A few years ago a friend and fellow chef Russell Ferguson brought to my attention an article from the New York
Times Wednesday food section. The piece featured a recipe for a "butterscotch budino" developed by
Nancy Silverton, a celebrated pastry chef-restauranteur from Los Angeles.
As I remember this dessert was created for Pizzeria Mozza, a new venture from
Nancy and her partners Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich.
Acting upon Russell's raves, I started serving this delicious and decadent concoction to the diners at the
Max Chophouse where I was working as its chef. I topped the butterscotch pudding with
warm butterscotch sauce (as opposed to Nancy's caramel) and garnished
with salted toasted almonds (her garnish of coarse sea salt and cookies on the side). The budino was chosen for
rocco's opening desert menu and has never come off. It could very well be our most talked about item.
Last week while dining at Batali and Bastianich's Tarry Lodge in Westport Connecticut, I finally had the
opportunity to taste the original. A dollop of bruleed meringue garnished the current version. The budino was
cool, creamy and rich with its layer of caramel and crystals of sea salt.
Toques off to Nancy Silverton for this one!