Pho Bo (Beef Pho): Duy has been making this dish for all our friends for years now and it’s the dish we built the restaurant around. I am sure at times he regrets it now, since he periodically has to stay to the middle of the night cooking it. —Duy Nguyen, David Le & Bao Nguyen, Eaters / Co-Owners, Pho Lang Thang
Chocolate Bavarian Mousse. I have been perfecting the recipe for years. I have made it a ton of different ways for all kinds of different events. Every time I think I am sick of it, I look at it and eat it, and it really is perfectly delicious. —Megan Ketover, Pastry Chef, Orchids at Palm Court
My lasagna bolognese is my favorite, although I’ve only made it at the cafe once...for a private dinner. It’s obscenely time-consuming. —Todd Hudson, Owner/Executive Chef, The Wildflower Café
Our sate soup. It’s my mom’s and aunt’s recipe. —Darren Phan, Owner, Cilantro
When we bought the Brown Dog my wife kept asking for food that was over the top. As a joke I came up with the full monty—a combination of tortilla chips, crab in butter sauce, blackened shrimp, bean cake, and salsa that was so tall that we lost as many going to the table as B-17’s over Germany. (Cincinnati Magazine wrote about it, saying you needed a degree in physics to eat it, prompting me to have a stamp made that when applied to a paid receipt gave the diner an honorary degree in physics.) It had the desired wow factor for the wife and although it has been off the menu for five years we still get questions about when is it coming back. —Shawn McCoy, Chef/Wife’s Favorite Employee, Brown Dog Café
I try not to ever have a signature dish but, I do get asked about my calamari dish from NuVo. —Mark Bodenstein, Executive Chef, Nicholson’s
Pastrami reuben, just keeps getting better as we have more time to work on it. —Matthew Buschle, Chef Owner, Virgils Café
Pan Seared Duck Breast w/garganelli, Vermont white cheddar, and truffle—I tried to take it off the menu five years ago and guests called and stated they would not come back until I put it back on. —David Cook, Chef Proprietor, Daveed’s-Dine On In!
Not sure if I really have one. Though I think anything pork belly will kinda follow me, since I always find a way to integrate it into my menu. —Jeremy Luers, Chef, Enoteca Emilia
A dish that will always stay with me: Roasted Crimson Pear. It’s an homage to my culinary mentor. It is a simple yet flavorful dish with a lot of texture. This dish has followed me for the last eight years. I’ll be happy to prepare it for many years to come! —Dave Taylor, Chef/Partner, La Poste
Sorry, I don’t have one. —Jose Salazar, Executive Chef, The Palace
The fig jam, prosciutto, arugula pizza. It was the first pizza I ever made on my porch in Los Angeles, and consistently our customers’ favorite. —Jared Wayne, Chef/Owner, A Tavola
Our two bite cheeseburgers are requested time and again for parties, and even weddings. Freshly baked sesame silver dollar buns, choice chuck ground specially for us at Eckerlin’s, a cornichon on top with a pick.... It’s with good reason they are so popular. —Renee Schuler, Chef/Owner, Eat Well Celebrations and Feasts
The photograph of the pastrami reuben from Virgils Café originally appeared in the September 2009 issue, photo by Ryan Kurtz.
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