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Chef Vito Gnazzo Recipes - The Leopard at des Artistes, New York, NY, USA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen and Edward F. Nesta   
Chef Vito Gnazzo - The Leopard at des Artistes - NYC Chef Vito Gnazzo of The Leopard at des Artistes located on the west side of Manhattan in New York, New York takes time out to speak with Luxury Experience about the restaurant's focus of Southern Italian cuisine and his culinary approach. He graciously shares his delectable recipes for Parmigiana of Zucchini with Smoked Mozzarella, Fresh Tomato Sauce and Basil, and Beef & Veal Meatballs Wrapped in Savoy Cabbage Leaves with Thyme Sauce, served over Mixed Greens. Buon Appetito from Chef Vito Gnazzo!


 

We dined at The Leopard at des Artistes in late February 2017 and had the pleasure of getting to know the partner and talented Executive Chef Vito Gnazzo through his culinary artistry. He also took time to speak with Luxury Experience to share his passions and his recipes. In a city, renowned for great restaurants, The Leopard at des Artistes easily stands at the top of the list with its wonderful, sophisticated ambience, impeccable service, and food that cries out "bravo" with each bite.

 

The Leopard at des Artisted NYC
The Leopard at des Artistes

 

 

Luxury Experience:

You have had a very impressive career to date, beginning with working at the three Michelin star restaurant, Antica Osteria del Ponte in Milan, Italy.


What or whom inspired you to become a chef? Did you go to a culinary or training school?

 

Chef Vito Gnazzo:

No, I never went to culinary school. My culinary education began when I was young, learning from family, and being around authentic Italian cuisine, and then later learning from the very best Italian chef. My "education" continues every day, and I don't intend to ever stop learning...


Aside from my experience in the kitchen, I was always fascinated by the culinary traditions of Italy, by the use of simple ingredients in authentic dishes, and by my own heritage; all of these things are very well reflected in my cooking, and expressed in my own culinary methods.

 

Luxury Experience:

Originally from Salerno, Italy, your career as a chef took you to California, and later to New York where you ultimately met and worked with Gianfranco Sorrentino.


As Executive Chef and Partner at The Leopard des Artistes, together with partners Gianfranco and his wife, Paula Bolla-Sorrentino, what is the culinary focus of the restaurant?

 

Chef Vito Gnazzo:

I created the Southern Italian menu that finds its roots in the area once known as The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, in the mid-1800s, and in the culinary traditions of the regions of Campania, Basilicata, Calabria, Apulia, Sardinia, and of course Sicily, reaching a balance between dishes based on rural elements, such as pasta, vegetables, cheese, and seafood ingredients from the Costiera.


A variety of the recipes are influenced by the local aristocracy, in contrast from the popular traditions of the time, containing commonly available yet authentic and nutritionally healthy ingredients.


The core source of inspiration, and the underlying culinary philosophy of the restaurant's cuisine lies in authenticity and simplicity, which are the cornerstones of Italian cuisine.

 

Luxury Experience:

In addition to the Seasonal Three Course Dining Experience the restaurant also offers an a la carte menu.


How often do you change the menu? Are there nightly specials as well?

 

Chef Vito Gnazzo:

We change the a la carte menu twice a year - spring/summer and fall/winter. We're dedicated to using the very highest quality seasonal ingredients, and putting dishes on the menu that are a solid fit with the particular season.


Yes, we do offer a selection of nightly specials - again, which dishes we offer are wholly dependent on the season.

 

Luxury Experience:


What are a few of your favorite items on the menu?

 

Chef Vito Gnazzo:

 

My favorite item on the menu is the "Busiate Trapanesi with shellfish ragout and cherry tomatoes" - it reminds me very much of Sicily, where the dish originated. It's a traditional dish, full of seafood flavor - the ragout includes mussels, clams, scallops and shrimp.


Another favorite of mine from the menu is the signature pasta "Bucatini alle Sarde with sardines, wild fennel, red pepper, garlic, pine nuts and raisins". Again, it's another very authentic, traditional southern Italian dish, with plenty of seafood (and garlic) flavor, and with a bit of kick to it from the red pepper.


