Foodie Chap With Chef Michael Rotondo of Parallel 37
KCBS radio “Foodie Chap” and KPIX 5 television “Eye On The Bay” host Liam Mayclem introduces us to the culinary stars behind the food and wine loved by so many in the Bay Area.
KCBS Foodie Chap Podcast:
Before taking the helm at Parallel 37 in January 2013, Chef de Cuisine Michael Rotondo, 33, trained with and worked alongside world-renowned Chef Charlie Trotter at his eponymous Chicago restaurant for eight years, working his way up the ranks to Chef de Cuisine and ultimately Executive Chef.
Raised in Weymouth, Mass., just south of Boston, Rotondo began his culinary journey cooking with family and friends, gaining a tremendous respect for the finest seasonal ingredients. He entered the professional field at the age of 15, working at a local restaurant in Boston, eventually graduating from the New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, Vermont.
“Being a Chef is about
the complete food and wine experience.”
- Michael Rotondo, Chef de Cuisine
In 2008, Michael received the “Most Promising Chef” award from Chef’s Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller after competing in the United States Bocuse d’Or, widely regarded as the epitome of culinary competitions worldwide.
“Living and working in San Francisco is a dream,” said Rotondo. “This is a true food city where guests know great cuisine. There are few cities in the world where such amazing ingredients are available locally and in season year-round, but also so close to the epicenter of the wine culture in the United States. Being a Chef for me is about the complete food and wine experience.
Michael adds his own thumbprint to the restaurant with the addition of his hyper-seasonal, eight-course Parallel 37 tasting and a la carte menus. Working with the best possible ingredients, he crafts progressive, market-driven cuisine that is refined and creative without being overly fussy.
Beyond the kitchen, Michael enjoys basketball, fishing and tennis. He looks forward to partnering with the Whole World Water Initiative to raise awareness about clean water, and working with hunger-relief organizations such as Share Our Strength and Meals On Wheels San Francisco.
Based on just one meal at Parallel 37 I am happy to report that Chef’s resume speaks volumes and shows in the artistry and depth of flavour in every single course. Venture to Parallel 37 for yourself for a taste by this talented young Chef.
Chef Michael and I met in the Parallel 37 kitchen for our Foodie Chap chat.
Welcome to San Francisco Chef!
5 Tasty Questions with Chef Michael Rotondo
1) Cooking to you is…?
I would say it’s about family and friends. Bringing everyone to the table. Having a good time. Cooking from scratch. Nourishing.
2) In your fridge at home, it’s midnight, I go there, what will I find?
Well you’re going to find this amazing magnum go Krug, that I’ve been holding for a special occasion. My girlfriend knows why. But we’ll leave it at that. Also a bottle of barbecue sauce.
3) Cookbook you can’t live without?
I would say “Ma Gastronomie” by Fernand Point. He’s a legend. He really was an inspiration to a lot of the great french chefs.
4) Soundtrack to your journey? One artist, one song or one record? What will it be?
I would say Led Zepplin. “Houses of The Holy” I like the classics. Put it the kitchen, fires up the cooks. Always a good time!
5) Finally, your last supper chef, who’ll be at the table? Couple of guests. Dead of Alive. Famous of not. What will you eat?
That’s a good one. I would bring Dave Chappelle. I think the guy is hilarious. I think I would choose Abraham Lincoln. I think those two would hit it off. I would bring a good friend of mine, Reginald Watkins, a lot of the people in the business know of him. And I would say my dearest mother. Because I would not be here without her.
Smoked Organic Chicken Salad
With Apricot and Marcona Almonds
By Chef de Cuisine, Michael Rotondo
2 lbs. smoked organic chicken thighs
1qt. dried apricots
1 cup fresh apple juice
2 shallots, minced
1 head romaine, washed
6 cloves of garlic
2 cups and 2 Tbls. extra virgin olive oil
3 egg yolks
1Tbls. Dijon mustard
2 Tbls. sherry vinegar
1 chopped fennel bulb
3Tbls. tarragon, chopped
1 bunch petite fine herbs, chopped
2 sweet Toybox chilis, seeds and stems removed, minced
2 Tbls. smoked paprika
6 Tbls. marcona almonds, toasted
1/2 bunch chives
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Pre-heat oven to 275F. Place chicken in oven to warm for 10 minutes. Pull chicken out and shred while still warm. Cool in the refrigerator and reserve.
Soak apricots in apple juice for 1 hour to hydrate. Reserve 2 Tbls. for garnish. Heat a saute pan over medium heat and add 1 Tbls. of olive oil. Add the minced shallots and cook until aromatic and translucent. When the shallots are ready add the apricot mixture, cook for 10 minutes until the apricots become very soft. Place apricot mixture in blender and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Cut the romaine in half. Rub with 1 Tbls. olive oil, salt and pepper. Grill both sides for 2 minutes until you obtain grill marks and the lettuce is slightly wilted. After grilling, drizzle the romaine with lemon juice and reserve.
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