As an ambitious freelance caterer and chef here in New York City, Jason Guttilla dreams of owning his own restaurant. With an undergraduate degree in Marketing and as a recent graduate from the International Culinary Center, he’s well on his way to a successful career in food! We chatted with Chef Jason about how he started, his passion for French cooking, who he admires most and his favorite resto in New York City. Plus, he shares his signature dish with us, so read on and try not to drool!
Q&A With Chef Jason Guttilla
What dish made you really want to be a chef?
Anything my mom cooked. Her passion for everyday cooking taught me the beauty behind serving something delicious that you made with your own hands.
What is the best dish you’ve ever had?
The pan seared sea scallops in parsley puree with potato beignets at Le Gourmet de Seze in Lyon, France. I had it as part of my final week of culinary school.
What’s your favorite food trend?
Farm-to-table. But it shouldn’t be considered a trend— it really should be a way of life. Fresh ingredients is the only way to go. It makes all the difference in your final product!
What chef do you admire most?
Chef Jacques Pepin, although I may have a bias toward him since he was a Dean at my culinary school [The International Culinary Center, founded as The French Culinary Institute]. His technique is flawless. There is nothing like traditional French technique when it comes to the culinary arts, and Chef Jacques Pepin truly demonstrates this through his food.
What is your favorite restaurant in New York City?
East End Kitchen on the Upper East Side. It’s one of those hidden gems that you stumble upon and are grateful you did. Their menu has amazing American classics and seafood. On Wednesdays they have 15 different styles of mussels you can choose from— I’m determined to try each one. They also have a great drink menu!
What recipe are you sharing with us today?
My signature tarte flambée. It’s a delicious thin crust pizza topped with crème fraiche, sliced onions and bacon, which is a great app for a cocktail party or a light lunch option to share with friends.
Tarte Flambée With Onions & Bacon
This recipe makes 1 large or 2 small pizza tartes.
- ½ cup crème fraîche
- ¾ cup cream cheese [at room temperature]
- ⅛ tsp nutmeg, grated
- 1 tsp kosher salt [plus more to taste]
- Freshly ground white pepper [to taste]
- 1¾ cups flour [plus more for dusting]
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 egg yolks
- Heat an oven to 400°.
- Mix crème fraîche, cream cheese, nutmeg, and salt and white pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
- Mix flour, baking powder, and 1 tsp. salt in a bowl. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients.
- Whisk oil, yolks, and ½ cup water in another bowl, and pour into the dry ingredient well.
- Using a fork, stir until a loose dough forms.
- Turn out onto lightly floured surface & knead for 3-4 minutes.
- Roll into desired shape. [*If rolled dough is too big for your oven, cut into two pieces and make two tartes!]
- Place on a parchment paper—lined baking sheet and spread the cheese mixture.
- Sprinkle with a the chopped bacon and sliced onions.
- Bake until golden and crispy, 10-12 minutes.
Fore more Jason, check out his blog, The Classics.