BlackSalt Fish Market & Restaurant has announced the appointment of a new Executive Chef, Mike Huff, who joins the restaurant most recently having cooked in Naples, Italy and previously, at Kinkead’s Restaurant.
Huff, who grew up in a large Italian family, always knew he wanted to be a chef from a young age after watching his grandfather cook elaborate family meals in the kitchen. Graduating at the top of his class from Johnson & Wales University’s Culinary Arts Program, Huff counts stints at Le Titi de Paris in Chicago, Bob Kinkead’s Colvin Run Tavern in Va., and Kinkead’s namesake restaurant in Washington, DC.
Most recently, Huff cooked at Pizzeria Da Gennaro in Naples, Italy, where he lived for three years while his wife was stationed there with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. During his time in Italy, Huff enjoyed learning how to make fresh pasta, Neapolitan pizza, and having access to prized ingredients such as white truffles and fresh Mediterranean seafood. His cooking philosophy favors clean, bold flavors, and allowing high quality ingredients to shine on the plate.
Since joining BlackSalt earlier this fall, Huff has debuted several new dishes on the dinner menu, including:
Wood Grilled Whole Branzino with cannellini beans, braised fennel, Kalamata olives, preserved lemon, Braised Lacinato kale, and topped with a salad of organic arugula, shaved fennel, orange segments, red onion, and olive oil.
Wood Grilled Swordfish with roasted root vegetables, turnip purée, Swiss chard, glazed Cippolini onions, and maple Balsamic brown butter.
Creekstone Farms NY Strip Steak with beer battered onion rings, sautéed wild mushrooms, pea tendrils, BlackSalt steak sauce, and bone marrow butter.
Pan Roasted Day Boat Scallops with parsnip purée, house made potato gnocchi, shaved Brussels sprouts, Maiitake mushrooms, pancetta and aged Balsamic vinegar.
Tuna Tartare lightly dressed with a spicy tamari, and accompanied by a cucumber, avocado, grilled pineapple salad with macadamia nut butter, toasted coconut and crispy taro chips.
To complement the new dinner menu, assistant general manager Melissa Baum has created a new cocktail menu, featuring seasonal drinks such as The Washingtonian, a play on a Manhattan made with James E. Pepper 1776 Rye Whiskey, Carpano Antica Vermouth, Roasted Apple Bitters and Honey, and garnished with house-made apple chips; and The Expat, made with EG Windsor Sage and Earl Grey vodka, tea, lemon, Domaine de Canton, and sage.