Cesar Perez is the Head Chef at One Door East, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. One Door East is the sister restaurant of Valentino Cucina Italiana (which we profiled last week). The name comes from the fact it is literally one door east/down from Valentino in the same building. The restaurant offers a menu of globally inspired shared plates, showcasing the best seasonal ingredients and flavours. In order to get to know Cesar and to learn what drives him as a chef, we asked him a few questions and got him to share one of his favorite recipes.
What do you like to cook and why?
“I like to cook my mother’s and grandmother’s recipes. They were the first cooks I knew. I am Colombian, but my mom made the best empanadas. They remind me of being in the kitchen with my mother and grandmother.”
What is your best cooking tip for readers?
“Love what you cook and don’t be afraid of salt.”
What is one thing you would change about the restaurant industry if you were king for a day?
“That everyone has worked in a restaurant and understands and respects the time, energy and effort it takes to create the perfect dining experience.”
What are your favorite dishes to cook on your current menu, that you would recommend to diners?
“We have so many amazing dishes on our menu; it is hard to choose just one. If I have to narrow it down, I would say the skirt steak, chicken mole, brisket and udon noodles.”
Why did you choose this recipe to share?
“I chose the skirt steak with chimichurri because with a grill and a knife anyone can make this dish at home. The flavors are amazing.”
Recipe: Skirt Steak with Chimichurri
Prime Skirt Steak from the butcher or market
¼ cup coarsely chopped parsley
3 tbs of red wine vinegar
4 large garlic cloves minced (2.5 tbs)
2 tbs of oregano
2 tsp of crushed red pepper
Kosher Salt & Pepper to taste
½ cup EVO
- Season and grill skirt steak for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, depending on how you like your steak cooked.
- For the chimichurri, combine all dry ingredients and red wine vinegar in a food processor. Once processed add the mixture to oil and let stand for 20 minutes at minimum. We recommend letting sit overnight.
- Plate steak and desired amount of chimichurri on plate and garnish with cilantro. Squeeze fresh lime juice over plate to taste.
If you live in Fort Lauderdale or are visiting soon, check out One Door East!