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Jordan Frosolone Shares Five Dishes That Inspired His Career

Chef Jordan Frosolone

Chef Jordan Frosolone. Photo: Francesco Sapienza

Meet the New York City chef whose past homes in Chicago and Italy primed him to run some of Manhattan's most respected restaurants, including Italian stunners such as Leopard at Des Artistes

Jordan Frosolone is “one of the most underrated chefs in New York City,” according to Town & Country. He has also received glowing praise from The New York Times, Forbes, Food & Wine, New York and lots more. Jordan began his career in his hometown of Chicago and moved to Italy in 2002, where he worked in restaurants in both Spoleto and Florence. He moved to New York City in 2003, where he worked in the acclaimed kitchens of Hearth, Sessanta, and 10 Corso Como Restaurant prior to becoming the Executive Chef and partner of the Leopard at Des Artistes in 2020 (which is where we like to find him as often as possible). He has been credited with the best cacio e pepe, burrata dishes, and seafood in the city, as well as recognized for his encyclopedic knowledge of the regional food of Italy and its history. Beyond his expertise with la cucina italiana, Jordan is a gentleman and a great instructor. We at Appetito are thrilled to have him as a regular contributor and in-house rock star.  Our regular collaborations with Jordan will begin with his feature in our first of a recurring column, “Five Dishes That Inspired My Career.”

Chef Jordan Frosolone

Take it away, Jordan!

Struncatura

A great friend and importer of Italian foods to the United States first introduced me to pasta struncatura. After he told me of this traditional pasta from Calabria and doing some studying, I set out on how to replicate the multigrain dough. The recipe and history of the preparation speaks to me on many levels and will resonate with all that share the belief that no food should go to waste. After many failed attempts, we have finally settled on a recipe that is made with water and semola, buckwheat, rye, farro and 00 flours. According to legend, it is said that this recipe came to be because at the end of the evening the workers of the flour mills would sweep the mill, bring home all of the mixed flours that were left on the floor and make pasta for their families.

Mozzarella Nera di Bufala

Although it is now illegal to import this type of mozzarella to the United States, there was a time in and around 2015 and 2016 that the product was allowed to come into the country with the traditional mozzarella di bufala shipments. The mozzarella nera is made in the same way as white mozzarella di bufala but the cheese is finished with a vegetable carbon that turns the mozzarella dark gray to black and has a slight vegetal taste without jeopardizing the flavor of the buffalo milk. Besides making the cheese look very cool, the vegetable carbon promotes great health benefits and is also found in herbal supplements.

Lampascioni

When I first tasted these wild hyacinth bulbs I was overwhelmed with the complexity of their flavor. Lampascioni are mostly found in Puglia but also grow in parts of Basilicata. Although they are certainly not for everyone, I am particularly fond of their bittersweet taste and texture. As they are cooked/preserved by pickling them in vinegar, they can be a great substitution for pickled onions or to any dish that requires a crunchy and acidic ingredient. Luckily lampascioni are now readily available in the U.S.

Falsomagro alla Siciliana

Remarkably similar to braciolone, Falsomagro (Farsu Magru in Sicilian dialect) is a dish that dates back to 13th century Sicily. Today it is still served and is more typical in homes and around the holidays. I had the best version of this dish in Palermo for Christmas in 2014 at my friend’s Fabio Macaluso’s mother’s apartment. Falsomagro roughly translates to “fake skinny” and is allegedly named this because the recipe calls for leaner meats for the roll and the addition of items with more fat, i.e. cheese, ground meat and lardo for the filling. The key, according to Fabio’s mother, is that you are generous with the lardo so that the dish is “non troppo magro”

Cacio e Pepe

I love the simplicity of this pasta, and I know some will say that Cacio e Pepe is too pedestrian to be influential, but I would argue that there is not another single dish that has had so much influence in Italian cooking. When we add guanciale to Cacio e Pepe, we have Gricia; when we add guanciale and eggs, we have Carbonara; when we add guanciale and tomato, we have Amatriciana. There is a great meme of Einstein in front of a chalkboard making the same argument, just saying...

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