Scar­petta chef and culi­nary mae­stro Scott Co­nant re­veals the finer points of cook­ing with fire.

Ocean Drive - - Contents - BY CHUCK ANSBACHER

The mouth­wa­ter­ing siz­zle at your next sum­mer soirée doesn’t have to come from an­other pile of burg­ers and hot dogs. While those bar­be­cue stand­bys have their place, celebrity chef Scott Co­nant comes equipped with a few in­spired ways to raise your grill game from ex­pected to gourmet. Here, the man be­hind the Fon­tainebleau’s Scar­petta tells Ocean Drive how to keep it sim­ple, im­press the party, and the one thing you should never throw on your bar­be­cue.

What are you most ex­cited to see at the fruit and veg­etable stands this sum­mer?

You never know what’s go­ing to look the best, but I’m a huge lover of corn on the grill. That’s a good start­ing place.

In the husk or shucked?

I go both ways. It de­pends on my mood. Some­times I’m into the husk and some­times I’m not. Some­times I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the blis­ter­ing of those ker­nels.

What’s a sim­ple way to im­press your friends?

Toma­toes. Not even grilling them as much as uti­liz­ing some of the resid­ual heat with a vinai­grette. Think about tak­ing the toma­toes, blis­ter­ing them a touch, cut­ting them up, toss­ing them in a vinai­grette, then putting them back in a pan with that vinai­grette and warm­ing them up slightly on a grill. [Then] put some crum­bled feta over the top and fin­ish with

some greens on a plat­ter. I don’t know what is bet­ter than that.

How can you grill like they do in Italy?

When you think about Ital­ian cook­ing, you have to think about sit­ting in rus­tic Tus­cany with an out­door flame and a whole an­i­mal be­ing brushed with a bush of rose­mary. It con­jures up a cer­tain im­age of grilling out­side, es­pe­cially with a live fire. What isn’t Ital­ian about that whole process? Iden­ti­fy­ing those fresh herbs, sim­ple fla­vors, lemon, rose­mary, gar­lic, onions—it’s a no-brainer.

Fa­vorite piece of meat to grill?

I’m a big fan of the ro­tis­serie at­tach­ment on a grill. One of the things I’m go­ing to do this week­end is [grill] goat [with] a pan of pota­toes un­der­neath it and let the juices drip on top of the pota­toes and some onions and gar­lic and herbs—there’s noth­ing bet­ter in the world.

What’s the one thing peo­ple should never grill?

Su­per-flaky fish. I’ve tried to grill hal­ibut in the past. It’s bad news. Cod fish? Bad news. It’s a mis­take you make once. All that stuff falls through, and you’re just burn­ing it for­ever.

Scott Co­nant’s bite-size bal­sam­icglazed ribs off the bone have the per­fect char, paired with a spicy tomato chut­ney.

Co­nant’s (ƭƨʃ ƥƞɵƭ) se­cret for his suc­cu­lent pork ribs is a deep bal­samic glaze (ƚƛƨưƞ) and us­ing fresh rose­mary and thyme (Ƭơƨưƨ ơƞƫƞ) to give an au­then­tic taste of Italy.

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