Fernando Navas gets around. Born and raised in Argentina, the 31-year-old (and single!) chef has worked at El Bulli and served as sous chef at Nobu Miami. To create the new menu at Sushisamba, Navas traveled to Japan, Brazil and Peru in order to revamp the offerings. Ladies, if you’d like a world-traveler who knows how to cook — and who doesn’t? — we have a little info on the best way to this Hot Chef’s heart.
What are the standout items on your new menu?
In season, we have a nice soft-shell crab slider with pico de gallo. Also, a local tomato and seaweed salad with olive oil, sea salt and white grapes. I’m doing all kinds of scallops and dumplings as well, served with summer vegetables with fava beans, English peas and yellow pea shoots.
You’re a globetrotter. Where do you currently live?
In Williamsburg. I love Williamsburg.
If a nice Williamsburg girl wanted to impress you by cooking for you, what should she whip up?
Homemade pasta. First of all, I love pasta, and secondly, it takes a little bit of time to do the dough and the kneading and then make the raviolis or the pasta. That will impress me more than anything else.
What if you want to impress her?
I would start with crudo with nice sea salt. Or ceviche with a little bit of spice. It is a very simple, light dish, but to execute it well takes a lot of knowledge.
On September 7th, both locations of Sushisamba will be throwing a big bash to celebrate Brazil's Independence Day, with traditional samba dancers and drummers who will circle the restaurant while you dine. Enjoy Brazilian inspired dishes such as pastels and trouxinhas and tile fish. Some of the specialty menu is below, as well as the Kiwi Caipirinha, a twist on Brazil's national cocktail, they'll be serving.
A few special items for the Sept. 7th menu:
Copacabana Roll features salmon tempura, shrimp, kiwi and cachaça sauce for $16.
- Pastels and trouxinhas is manchego and corn with pulled short ribs and chicken and dates for $13.
-Bamboo-wrapped tile fish with sweet shrimps, palmito, maracuja-butter sauce for $25
The Kiwi Caipirinha
Kiwi Caipirinha--Brazil's national cocktail with a twist
· 2 oz. Leblon Cachaça
· 1⁄4 oz. Pernod
· 1 oz. apple juice
· 1/4 oz. fresh lime juice
· 1/4 oz. simple syrup
· 1 kiwi – peeled and chopped
*Muddle kiwi and simple syrup in a shaker. Shake hard with remaining ingredients and strain over crushed ice. Garnish with kiwi slices.