Giorgio Rapicavoli Teaches Us How to Eat in Season

April 02, 2014 | by STEPHANIE DUNN | Food & Drink News

giorgio rapicavoli   
Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli  

After two years of line-out-the-door success, Eating House chef Giorgio Rapicavoli and partner Alex Casanova will expand their empire with Taperia Raca, opening in the MiMo district at the end of March. The vibe, inspired by the duo’s culinary trip to Barcelona a few years back, is all about sharing, with communal garden seating and dishes designed in twos and fours to encourage diners to try “a bite of this, a bite of that.”

As always, the 28-year-old chef will incorporate fresh ingredients sourced from local organic markets like Paradise Farms, Robert Is Here, Tina’s Pride, and now, the farmers' market in Doral. He explains, “It’s nice to see where your food is growing, and who’s growing it. It gives you more of an appreciation and connection to what you’re eating.”

Here, Rapicavoli tells us which produce picks are in season right now, and how to use them. 

Asparagus: "My personal favorite way is to not even poach asparagus stalks, but to hard grill them. When you don’t poach them, it allows the stalks to char nicely, while keeping the inside vegetal and raw. Some olive oil, salt and pepper, and you’re done. Check for asparagus that’s bright green, with no bruising."

Kohlrabi: "It’s a funky cabbage with the fibrous texture of an apple. I like it raw in a salad, drizzled with an acidic vinaigrette to really break it down. Just remember, kohlrabi shouldn’t be perfect, those imperfections are good."

Peas: "They’re everywhere right now. Peas are phenomenal creamed and made into a sauce for pasta. Spaghetti with a pea cream is really beautiful and delicious."

Cherries: "They’re not local per se, but I love them for spring—especially paired with game meats like venison or duck breast. You can pickle them, freeze them, eat them raw, or conserve them in a syrup. Stewed Amarena cherries over ice cream also make an incredible dessert. Make sure your cherries are firm, but not rock-hard."

Radishes: "Radishes are a very well-versed vegetable. It pairs well with fatty things. It’s beautiful, great color. We use it a lot to finish dishes, just raw."

Grapefruit: "I use the zest a lot—it’s really floral. Grapefruit pairs nicely with seafood, because it’s bitter with a little salinity. It’s very well rounded. Grapefruit also makes for a great light sorbet or granita. When choosing my grapefruit, I always like to give it a little scratch to break the skin and smell it."

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