[The Perfect Meal]

Due Forni’s Carlos Buscaglia opens up his kitchen

Due Forni chef Carlos Buscaglia says he never tires of eating Italian food.
Photo: L.E. Baskow

As the creative culinary mind behind Due Forni, Carlos Buscaglia is not one of those chefs who tires of eating his own food. “Italian is No. 1. I can eat it seven days a week,” he says. “But after work, I do crave a lot of Asian flavors, and I really enjoy Thai or Japanese food.” His favorite local Asian eateries include Pin Kaow, Raku and Ohjah Japanese Steakhouse for a cozy meal close to home.

When asked to craft his ideal meal, Buscaglia snagged a couple favorites from Due Forni’s menu, added a dessert experiment from his home kitchen, and kicked it off with his all-time most beloved bite from a restaurant by his mentor, acclaimed chef Michael White.

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      Sea urchin with melted lardo “When [White] opened Marea, I went the first month and he served me this,” Buscaglia said of the chef’s worshipped Italian seafood restaurant in New York City. “I would have never thought to do that, place lardo on top of sea urchin, which already has that rich, fatty texture. The flavor, the smokiness … I can’t explain it. It’s incredible, and then it’s on top of a nice, crunchy crostini. It’s one of those things I’ll never forget.”

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      Polipo Due Forni’s appetizer salad of braised-then-oven-roasted octopus with roasted piquillo peppers, taggiasca olives, mixed greens, a bit of toasted breadcrumbs and mint vinaigrette has become one of the Summerlin restaurant’s signature dishes. “It’s always been my favorite.”

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      Maiale Bolognese pizza When brainstorming new pizza ideas, Buscaglia wanted to do something with braised pork. This well-balanced pie is the result, a pork ragu riff on traditional Bolognese sauce with tender pulled pork instead of ground meat, fiery Calabrian chilies and caramelized onions mounted on bufala mozzarella and San Marzano tomatoes. It’s unlike any pizza you’ve ever tasted.

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      Cognac chocolate peanut butter truffles “I was playing around at my house, trying to make my own protein bars, because I do a lot of healthy stuff at home, and I wanted to see if I could make a truffle out of the chocolate and coconut lying around. I ended up making a ganache with cognac and peanut butter, chilled it, scooped it with a melon ball, and rolled it in shredded coconut, then added some chia seeds for crispy texture.”

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