Q: Last weekend when my son came to town, we had dinner at Seaside Grill in Pompano Beach. The appetizer we had was so delicious, we wanted to drink the sauce! Any chance the chef would give up the recipe for Fire Jerk Shrimp? That would be greatly appreciated. — Ellie Lilbrat Sanborn, Pompano Beach
A: There are questions, restaurants and chefs that often send me on a wild goose chase trying to track down answers. And then, like a breath of fresh air, there are the "Brets" of the industry. Bret Hughes, owner of Seaside Grill (1406 N. Ocean Blvd., Pompano Beach; 954-783-3193; seasidegrill.com), answered my phone call on the first attempt. Then Hughes and his chefs, Sharif Thomas and John Sloan, promptly responded to my request with a well-written recipe that same afternoon. Perhaps it stems from Hughes' former background as vice president of Human Resources for Kettle Potato Chips that translates into efficiency, professionalism and customer service. Regardless, it's refreshing. The large jerk marinated shrimp, sautéed in spicy garlic thyme butter and served with crispy garlic bread for mopping, are a nod to the restaurant's tropical Caribbean concept, and a signature dish.
Q: My husband and I recently had the Seven Fish Sauce at Angelo's Station House. It was incredibly delicious. Could you please get the recipe so I can make it for my family? — Sylvia Grayson, Deerfield Beach
A: This would make a wonderful one-pot family meal. It's a popular request at Angelo's Station House Grille (Cove Plaza, 1544 SE Third Court, Deerfield Beach; 754-227-5961; angelosstationhouse.com) and happens to be one of Chef Angelo Morinell's favorites, too, because of the lore behind the dish.
The feast of the seven fishes is an Italian tradition, consisting of seven seafood dishes, that typically takes place on Christmas Eve. The Roman Catholic tradition of eating seafood and refraining from meat is recognized on Christmas Eve, on Wednesdays and Fridays during Lent and on specific holy days. There are different theories that define the symbolism of the number seven. One is from the book of Genesis when God completed his work and "on the seventh day he rested." Another common connection is the Seven Hills of Rome that surround the city.