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5 Questions for Steve Samson and Zach Pollack

October 22, 2012|By Betty Hallock
  • Steve Samson and Zach Pollack are chef partners at Italian restaurant Sotto.
Steve Samson and Zach Pollack are chef partners at Italian restaurant Sotto. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles…)

Steve Samson and Zach Pollack are chef-partners at southern Italian restaurant Sotto, turning out fresh pasta, pizzas from their wood-burning oven and rustic dishes such as grilled mackerel with cauliflower, cured lemons, crispy buckwheat and pesto pantesca; pork meatballs; or spicy clams with pigeon peas and 'nduja. The insightful wine list focuses on grape varieties native to southern Italy and natural wines made in California. On Nov. 11, natural wine authority Alice Feiring and radical winemaker Frank Cornelissen will host a dinner prepared by Samson and Pollack, to be paired with Cornelissen's wines from Mt. Etna, Sicily.

What's coming up next on your menu? Steve: I've been meaning to talk to Zach about putting grilled seppie back on. I love them! Zach: Chestnut ricotta gnocchi with foraged mushrooms and smoked ricotta.

Latest ingredient obsession? Steve: Live eels! They haven't made it on the menu yet. Maybe for Christmas Eve. Zach: Corbezzolo honey.

What restaurant do you go to again and again? Steve: I think I could eat a few orders of M.B. Post's bacon cheddar buttermilk biscuits with every meal for the rest of my life. It would be a short life, but a happy one. Zach: Jitlada for fish kidney curry.

The one piece of kitchen equipment you can't live without, other than your knives? Steve: The immersion circulator is an incredibly useful tool. Even though our food at Sotto is very rustic, we use modern tools and techniques if they produce a superior result. Zach: Microplane.

The last non-food-related book you read? Steve: At the risk of sounding like a total geek I just started the third book in the “Game of Thrones” series. Zach: The manual for our dough mixer. I don't read enough.

Sotto, 9575 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 277-0210,

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