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On the Menu: Chefs’ Favorite Condiments

Repost from OpenTable Blog! AMY SHERMAN MARCH 17, 2016

Whether they buy them or make them, a condiment is often a chef’s secret ingredient. Used as finishing sauces or as an integral component of recipes, they take dishes from everyday to outstanding. Here are top chefs’ favorite condiments and how they use them in delicious dishes you’ll want to order (and you may also want to put them in your pantry).

Ronnie Nasuti, Tiki’s Grill & Bar, Honolulu, Hawaii
From Tiki’s Grill & Bar in Waikiki, executive chef Ronnie Nasuti says his favorite condiment is the Fina’denne’ that he makes in house. It lends tartness, twang, spice, salt, and smokiness, and Nasuti considers it the best grilled meat dipping sauce around. Says Nasuti, “I tried this savory condiment back in the nineties when I first moved to Hawaii. I learned about it from the Chamorro (the indigenous people of Guam) living here in Hawaii. I became familiar with some of their national dishes and quickly realized this a staple. It’s served with almost every meal.” He notes it is spectacular with grilled meat, cutting through the fat and matching the charred flavor with its salty and sour attributes — much like the Japanese Ponzu sauce but with more aromatic qualities coming from the addition of onions, green onions, tomatoes, and chili peppers. Nasuti learned to make the sauce from a friend, and he uses smaller Hawaiian chili peppers, charring them with a butane lighter before chopping them up. At the restaurant, it’s served on the entree Pulehu New York Steak with red rice and fina’denne’. Make a reservation at Tikis Grill & Bar.

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FILED UNDER: CHEFS
TAGGED WITH: CONDIMENTS, D.C., HAWAIIAN, INGREDIENTS, MAYONNAISE, MUSTARD, NYC, SF, TIPS, TRENDS