In terms of appetizers, my favorite is the "Gnudi" - Buffalo ricotta gnocchi, in butter and Parmigiano Reggiano sauce, with sage and wild mushroom ragout. It's always been a guest favorite, and a must-have at The Leopard!

 

Luxury Experience:

Chef, we experienced your "Busiate Trapensi" and "Gnudi" and can understand why they are two of your favorites as they were incredibly delicious.


What culinary trend would you like to see on its way out?

 

Chef Vito Gnazzo:

I really, really do not like or appreciate these strange combinations that ultimately come to misrepresent Italian cuisine. By this, I mean using too many ingredients that distract you from the core flavor of the dish. Again, simplicity = authenticity in Italian cuisine, and staying true to that is what we aim to do here every day. Unpretentious, authentic and simple...

 

Luxury Experience:

Every Chef Vito Gnazzo has their favorite "to-go" items. What are yours?

 

Chef Vito Gnazzo:

I'm typically very simple when it comes to tools in the kitchen. Good knives and good pans go a long way...

 

Luxury Experience:

As a chef, who has most influenced and inspired you throughout your career?

 

Chef Vito Gnazzo:

The one, single person who inspired me the most was the Executive Chef and owner Ezio Santin, of Milan's world-renowned, three Michelin starred restaurant, Antica Osteria del Ponte. He shared with me his unique vision of how to create authentic Italian cuisine; it's simply a much different way to cook than I had seen before, and his work enlightened me, and inspired everything that I do today.

 

Luxury Experience:

When not working in the kitchen, how do you like to spend your time?

 

Chef Vito Gnazzo:


I love to travel (when I can get out of the restaurant). My passion, other than making food, is skiing! I love to hit the slopes whenever I can - I've skied on the east coast, from New York state to Vermont, and it's close to NYC, so it's convenient. I love being out west, and have skied in California and Colorado, and of course, I've been all over Europe. I absolutely love being in the mountains. I also love to swim, and I try to hit the pool every day; it keeps me young and in good shape...

 

Luxury Experience:

 

Thank-you Chef Vito for taking time to chat with Luxury Experience. It was a pleasure experiencing your restaurant and getting to know you and your vision through the wonderful food at The Leopard at des Artistes.

 

Chef Vito Gnazzo
Executive Chef Vito Gnazzo

 

Chef Vito Gnazzo graciously shares his recipes for Parmigiana of Zucchini with Smoked Mozzarella, Fresh Tomato Sauce and Basil, and Beef & Veal Meatballs Wrapped in Savoy Cabbage Leaves with Thyme Sauce, served over Mixed Greens to tempt your palate until you can visit The Leopard at des Artistes in New York City.


The Leopard at des Artistes Recipes
from Chef Vito Gnazzo



Parmigiana of Zucchini with Smoked Mozzarella,
Fresh Tomato Sauce and Basil

Beef & Veal Meatballs Wrapped in Savoy Cabbage Leaves
with Thyme Sauce, served over Mixed Greens

 

gattopardo Zucchini

Parmigiana of Zucchini with Smoked Mozzarella, Fresh Tomato Sauce and Basil
Serves 4

 

Executive Chef Vito Gnazzo shares this recipe for his acclaimed appetizer - Parmigiana of zucchini with smoked mozzarella, fresh tomato sauce and basil -- it's a long-time favorite among the restaurants' guests, and is the perfect way to begin one of the chef's incredible Southern Italian feasts! The dish pairs perfectly with a glass of Falanghina/Biancolella 2014 Tramonti a delicious white wine from Amalfi, in the southern region of Campania, and one of the chef's favorite white wines.


Prep Time: 25 minutes, Cook Time: 25 minutes, Total Time: 50 minutes (approx.)

