Compliments of the Chef with Anthony Sasso

Compliments of the Chef with Anthony Sasso

This week, Chefs Feed met up with renowned chef Sasso at his restaurant, Casa Mono, in New York City's Union Square.

February 5, 2014
CF: I'm best known for my _______ style of cooking but I can make one hell of a _______.
AS: Spanglish; chicken pot pie

CF: A few words your sous chef would use to describe you in the kitchen.
AS: Respectful, fair, encouraging. I try my hardest to bring the best out of my staff by giving them freedom to grow and create.

CF: What are you most excited about right now in your restaurant?
AS: During this time of the year, when you rely on protein more than produce to create a dish, I get most excited about face, head, and neck meat. There are so many different flavors, textures, and shapes to keep things adventurous for both us as chefs and the diners. We even recently celebrated our 10th anniversary with a tasting menu highlighting the dishes made with offal and off-cuts that we're famous for.

CF: Who would you drop everything to stage with?
AS: Probably some 80-year-old cook from another country who has a ton of grandchildren, speaks no English, and uses their hands to cook all day. Put me in a shack with someone like that and I'm sure I'll learn a world of cooking.

CF: Message to professional food critics.
AS: Restaurants and chefs are responsible for evening out all of the inconsistencies that happen with food on a daily basis. Our job is to present a consistent product and make everything good enough where nobody even notices the slight inconsistencies. I think a lot of critics wonder, for example, "Why do they have strawberries on their menu?" It's because we can make them taste good right now, even if nature doesn't.

CF: Favorite fro-yo combo?
AS: Plain yogurt with fresh fruit.

CF: Thick or thin patty?
AS: I like a thick, undercooked patty with tons of toppings.

CF: Is there anything you don't like?
AS: Liver. I love cooking and preparing it, but it's not one of those things I really eat by the spoonful.

CF: One piece of advice for aspiring young chefs.
AS: You are not going to be a chef for a while. Walk in thinking, "I don't know sh-t" and be ready to learn everything. Personally, I think the only thing that makes you better is getting in there and getting your hands dirty.

CF: What's for family meal tonight?
AS: Thai spicy chicken wings. We also make a drink to go with family meal every night, so to accompany the wings, we're having tamarind juice.