Suzanne Perrotto’s life is whirling as fast as a whisk mixing scrambled eggs. What makes her stand out from everyone else whose life is on high speed is that her end creations are centered, delicious and inclusive.
We’re not talking about food, per se, but about this executive chef/owner’s capability to open two popular restaurants on the same street in Delray Beach’s Pineapple Grove. Perrotto is the force behind both Brule Bistro (opened in 2008) and Rose’s Daughter, which opened this summer.
With a background that includes a family-run Italian trattoria in New York, graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale, Arizona, and working for multiple top chefs across the country at resorts and private country clubs, Perrotto now has a French bistro and an Italian trattoria of her own. And she is set on embarking on more adventures in the future.
“When you walk through the door, you just focus on forgetting about your troubles,” she says. “Now it’s time to work together and create together and make things happy. It starts with our staff. It’s a philosophy that works. We won’t put up with anything else.”
You’re certified in Neapolitan pizza making. What won’t you put on a pizza?
“I would have to say it’s the amount of topping on the pizza. I won’t put on extra sauce. I won’t jeopardize the integrity of the recipe. It’s a wetter dough, it doesn’t get tossed in the air. It’s a special oven—90-second cooking, 48-hour fermentation process. It’s got a lot of resilience in the dough because of that process.”
What’s different between serving diners at country clubs and public restaurants?
“At a country club, [dining] is an extension of its kitchen, and it assumes you are a personal chef, and ‘no’ is never in the conversation. It’s very customized ordering. In a public restaurant, you do not change the integrity of the preparation. You work with other restaurants. You respect and honor your neighbor restaurants. You have a style that you choose in your restaurant. You want to be a destination for people.”
A favorite dish of yours that you do not cook?
“That’s easy. The Special Yama roll at Yama next door to Brule`. It has grade-A tuna, spicy krab and their sushi rice is perfect. That’s my special go-to.”
What’s your next goal?
“To open a commissary kitchen, where I can teach children or adults who need direction. The kitchen will also do catering. I also want to have a garden for this. I want to grow my own product. I would love a farm with a commissary kitchen, creating our own milk, teaching these kids to plant a seed and watch it grow.”
Any advice for home cooks during the holidays?
“I know everyone likes the whole bird on the table, but you should break down the bird, brine it and do a presentation on the table. You can use the chicken liver, which has all the flavor. If you put a little bit of that and sauté it with sage and onions and put it back in the stuffing, it tastes like it was put back in the bird. Just get everything ready. Make food that takes you to an enjoyable place with your friends. You can just be present for them.”
What are your hobbies?
“I like to run. And I love to fish. I’m really bad at both, but those are my hobbies.”
Brule Bistro, 200 NE Second Ave., Delray Beach; 561/274-2046 http://www.brulebistro.com/navigation/
Rose’s Daughter, 169 Second Ave., Delray Beach; 561/271-9423; rosesdaughterdelray.com