Top Chef Masters Season 4 winner Chris Cosentino is having the most productive year ever. He has opened two new restaurants this year with business partner Oliver Wharton (Portland's Jackrabbit and Acacia House in the Napa Valley) and has just dropped his second cookbook Offal Good, which teaches everyday home cooks how to prepare dishes using the organs and "guts" of an animal that might often be discarded.
An exciting chef whose knowledge of head to tail cooking helped him win Top Chef Masters with a "guts prevail!" victory call, Cosentino was so happy that he could put a spotlight on minimizing food waste. He credits his great-grandmother for teaching him how to utilize items such as tripe, which comes from the stomach lining of cows; his cookbook has several tripe recipes, including tripe & chips and lobster with tripe.
"I just won Top Chef Masters cooking offal on national television," he marveled at the time in an interview following his victory. "That in itself will show the world that these cuts of meat are beautiful and that is a big push for the whole animal ethic."
Offal Good isn't for the squeamish, but it is for anyone who wants to go deeper into the ethics of honoring the life given by the animal by wasting as little of it as possible. He's even got a recipe for making spaghetti totally out of skin and "culomari" out of a pig's behind. There are sections devoted to cow, sheep, pig and fowl (such as duck and chicken), with recipes utilizing parts like hearts, brains, livers, blood, fat and feet.
The cookbook has been getting the thumbs up from some of his famous chef friends, like Mario Batali...
... And veteran Top Chef judge Hugh Acheson, to name a few.
And if you're in the San Francisco area, you can pull up to his restaurant Cockscomb (named after the red thing on top of a rooster's head) and indulge in a whole wood oven-roasted pig's head or try some of the daily "fall offs" posted on the butcher's board.
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