This article is brought to you by our friends at Stella Artois.
October may be most synonymous with fall flavors like pumpkin, cinnamon, apples, and ginger, but it also welcomes the arrival of seafood season. And with seafood season comes inspired dishes featuring underwater delicacies like scallops, shrimp, octopus, and sea urchin.
Chef Daniela Soto-Innes, in partnership with Chowhound and Stella Artois, took full advantage of these fresh ingredients in a sophisticated rooftop dinner where simplicity and taste reigned supreme.
“Sometimes it’s nice to keep it simple. I’ve learned, as I cook more, that the simpler, the better, ” she says.
Citrusy scallop aguachile and pistachio prawns were the night’s openers with a chargrilled, robust octopus as the main event. Paired with a drool-worthy pineapple butter, the sweetness of the sauce was a perfect segue to the meal’s final seafood course (and prelude to dessert): uni-topped apple butter brioche topped with salty caviar.
“I love seafood,” Soto-Innes says. “My favorite way to eat seafood is raw because I feel like it’s so delicious already.”
The entire dinner, from start to finish, illustrated the Cosme and Atla mastermind’s expertise in Mexican cooking, as well as the cuisine’s ability to impart bold, beautiful flavors in both raw and cooked proteins. Every ingredient served a purpose and worked harmoniously to capitalize on the oceanic tastes and textures, all while staying true to Soto-Innes’ culinary roots.
“Sometimes cooks…we get in our head,” she says. “You want to cook the way you feel at home. You want to cook in a way where you don’t scare people away or make them uncomfortable.”
If our suppressed appetites and pleased palates were any indication, everyone left the event quite comfortable, cloaked in the warmth of a satisfying meal from a James Beard Rising Star winner. In fact, we’ve probably never been more excited for fall.
Stay tuned for more chef stories as part of Stella Artois’ Cuisine d’Auteur series that highlights the process of conceptualizing, creating, and elevating food to the level of art.