Dining

Inside ‘The Mind of a Chef’ at Naked City

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Chef Chris Palmeri began his Mind of a Chef dinner with a trio of house-made sausages, arancini and lamb meatballs.
Photo: Christopher DeVargas

On June 18, Naked City Pizza Shop’s Chris Palmeri created a special tasting menu inspired by his favorite show, The Mind of a Chef. Each briefly titled episode of the PBS series focuses on a different culinary topic, so Palmeri’s menu followed suit, giving him the opportunity to show he’s about more than pizza and wings.

The evening began with a trio of house-made sausages—the breakfast sausage with maple mustard was an epiphany—plus well-seasoned arancini and lamb meatballs with a sublime mint jelly. The small bites transitioned into the first of seven courses, “Simple,” a riff on caprese salad served in a Mason jar. Next was “Smoke,” a rabbit-stuffed potato cake drizzled with bacon and tomato-reduction, then a huitlacoche-stuffed zucchini flower titled “Rotten.” “Noodle” highlighted Palmeri’s pasta with a crab scampi-stuffed rigatoni with surprising bite, while “Pig” offered up Piggy Wellington, a hearty pork dish wrapped in a light puff pastry.

Fittingly, “Memory” was probably the most successful course of a memorable evening, with a simple yet outstanding lightly breaded veal cutlet, a dish borrowed from Palmeri’s grandmother. The meal concluded with deconstructed strawberry shortcake, or “Sweet Spot.”

Palmeri isn’t the only one having this type of fun. Palmeri’s Desnudo Tacos partner Christian “CutThroat Culinary” Dolias will have his turn in the limelight on July 27, when he unveils “Unbreakable,” a meal with the tagline “seven courses that will change your f*cking life.” It’s guaranteed to be more delicious than a Tony Robbins seminar.

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