In this special weekly feature, “Today” food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across America. See how much money you can save — and fun you can have — by cooking these dishes at home!
THIS WEEK: Polynesian Crab Stack with Ginger Lime Dressing, from Roppongi in La Jolla, Calif.
Located in the arts district of La Jolla, Calif., this Asian-fusion restaurant is named after Tokyo’s trendy nightclub district. Roppongi offers a lively bar scene (try the sake martinis!), a cozy lounge (complete with a fireplace), an elegant dining room and an umbrella-shaded patio (enhanced by a fountain and fire pit). All are excellent settings for the exotic cuisine created by executive chef Stephen B. Window.
About the chef:
When British-born Window attended culinary school near his hometown of Manchester to learn classic French cooking, it was a long way — both in distance and technique — from where he finds himself today.
Following graduation, Window cooked at a number of prestigious properties throughout Great Britain, including a stint at the venerable Stanneylands Hotel in northwest England. It was there that he won Young Chef of the Year honors.
Recruited by Westin Hotels, Window then headed to the Westin Maui, where he was chef de cuisine at its upscale seafood restaurant. The experience was the genesis of the Pacific Rim cuisine he now serves at Roppongi. Window’s tenure with Westin also took him to Ottawa, Kauai and Palm Springs, all of which helped him develop his style.
Food Editor Phil Lempert brings you the latest news and advice about shopping and cooking.
With his foundation in classic French food and his knowledge of Asian ingredients and culinary traditions, Window was selected to run the kitchen at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Manila. In addition to working at the hotel’s elegant Tivoli Restaurant, he took time out to coach the Philippine National Culinary Team, which brought home 29 medals from the International Culinary Olympics. Window says he found the firsthand exposure to authentic Asian cuisine invaluable, but a longing to return to America led to a position as chef de cuisine at Roy’s Seattle, a venture of celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi at the Westin Seattle.
In 1998 Window joined the Ladeki Restaurant Group and opened La Jolla’s Roppongi. During Window’s tenure, the restaurant and chef have won many awards, including the Institute of the Americas’ Chef of the Year (2001) and Critics’ Choice for Best Chef of 2003 by San Diego Magazine.
(PLEASE NOTE: Ingredient prices are estimates and based on national averages. Amounts listed are for one portion. Increase proportionately according to number of portions desired.)
875 Prospect St.
La Jolla, CA 92037
Want to find out how you can make your favorite restaurant dish at home? Just e-mail Phil at Phil.Lempert@nbc.com (or use the mail box below) with the name of the restaurant, city and state, and the dish you would like to have re-created. Want to know more about Phil and food? Visit his Web site at www.supermarketguru.com.