We love the saying ‘the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,’ and that’s especially true when it comes to Cedric Vongerichten – son to the legendary Jean-George’s Vongerichten (and just as talented on the culinary front). The proof was in the pudding as we stopped by Vongerichten (junior’s) spot Perry Street and made him cook us Spanish octopus. We also plugged him for favorite menu items, fatherly advice and ideal food day tidbits…
From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?
For breakfast, Eggs Benedict with a mimosa. For lunch, roasted chicken, with roasted seasonal vegetables, and a little mesclun salad. For dinner, sushi omakase with a glass of sake. And yogurt, before going to bed
Must-order items at Perry Street…
1. Rice Cracker Crusted Tuna with Sriracha Emulsion.
2. Grilled Octopus, Hibiscus Romesco Sauce, Pickled Peppers.
3. Butter Poached Lobster, Potato Garlic Ravioli, Lemongrass Broth.
Best piece of advice from your Dad ever…
Focus and work hard.
What ingredient is overrated? What ingredient makes everything better?
Everything better: Chilies
A go-to recipe in three easy steps…
Sweet chili sauce:
1. Purée fresno peppers with some ginger, honey, and salt.
2. Ferment for 24 hours.
3. Add palm sugar, and lime juice.
Serve with everything you would like!
How To Make This Grilled Octopus Recipe…
Grilled Spanish Octopus, Hibiscus Romesco Sauce, Fingerling Potatoes and Bell Peppers
For the Octopus:
2 pounds Octopus
5 sprig Thyme
5 sprig Rosemary
2 long red chilies split in half
Combine all ingredients and octopus and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and simmer until octopus is tender; check every 10 minutes. On the pick up, grill and drizzle with olive oil.
For Annatto Oil:
100 g annatto oil seeds
400 g Olive Oil
Combine and fry on medium until oil is bright red. Let cool at room temperature, then drain through a chinois.
For the Romesco:
15 g dried hibiscus flowers
100 g tea water
55 g shallots, peeled, slice thin
4 g garlic, peeled, sliced thin
80 g annatto oil
8 g ancho chillies, seeded
5 g chipotle chilies, seeded
40 g whole almonds
32 g hazelnuts
60 g red bell pepper, seeded
20 g red finger chilies, seeded
.5 g red thai chili
7.5g young ginger, peeled
75 g cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut 1’pieces
10 g salt
3 g lemon peel, pith removed
Pour tea water over hibiscus flowers and stir well. Heat a saute pan with annatto oil until smoking and add shallots and garlic; fry until lightly golden and soft, then add chilies and roast until fragrant, then add nuts and mix well off the heat. Then cool down over ice, once cold, mix with remaining ingredients, including hibiscus and water mixture, until completely smooth, then cool down over ice.
For the Peppers:
100 g orange bell peppers, charred, skin removed, large julienne
20 g fresno pepper, charred, skin removed, julienne
60 g champagne vinegar
20 g sugar
4 g salt
Combine all and let marinate at least an hour.
For the 24 carat Potatoes:
1 quart 24 carat potatoes
3 quart water
15 g Salt
5 sprig Thyme
5 sprig Rosemary
2 garlic cloves
Combine first set in a pot, and bring to a low simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender. Peel off skin when potatoes are still hot. And reserve in beurre fondue.
For the Beurre Fondue:
1 quart Water
1 quart Butter
Salt to taste
1 whole red thai chili
Bring water to a boil with the chili, add beurre and hand blend until emulsify. Adjust seasoning with salt, reserve warm.
To Put Together:
Spread the romesco at the bottom of the plate. Top with the potatoes, which have been reserved in the beurre fondue. Plate the octopus and peppers, and top with the annatto oil and fresh herbs if you choose.