When Michael Rotondo moved to San Francisco to take the helm of the Ritz-Carlton restaurant, Parallel 37, he had the same reaction many chefs new to the Bay area have had, he felt “like a kid in a candy store with all the great produce.”
Rotondo wanders through the San Francisco farmer’s market to find inspiration for his eight course tasting menu and à la carte dishes. If he sees an ingredient that he does not recognize, then he promptly purchases and experiments with the new flavors. He told CBS SF:
Living and working in San Francisco is a dream. This is a true food city where guests know great cuisine. There are few cities in the world where such amazing ingredients are available locally and in season year-round.
Rotondo has 37 exotic local ingredients on his menu that range from fermented black garlic to blood limes to sorrel, which gets its sharp flavor from oxalic acid, a poisonous substance if eaten in large qualities. But do not fear, Chef Rotondo, who spent eight years in Chicago under the helm of Charlie Trotter, has a deft hand. So if you are curious to try elephant garlic with octopus, or fish prepared with Ogo seaweed then head to Parallel 37 to wake up those taste buds.