Chef: Dario Morillo
Position: Culinary Consultant. New York, New York.
How did you get started?
I had amazing parents and I got to travel a lot from a very young age. This sparked a culture of curiosity in me that fuels me to this day. I wanted to know more about the different cultures and people around the world and I found that food is something that brings people together. Once I figured that out, I had my vehicle to continue exploring. Then, when I saw the reaction in people because of the food, I was hooked and I started to learn how to be able to express myself through food. To me, food is not just sustenance, it's a way of getting to know people and communicating with them. There is a story to be told behind every human being and behind every morsel of food.
What was your first position?
I started out as a server. Then I was a bartender for about 4 years, but I've literally worked every position in a restaurant at some point or another because I wanted to know EVERYTHING about the business. I made it a point that the best way for me to learn was by doing it and doing it to the best of my abilities. I gotta say it's worked really well for me so far. Knowledge is a pretty powerful thing and I wanted all that I could get from a very young age in every aspect of my life.
The story behind the dish:
This dish reminds me of all the great memories in and at the beach. Ever since I was very young, that feeling at the beach is one of happiness without a care in the world. The dish looks very simple, but the balance of flavors and textures is really remarkable. Tt's jumbo lump crab fried till golden and crisp. The butteriness of the crab, the sweet tartness of the passion fruit glaze, the acidity of the three olive tartar, the freshness of the herb oil and micro greens makes this a symphony of flavors that you will remember.
What you need:
4 oz circular mold
Ingredients for crab cakes:
1 large egg
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
Kosher salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
1 pound jumbo lump crabmeat
2 oz of red pepper diced
2 oz Scallions sliced thin
Ingredients for 3 olive tartar sauce:
1 cup mayonnaise
5 tablespoons of green olives
3 tablespoons chopped capers
5 tablespoons chopped cornichons
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 lemon, juiced
Dash hot sauce
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Ingredients for passion fruit glaze:
1 cup of passion fruit concentrate
1/4 cup of white sugar
The juice of one lemon
Directions for tartar sauce:
Fine chop all the ingredients and mix together with the mayonnaise until it is homogeneous, then let cool in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Directions for passion fruit glaze
In a small saucepan, pour all your ingredients and cook at medium heat until sugar is dissolved and it reduces the amount to about half. The consistency should be like syrup.
Directions for crab cakes:
Because there are no filler ingredients and almost no binder, the crab mixture needs to be chilled before cooking otherwise, it won’t hold.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, add the crab last so you don't break it up too much. Mix gently until everything is combined on a plate or small baking sheet.
Grease the surface with some pan spray and start molding your crab cakes. Once they are done, refrigerate for 2 hours before frying them.
Cook the crab cakes until light golden brown at medium heat.
While they are cooking, place a dollop of the glaze in the middle of the plate and with the tip of your 5 fingers, start twirling the glaze till it creates a cool pattern that you like (feel free to be creative).
Place a bit of the tartar sauce in the middle of the plate, then place your crab cakes so they don't slide around the plate.
Serve 2 crab cakes on top of the first. You will place a teaspoon of the tartar sauce and then repeat the process on top of the second one.
Place some microgreens and colorful fish roe on top for color and texture and enjoy.
To me, food is not just sustenance, it's a way of getting to know people and communicating with them.
Please comment, like, or share! Let's hear your story!
Story on the Pass