popular restaurant was on Valencia Street in the mission....some years and some moves ago on the part of Slanted Door. This doesn't seem quite possible because she looks so young but young and beautiful though she is, she is, indeed, the one behind the scenes making great food happen. And she is doing it with fluency in Vietnamese, Spanish and two dialects of Chinese in addition to her culinary skills.

Above you see the asparagus and ribs that we ordered last Saturday . The ribs, we were told, are pressure steamed and flavored in a way that in no sense resembles southern ribs or, really, any other. We got onto them by sitting next to customers, restaurant owners themselves, who swore they were the world's best. T. would have no problem with the same oath. I think he orders them every single Saturday.

The asparagus, my order, are cut small and on the diagonal, cooked with poppolini mushrooms in chicken broth, a bit of fish sauce and a tiny, tiny bit of sugar. So simple, so super. Yeah, I know, the poppolinis are not going to be on just every grocery shelf but I do think asparagus cooked this way is outsstanding and something to try. Or, if you can, get thee straight away to Slanted Door for the real thing cooked by a super chef.


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