SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Chef Curtis Di Fede’s career has ranged widely through the global food and wine community as he has continually sought to expand his culinary skills and knowledge. A graduate of both the London and Paris campuses of the Le Cordon Bleu culinary school, he also studied for six months under Chef Heston Blumenthal of The Fat Duck in Bray, England as a stagier. Back in the United States, Di Fede has worked with leading chefs in Las Vegas, the San Francisco Bay Area, and his native Napa Valley.
In 2010 he opened his southern Italian restaurant Oenotri in downtown Napa, CA. Oenotri quickly received a three and a half star review from the San Francisco Chronicle, which also recognized Curtis as a “Rising Star Chef.” Shortly thereafter Oenotri was called, “arguably the best new Italian restaurant in the United States” by Food & Wine Magazine.
In 2013 Curtis became one of only eleven individuals in America to be certified as Master Olive Oil Taster by the Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori Olio Di Oliva. For the past year and a half he has travelled the world, leading classes and tastings for Bon Appetit while sampling global cuisine and expanding his knowledge and repertoire of flavors and techniques.
At Miminashi Chef Curtis brings modern Japanese cuisine to Napa. The quiet, humble chef makes big noise with big bold flavours on his thoughtful menu that changes often and reflects what the seasons offer and inspire. I met with Chef Curtis recently at the Napa hotspot. We talked about the travels to Japan that inspired his Miminashi dreams and why sushi is not on the menu. Chef also shared a delish recipe – “Daikon Curry Taiyaki”.
Enjoy our tasty talk.
Chef Curtis Di Fede’s Daikon Curry Taiyaki
- ½ cup cake flour (110g)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¾ cup milk (180ml)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 medium daikon radish
- 8 medium sized shiitake mushrooms
- 1 onion chopped fine
- 2 table spoons Japanese powdered curry
- Safflower oil for brushing and cooking
In a bowl add ½ cup of cake flour, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, 3 tablespoons sugar and a pinch of salt. Combined with a whisk. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg and the milk. Now add the milk to the dry ingredients bowl and mix until all is incorporated. Place the batter into a tall container and hold until ready. It is best when the batter has rested at least one hour.
In a sauté pan add your chopped onions, radish and shiitake mushrooms and some safflower oil for cooking to a pan. Cook the vegetables until done or tender. Add the Japanese curry to the vegetables. Cool down the vegetables.
Place your Taiyaki pan on to medium heat and rub the insides with the safflower oil. Add some batter to the bottom of the pan and allow to cook for 30 seconds. Place one spoonful of vegetable curry in to the center of the Taiyaki fish. Add one table spoon of batter to cover the vegetable curry. Close the Taiyaki pan and flip over on to the flame. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and take out the Taiyaki’s.
- Serve with Japanese mayonnaise and cabbage.
For more information, visit: