Sous Chef Series | Andrew Del Vecchio

When Andrew Del Vecchio was a kid, it was his dream to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York, a small town 30 minutes from his hometown of Poughquag, New York. His dream came true.

In 2008, Del Vecchio graduated from the CIA, and now, four years later, the 24-year-old is chef de cuisine at Talde in Brooklyn. "Seven months ago, I was a line cook," he says incredulously. "This is life in the fast lane."

If Del Vecchio is overwhelmed by the pace, he doesn't say so. And though he was raised on a diet of Italian-American food–much of it prepared by his grandmother–and worked for a brief spell at Andrew Carmellini's restaurant Locanda Verde, he's spent most of his cooking career exploring Asian ingredients and techniques. That path began at Buddakan, where he worked alongside Dale Talde; when Talde went on to open his eponymous Brooklyn restaurant, Del Vecchio joined him.

But for Sous Chef Series, Del Vecchio looked to neither Italy nor Southeast Asia but to France, cooking seafood en papillote, a light, elegant and simple technique that's incredibly versatile and easy to master. He made fish his in a foil pouch on the grill, but we adapted it to a parchment pouch cooked in the oven.

Recipe adapted from Andrew Del Vecchio, Talde, Brooklyn, NY

Halibut With Shellfish En Papillote
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Meet Andrew Del Vecchio, chef de cuisine of Talde, Brooklyn, New York
Servings
2
servings
Ingredients
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon
  • Small shallot, 1 (finely chopped)
  • Garlic, 1 clove (finely chopped)
  • Fresh Thai chile or serrano pepper, 1 (finely chopped)
  • Kosher salt, 1 teaspoon
  • Fresh thyme sprigs, 7 (leaves removed from 3 sprigs and finely chopped; 4 sprigs left whole)
  • Dry white wine, 1 cup
  • Unsalted butter, 4 tablespoons
  • Cherry tomatoes, 10 (halved)
  • Halibut, one ¾-inch-thick 12-ounce fillet (skin removed and fish cut into 1-inch cubes)
  • Mussels, 10 (scrubbed and debearded)
  • Medium 2½5-count shrimp, 6 (peeled and deveined)
  • Baguette, 4 pieces sliced on a bias
Directions
  1. Prepare the fish: Preheat the oven to 400°. In the small saucepan set over medium heat, add 1 teaspoon olive oil Shallot Garlic Thai chile Salt Cook, using the wooden spoon to stir the mixture often, until the shallot is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the Chopped thyme leaves White wine Simmer until the wine is reduced by three-quarters, about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and whisk in the Butter Once melted, add the Cherry tomatoes Set the tomato-wine sauce aside.
  2. Lay a 12-inch square piece of parchment paper over a rimmed plate. Fold the parchment to make a triangle and then unfold. Into the center of the paper, place Half of the cubed halibut 5 mussels 3 shrimp Pour half of the tomato-wine sauce over the seafood and top with 2 fresh thyme sprigs Fold the parchment over so the edges meet and crimp and fold to make a tight seal all the way around. Carefully place the pouch on the rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Repeat with another sheet of parchment paper and the remaining halibut, mussels, shrimp, tomato-wine sauce and thyme. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Grill the baguette: Set a grill pan over medium-high heat. On a cutting board, brush the Baguette slices With the remaining Olive oil Place the oiled baguette slices oiled-side down on the grill pan and cook until grill-marked, about 1½ to 2 minutes. Use the tongs to transfer to a large plate.
  4. Use the metal spatula to hold the parchment pouch over a bowl, using the scissors to slice off the end of the packet. Carefully empty into the bowl. Repeat with the other parchment pouch, emptying it into a second bowl, and serve with the grilled bread. Grill Variation: Heat a grill to high heat. In a 16 inch piece of aluminum foil placed in a bowl, add half of the halibut, half of the mussels, and half of the shrimp. Pour half of the wine/butter sauce over the fish and add a few extra sprigs of thyme. Wrap the foil up into a pouch and be sure it is tightly sealed on all sides. Place the foil pouches on the grill and cover the grill. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the grill and allow to stand for 5 minutes before opening. While fish is resting, rub sliced baguette with olive oil and grill on one side until golden brown and slightly charred. Carefully open pouch and pour into a shallow bowl. Serve with grilled bread for dipping.
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