 

Ingredients


8

Small

Green Zucchini

1

Egg

2

Ounces

Flour

1

Ounce

Milk

2

Tablespoons

Oil

2

Ounces

Tomato Sauce

4

Ounces

Smoked Mozzarella di Bufala, chopped

2

Ounces

Parmigiana, grated

1

Bunch

Basil

1

Ounce

Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper, to taste


Method: Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise (or however you prefer) and season with salt and pepper. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, flour, and milk. Add the oil to a sauté pan over medium-high. Dip the zucchini into the mixture and then place them in the sauté pan, frying them until they are golden brown on both sides. Once fried, lay the zucchini on a kitchen towel to dry.


In a serving terrine, add enough tomato sauce to coat the bottom and place the zucchini wedges down side by side. Add the tomato sauce, chopped mozzarella, Parmigiano, basil, and drizzle with olive oil. Repeat for another layer. Bake for 20 minutes at 400° F (204° C) and serve hot.

 

Meatballs with Cabbage

Beef & Veal Meatballs Wrapped in Savoy Cabbage Leaves with Thyme Sauce, served over Mixed Greens
4 servings (3 meatballs per serving)


This recipe is Chef Vito Gnazzo's beloved signature appetizer - his celebrity guests love it, and it's a favorite during the holidays! These tender, juicy, flavorful meatballs are wrapped in almost-clear Savoy-cabbage leaves that seal in the meat's juices, and impart a most delicate flavor. This dish pairs perfectly with a glass of Montefalco Rosso, a delicious red wine from Umbria, and one of the chef's favorites.


Prep Time: 45 minutes, Cook Time: 10 minutes, Total Time: 55 minutes (approximately)

 

Ingredients

 

18

Ounces

Ground Beef

6

Ounces

Ground Veal

1

Egg

2

Ounces

Bread Crumbs Soaked in Milk

1

Small

Red Onion

1

Clove

Garlic

1

Small Bunch

Italian Parsley

1

Ounce

Pecorino Romano, grated

12

Leaves

Savoy Cabbage, blanched

1

Tablespoon

Olive Oil

Baby Greens, for garnish

 

Ingredients for the Sauce


2

Tablespoons

White Wine

0.25

Cup

Veal Stock

1

Bunch

Fresh Thyme

0.25

Cup

Olive Oil

 

Method: Finely chop the onions, garlic, and parsley. Put the meat in a large bowl with the egg, breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, parsley, Parmigiano, and Pecorino Romano. Mix until smooth.


Make 12 little meatballs with your hand (approximately 1-inch (2.5 cm) in diameter).


Blanch the cabbage leaves. Wrap each meatball with one cabbage leaf. Fry them in 1-tablespoon of hot olive oil for one minute on each side.


Place them in the oven for approximately 5 minutes at 375° F (191° C). Take them out of the oven and remove the existing oil.


Add the white wine, veal stock, the thyme and the additional 2 ounces of olive oil. Cook for another minute. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve them with mixed greens as garnish. Buon Appetito from Chef Vito Gnazzo!

 

The Leopard at des Artistes NYC
The Leopard at des Artistes


The Leopard at des Artistes is open for Dinner: Monday through Saturday from 5:00 pm until 11:00 pm, and Sunday from 5:00 pm until 10:00 pm. The restaurant serves Brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 pm until 3:00 pm. The restaurant will now celebrate a different region of Italy each month on its Three-Course Tasting Menu. Also nice is the BYOB - no corkage fee on Sunday evenings at The Leopard. "Bring Your Own Bottle Italian Sunday Supper - We Do the Cooking, You Bring the Wine."


Read about our dining experience at The Leopard at des Artistes in the Restaurants section where we provide an in-depth look and "taste" of the restaurant.

 

The Leopard at des Artistes NYC

The Leopard at des Artistes

1 West 67th Street

New York, NY 10023

United States

Telephone:   +1-212-787-8767

Fax:              +1-212-787-9767

Website:      www.TheLeopardNYC.com

Facebook:    www.Facebook.com/TheLeopardatdesArtistes

 

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© March 2017. Luxury Experience www.LuxuryExperience.com All Rights Reserved.

 
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