To SF, From Rome: Locanda-to-Be Chef Anthony Strong Reports Back


Chef Anthony Strong, one of 7x7's 2010 "Top 20 Under 40", returned recently from a two month trip to Rome where he got paid to learn the ropes (mostly at Osteria di San Cesario), a chef's dream come true. Lucky for us, though, he'll be applying his newfound knowledge to Delfina's next restaurant, Locanda, when it opens on Valencia Street in the spring of next year. Delfina just sent out its newsletter where Strong details the highlights of his trip. If you know Strong, it's so very him. Funny, quirky, offally.

Click here for the whole thing or read on for the CliffsNotes. Warning: You'll be jealous.

Anthony's top five staff meals:
1. Roasted sheep's head
2. Peel-and-eat chestnuts and wine
3.  Toasted bread with olive oil and over-ripened figs smashed into it
4. Potatoes roasted in the previous-day's pan drippings and chicken fat
5. Leftover spaghetti from the day before, battered and fried, or in a frittata

A "That's So Italian Moment"
Learning that most restaurants pay a private company to tell the health department that they're all good and don't need a checkup, the company is of course owned by the retired Chief Health Inspector.

Best Geeky Cook Moments
• Drooling over the wood-burning Grills at al Ceppo in Rome, da Delfina in Artimino, and la Officina della Bistecca in Panzano

• Devouring back to back pizzas at da Michele in Naples, the owner (basically god of all things pizza) came over and asked if I was a cook.  He said he could tell. I have never felt so cool in my life, and possibly never will.

Top Five Favorite Restaurants in Rome

1. Osteria di San Cesario for the rigatoni con pajata
2. Cecchino dal 1887 for the oxtails alla vaccinara
3. Roscioli for the best carbonara in the city
4. Sora Margherita for the grilled calf's liver with lemon
5. Trattoria da Gino for the abbachio (milk-fed lamb) alla cacciatora

Coolest Thing He Learned

How to get Jedi-making pasta paper thin with nothing but a wooden dowel, as taught by a 90-year-old, bonafied Nonna (pictured).

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