Picture above:Dustin Atoigue (on the right) and SLS’s Food & Beverage director Luke Mathot on the left.
For my all time favorite “miso glazed black cod” I go to Katsuya at the SLS hotel on Miami Beach. The cod has a myriad of flavors and melts in your mouth like butter. I’ve tried several times to replicate this spectacular dish but I’ve yet to be successful. So I went to interview Katsuya’s chef Dustin Atoigue to find out what the secret is…
Chef Atoigue grew up in Guam and is a real island boy. He laughed when I asked him what three foods he would want if he were to be stranded on a deserted Island. He answered, “Rather than three foods, I’d ask for three tools that would come in very handy,” clearly showing that he knows how to survive, catch and prepare his own food. He said he’d pick a knife, a lighter and a bag to carry stuff in.
Jill: What’s your favorite dish on the menu?
Dustin: Miso glazed black cod
Jill: How do you prepare it? What’s the secret?
Dustin: We cut the cod into 7 oz portions then marinate the cod in a miso marinade (white miso, sake, mirin, white sugar) for 24 hours then we broil it to perfection for about 5 minutes till caramelized. We also reduce the marinade and serve that with the dish.
Jill: So part of the secret is to marinate it for 24 hours? Good tip! I always use brown sugar instead of white and will make sure to try that next time! Hmmm.. very clever to make a reduction out of the marinade.
Jill: What was your worst kitchen disaster in your career?
Dustin: A brandy reduction caught fire and the fire extinguisher sensor went off, it sprayed white powdery substance everywhere. That was the end of that night. No more cooking after that, everything was covered in powder.
Jill: Do you cook at home?
Dustin: I always cook food from Guam as I can’t get that at any restaurant. I make red rice (with achiote) and a lot of fish and other seafood, deer and wild pig.
Jill: What fruit would you compare yourself with, and why?
Dustin: I would pick a Guava, because it’s firm and tough on the outside and sweet on the inside.
And there it was…. as we were wrapping up the interview the friendly staff served me THE miso glazed cod. What a treat! I enjoyed every bite of this amazing dish. What a beautiful feeling to be surrounded by great people in a beautiful décor with extraordinary food to match 😉
To make things even more perfect, Dustin surprised me with a flourless chocolate cake for dessert! I have to say the Guava description suits him perfectly!