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Gayle Pirie's Guilty Pleasures

What the co–chef/owner of Foreign Cinema craves when she isn't on the clock.

Gayle Pirie

Gayle Pirie 

 

The chef: Gayle Pirie, co–chef/owner of Foreign Cinema

What she cooks: Deeply satisfying, quintessentially Cal-Med fare like smashed-avocado toast with cured local sardines, manchego cheese, and Egyptian-pepper relish ($12).

What she craves: “I love fried squid. A particularly alluring rendition is at Hong Kong East Ocean in Emeryville. My kids and husband are dim sum lovers, so we mosey in on Saturday mornings. We order a lot of dim sum, but my guilty pleasure is the fried squid. It’s flash fried at the correct temperature—hot, around 370 degrees Fahrenheit. The coating is particularly simple and seductive: it’s just cornstarch and sea salt, and its tiny, crisp bubbles provide a lacy, addictive crunch. Then the squid is finished with sliced raw green and red Thai chilies and served with chili paste and hot mustard.”
Hong Kong East Ocean Seafood Restaurant, 3199 Powell St. (near Marina Park Pathway), Emeryville, 510-655-3388

 

Originally published in the January issue of San Francisco

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