So Delicious, So Seussical, So LoSasso
By Robin Jay
If you’re into all things exceptional in South Florida, two names you know for sure are Acqualina Resort & Spa and Chef Dewey LoSasso. The haute hotelier recently earned its second consecutive Forbes Five-Star Rating – a coveted title due in no small part to the savvy placement of celebrity Chef LoSasso at the helm of AQ.
I recently visited this new culinary gem. Indeed, it was no run-of-the-mill tasting. You see, what I found most remarkable about dining at AQ was LoSasso’s genius sense of humor – and the brilliant, quirky way he wove his personality right into his recipes. Who ever said refined cuisine couldn’t be fun?
Take the “Green Eggs and Ham” dish, for example. Served in a cocktail glass was an artful layer of baked eggs, chives, Iberico ham and Mascarpone. “What can I say; I liked reading Dr. Seuss books to my daughters,” Chef LoSasso said with a grin. “To me, the tale was culinary inspiration.”
Then came “Spaghetti ‘O’ with a Kick,” house-made ring pasta with mushroom crema, charred Serrano chili – and truffle salt. “It’s Speghettios for adults,” he mused. “They say chefs don’t make mistakes, they just create new dishes. Sometimes it may be the lack of sleep, or late-night dreams and writing next to bed.”
Whatever the influence, I was impressed. The server next arrived with “Peas, Peas, Peas Me…Baby,” a risotto of peas, pan-seared baby beets, pea shoots and ricotta salata. What a tasty stunner of a dish – especially paired with the crazy-good Lavender Collins.
“As a chef, you need to have the broad stroke and the finite stroke at the same time,” said LoSasso, who grew up with an Italian father who took cooking so seriously he installed a second kitchen in the basement, complete with commercial-grade appliances. Feeding a family of 50 at the LoSasso household at Christmas wasn’t uncommon.
“Being the youngest, and the only son, meant I was spoiled,” LoSasso admitted. (Let’s be honest…it’s now his own daughters who call the shots. LoSasso learned the guitar chords of Justin Beiber songs to please his daughter Siena.)
“My parents always told me to do what made me happy – from being a dishwasher at 13 in the Jersey Shore, to being obsessed with the restaurant world. What would my mom say? That I am totally in love with food, family and music. Falling in love with food; it’s simply like breathing. The mores and laws of the kitchen are like that of a small town, where you know everyone. It’s really special.”
To try AQ’s farm-to-table modern American menu, with its global blend of Mediterranean, Latin and Asian flavors, go to 17875 Collins Avenue in Sunny Isles Beach. For reservations, call (305) 918-6816.