Today’s Chef Feature comes from Ping Pong Dim Sum’s Chef Darren Wightman. Head over to this new hot spot in Chinatown for one of the best happy hours in town. From 4-7 everyday, indulge in $3 dim sum, $4 beer and $5 cocktails and martinis. What to try you ask? I loved the Charsui buns, steamed shu mai and chicken puffs. And slurp down a kumquat mojito or two to put the day’s stresses behind you.
What is your favorite kitchen gadget?
A 4 pound roast meat chopper – It’ll chop a car in half.
What is the most overrated food/technique in restaurants today?
Foam sauces and anything that’s been tortured. Give it to me straight – just two or three ingredients.
If you were to open a restaurant with a different type of cuisine than what you are cooking now, what would it be?
An homage to where I’ve lived. I’ve spent a great deal of time in Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia and Japan. So, how about an Asian Tapas Bistro?
What is your favorite local product or purveyor to work with?
Our produce guys – Belair. They’re always bending over backwards to find me exotic, tropical ingredients, like dragonfruit.
What is your biggest customer pet peeve?
Is this low sodium? and seasoning before they taste something.
What do you drink/eat after work?
I like Beringer Reserve Chardonnay and a good single malt Scotch. I love braised meat – it’s such good sticky, cold weather comfort food.
What is your favorite thing to cook at home?
A simple pasta with Spanish Ortiz anchovies, Thai bird’s eye chilies, flat leaf parsley, lots of garlic, regianno cheese, and EVOO.