The honors keep rolling in for The Forge Restaurant and Wine Bar, and this time Chef Dewey LoSasso will have to whip out his culinary skills.
On Saturday, Oct. 30, LoSasso will present a “Fall in the North and South”-themed six-course dinner for 80 food enthusiasts at the James Beard House in New York’s Greenwich Village. Since 1998, LoSasso is the 48th chef based in Miami to cook for the James Beard Foundation, which honors industry professionals and offers the public the opportunity to enjoy the talents of emerging and established chefs. Past Miami chefs to cook at the James Beard House include Michelle Bernstein (Michy’s), Michael Schwartz (Michael’s Genuine) and Sean Bernal (formerly of Oceanaire). It is the first time The Forge has been represented.
We caught up with LoSasso before he left for New York.
What was your reaction when you found out that you would be cooking at the James Beard House?
So thrilled and excited – when I was in grade school, I checked out a James Beard Cookbook that was so inspiring, I still have yet to return to the library. It’s a little late, but I might hang onto it at least through the dinner.
How does cooking at the James Beard House rank among your previous honors?
It is definitely in my top three. It’s quite an honor to be among the catalog of chefs that have cooked in the Beard kitchen.
How did you develop your menu? What was your inspiration?
I developed my menu looking at what was seasonal during Fall in New York and what was seasonal during Fall in Florida, then married the best of the local bounty together to create each dish. I also think if you are cooking on behalf of The Forge the day before Halloween at the James Beard House, the menu needs to be whimsical. We’ve included some inspired dishes like candy corn pumpkin pie and squash carpaccio to give it that special Forge edge.
What is the one ingredient you are so spooked by that cannot bring yourself to eat, much less include it on the menu?
Tripe. I remember my dad making tripe when I was younger and you could smell it three blocks down from our house. I would never add this to a menu.
What is the most unique ingredient on the menu?
In October, all over the world, people are looking for fresh truffles. We have sourced them from Italy for this dinner and combined it with fresh Florida snapper, which is a very unique pairing – but we’re also not known to hold back when it comes to developing our dishes.
What is your guilty Halloween treat that you would steal from your kid’s Halloween Bags?
Twizzlers and Sweet Tarts
What is the most decadent Halloween dish/recipe that you have prepared or eaten?
A black and orange Pumpkin Ravioli where I make house made pasta using squid ink for half and fresh pumpkin for the other half, then I drizzle it with a pumpkin seed butter sauce.
Has becoming a part of the team at The Forge completely surpassed your expectations?
It has. I loved having the opportunity and challenge of doing something new to something that is such an institution in Miami. Thanks to Shareef (Malnik) who has put together such a strong team from the kitchen to the service, we all just clicked and came together to make his vision a reality; and thankfully our customers have embraced The Forge 2.0. I’m very proud to be a part of the team and am excited for our new initiatives like the Wine Dinners, the new menu in November, Thanksgiving, Art Basel, New Years and all of the great things to come..
Within your crazy schedule, what places will be a “must go” when you have a few minutes of down time in N.Y.?
I am originally from the New York area and growing up I used to save up money from my side jobs or not use my lunch money for school lunch, so I could skip school and go to the city to eat at the newest, finest restaurants. For this trip, Eataly and Babbo (restaurants by Chef Mario Batali) are on my list.