"My main focus was always Italian cooking, my way."Photo: Melissa Hom
Name: Andrea Milazzo
Background: Milazzo’s career has taken him through some of the most famous restaurants in Europe, most notably (and recently) Alain Ducasse’s three-star Louis XV restaurant in the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo, where he was saucier. (He also worked at the two-star Tantris, in Munich.) But when he wanted to come to New York, Milazzo contacted East Village pizza master Federico Carlucci of Gnocco. Carlucci introduced him to the owner of PT, where Milazzo now runs the kitchen.
Why he’s a comer: “When you cook the kind of international food that I did, you learn techniques and combinations that are not typical of Italian cuisine. But ultimately my main focus was always Italian cooking, my way.” Plus, his four-course prix fixe meals for $40 are gaining a following.
Self-described style: "Italian cuisine has to be totally traditional in terms of balance and ingredients and having light, very clean Italian flavors. But then you can be creative in going a little outside the traditional recipes."
Judge him by: Amberjack carpaccio with shaved fennel and a cherry tomato vinaigrette. It sounds obvious, but the oiliness of the amberjack, a "junk fish" rarely seen in this context, is in absolute harmony with the olive oil and the acid of the tomatoes. And it’s plated like something you’d see in a much more refined-looking restaurant. The same is equally true of his wild Mediterranean branzino baked in foil.
Guesstimated time of arrival: "I hope between three months and six months."