Today’s Chef in the Spotlight is Blake Malatesta, Executive Chef at 50 Ocean in Delray Beach. Those of you who follow my sight regularly were introduced to Blake in my Rías Baixas Albariño wine video. Blake’s cheffage story is one of humble beginnings starting with strong parental encouragement to follow his dreams. The senior Malatesta would tell Blake to find a job that he can wake up to with a smile on his face daily and everything else would fall into place. While in high school Malatesta worked in a variety of family run restaurants learning as much as he could, working through the ranks. Having found his passion, after graduating high school Malatesta secured a position within the corporate structure at Darden Restaurants as a regional culinary trainer. After a year stint in the corporate world, Malatesta decided to see the world, and traveled to Europe for three months that quickly morphed into a year. During this year he worked in back kitchens throughout Europe and Eastern Europe gaining much hands-on experience. After returning home Malatesta enrolled in University of South Florida and worked as a sous chef at Saddlebrook Resort in Tampa. This world-experienced, well traveled chef recently began his culinary journey at 50 Ocean in April 2012 and has set his sights on making 50 Ocean one of the hottest restaurants on the east coast of Florida. I present this week’s Chef in the Spotlight, Blake Malatesta, Executive Chef at 50 Ocean.
South Florida Food and Wine: Where do you get your culinary inspiration?
Blake Malatesta: From the ingredients; taking a raw turnip and transforming it, into a soup, puree, or sauce is something that is special.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your favorite item to make on the 50 Ocean menu?
Blake Malatesta: Our Yellowtail Snapper dinner entrée made with coconut risotto and mango ginger sauce.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your one go-to ingredient and why?
Blake Malatesta: Vinegar, I feel that it will always bring the flavor out of any dish. One of my favorite vinegars is a blanc vin ver jus.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is the most challenging thing about your position as Executive Chef at 50 Ocean?
Blake Malatesta: Mastering the balance of being a chef in the kitchen and the office.
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your last day on earth, what would your final meal be?
Blake Malatesta: Slow roasted pork with cabbage onion pastry and sour cream.
South Florida Food and Wine: Who is the one person you would like to cook with and why?
Blake Malatesta: Eric Ripert. I love his simplistic approach to seafood. And he seems like a laid back guy.
South Florida Food and Wine: What is your one guilty pleasure food?
Blake Malatesta: Bacon. You can never just have one piece.
South Florida Food and Wine: What was the last restaurant you ate at, other than 50 Ocean and what did you order?
Blake Malatesta: The Dubliner at Mizner Park. I had the lamb burger with a Guinness it is always awesome.
South Florida Food and Wine: Who would you most like to cook for? And why?
Blake Malatesta: The President. I would hope after the meal we could discuss possible career opportunities.
South Florida Food and Wine: It’s your day off, what do you do for fun?
Blake Malatesta: I always enjoy relaxing at the beach with my wife.
50 Ocean 40 South Ocean Boulevard Delray Beach, FL 33483
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