Newly appointed executive chef of Dallas’ Proof + Pantry, Julio Peraza lands at the James Beard House this week to serve up some seasonally-inspired American fare. We chatted with Peraza about where he likes to eat when he's in town, what chef he'd like to dine with during his visit, and how to make his delectable snow crab salad.
Julio Peraza is a 13-year veteran of the restaurant industry who hails from El Savador. His extensive resume boasts hotspots like the St. Regis Hotel in Kauai, Michael Mina’s American Fish at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas, and David Myers’ Comme Ça in Los Angeles. He also helmed Dallas favorites like Komali and Salum before recently moving over to the post of executive chef at Proof + Pantry (1722 Routh St., Dallas, 214-880-9940).
Peraza will come to The Beard House this Wednesday, July 22 at 7 p.m. (tickets and more information on jamesbeard.org) to serve up innovative dishes like bone marrow with onion marshmallow and nitrogen-frozen steak tartare. We caught up with the cooking juggernaut to get his take on the Manhattan food scene.
What is your favorite place to eat in New York and what do you order there? JULIO PERAZA: That would have to be EMP (11 Madison Ave., 212-889-0905). I had the lobster dish with black garlic, poached egg, and shellfish bisque. It was just a wonderfully executed, simple, nice dish.
In your opinion, who is a rising-star chef to watch in New York? JP: David Chang [of Momufuku], definitely. He’s not really up and coming anymore, but he’s just grown such a huge empire in the food and wine industry—from pastry products to noodle bars. Very talented and smart individual. He will only continue to grow.
If you could have dinner with any New York chef, dead or alive, who would it be? JP: Hands down, Daniel Boulud. He’s an amazing French chef that has inspired me in my cooking career.
What are you most looking forward to about the James Beard Foundation event? JP: Simply that. [My team and I are] very excited to [be a] part of the James Beard Foundation. So many great and inspiring chefs have gone through there. It’s truly a privilege to be invited to the house.
Can you share one of your signature recipes with us? JP: The snow crab salad. (See below for recipe.)
What kind of food does New York need more of? JP: This is tough. [The] great thing about New York is that it has everything—great Italian food, Asian cuisine, Mediterranean, etc. It would be nice to see more chef-driven Latin places.
RECIPE: Julio Peraza’s Snow Crab Salad
6 oz. (2/3 cup) snow crab, chilled and finely chopped 1 tsp. mayonnaise 1 tsp. chives (finely chopped) ½ tsp. truffle oil ½ tsp. parsley (finely Lemon juice Salt
MAKE THE SNOW CRAB SALAD:
Combine all ingredients and stir lightly. Set aside for later.
1 avocado ½ tsp. lemon juice 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp. crème fraîche
MAKE THE AVOCADO MOUSSE:
Combine in a blender or food processor until smooth.
Paint mousse on bottom of plate. Use ring mold to form the salad. Garnish with chive sticks, parsley leaves, and celery leaves.