In this episode of "In the Kitchen," we met up with executive chef Abe Botello who introduced us to West Coast Tavern's new fall menu which included fennel crusted cod, citrus tomato broth, braised fennel, cherry tomato, fingerling potatoes and buttered grilled baguette (shown in video).
Watch as executive chef Abe Botello prepares this savory dish.
Tell us about this dish and why you wanted to add this to the new fall menu?
The dish I prepared was the fennel crusted cod, citrus tomato broth, braised fennel, cherry tomato, fingerling potatoes and buttered grilled baguette. This is a really hearty dish and full of flavor. It is perfect for the fall. Braised fennel, tomato broth and grilled bread are all components of a hearty fall dish.
Describe the taste to someone who hasn't had this dish?
This is a dish full of flavor and a lot of spices. The flaky fennel crusted fish has a nice buttery texture and the broth gives it a citrus touch and braised fennel with an anise flavor. Overall, a really bold and heart-warming dish.
Will this be a dish only for the fall?
This dish may be making an appereance in the spring with a slightly different preparation but thensame concept.
What's a good beer or cocktail to pair with this dish?
I would pair this dish with our Saint Archer White Ale, a nice glass of charddonay or Pinot Gris.
Top sirloin. chimichurri. grilled broccollini. figerling potatoes
What was the thought process when choosing food for the new menu?
Anytime i change the menu during the seasons, i want to give our guest a little taste of our fall flavors. cured meats, cranberries, stuffef pork. cherries. fennel. These are flavors of fall in our own interpretation.
About Abe Botello:
Are you from San Diego?
I am a native San Diegan.
How long have you been working at West Coast Tavern?
I have been working with WCT for a total of four years. I worked for them as an interim chef back in 2010 while working for Urban Solace. I Joined the WCT team again in 2013.
What kind of experience will a diner get at West Coast Tavern?
Our diners are amazed at our style of food. I think when people think "tavern," they dont think of carefully selected ingredients and crafted food. We consider ourselves a scratch kitchen. We write all of our own recipes which includes in-house production of recipes & desserts.
What inspired you to become a chef?
I grew up in a household where my mom was a baker and my dad owned a restaurant. At a young age, I was introduced to cooking. I graduated highschool and attended Architecture school, then i decided to attend culinary school. I find it comforting to cook for friends and family and see them enjoy my food. I like bringing people together through food.
What's your favorite meal?
i dont have a favorite meal persay, but i do enjoy Asian Cusine & Mexican Cuisine.
When you're not coming up with amazing savory food items for West Coast Tavern, what do you enjoy doing on your spare time?
If im not in the kitchen, i like to explore town and go on adventures. I enjoy hiking, running, mountain biking, catching a live music show, a movie or gathering with friends.