Cedric Vongerichten

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…

how-to-grill-octopus

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?

Overrated: Pork

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.

how-to-make-octopus

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.

cedric-vongerichten-2015

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.

grilled-octopus-recipe

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.

how-to-octopus

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.

grilled-octopus-with-peppers-and-romesco