TODAY Food Editor
In this special weekly feature, TODAY food editor Phil Lempert brings you recipes “stolen” (with permission) from notable restaurants across America. See how much fun you can have (and money you can save) by cooking these dishes at home.
THIS WEEK: Pan Seared Alaskan Halibut with Arugula, Butternut Squash, Shaved Red Onions and Aged Sherry and Dried Cranberry Vinaigrette from Whist at Viceroy in Santa Monica, California
Delicate, slightly sweet, lean, firm white meat packed with lots of nutrition ... yes we are talking fish here – halibut in fact. Halibut is the largest of the saltwater flatfishes – up to 600 pounds – and is a cold-water fish thus rich in omega-3s, something the average American diet can definitely use more of. Pacific halibut is plentiful and readily available from March to November and as an added bonus, rated a "Best" choice by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program. Give this delicious recipe a try!
Chef Warren Schwartz
false1PfalsefalsefalsefalseAbout the chef: Warren Schwartz, age 35, is Executive Chef of Whist at Viceroy Santa Monica where his ardor for fresh local provisions and mastery of traditional French techniques burst forth deliciously. Schwartz is responsible for all kitchen operations and menu creation at Whist, as well as 24-hour room service at Viceroy and special catering events.
Upon joining Whist in September 2004, Schwartz immediately set about infusing its kitchen with soul, passion and substance, as well as his own sophisticated culinary creativity. “A lot of chefs try to go whimsical on the plate, but that’s not as easy as it sounds,” notes Schwartz. “I prefer to respect the flavor and texture of each ingredient so that dishes are satisfying but never over-complicated.”
Schwartz traces his culinary inventiveness back to his adolescence in Los Angeles, when he volunteered to cook at home for his siblings to avoid the drudgery of clean up. Trained in traditional French cuisine at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, upon graduation in 1995 he landed at the Lark Creek Inn, a bustling American restaurant in Larkspur, California. It was there that Schwartz garnered a lasting appreciation of truly fresh ingredients. “We had farmers knocking on the back door with zip-lock bags of amazing produce. That’s when I realized you have to start with great products.”
Next it was Patina, a Los Angeles restaurant specializing in contemporary Californian and French cuisine, where Schwartz worked from 1996-1998. From there Schwartz headed to Saddle Peak Lodge in Calabasas from 1998-2002, and earned acclaim for his inventiveness with wild game.
Pan Seared Alaskan Halibut with Arugula, Butternut Squash, Shaved Red Onions and Aged Sherry and Dried Cranberry Vinaigrette is served at Whist at Viceroy for $33. The recipe is for a serving size of two.
Whist at Viceroy
1819 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica, California 90401
Want to nominate your favorite restaurant dish for a "Steal This Recipe" feature? 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.