Bistro V’s cioppino is 20 years in the perfecting.
By Jan Walsh
Photography by Beau Gustafson
Bistro V’s executive chef, Jeremy Downey finds cioppino to be the “world’s best dish.” And after tasting his, I cannot argue. He and I share a love of tomatoes, seafood, spicy heat, and wine—all of which are important components of this dish. As a native of Bayou La Batre, Downey has been cooking and perfecting his cioppino for 20 years. “Cioppino is an expression of me. And today’s is the best one I have ever made,” he describes.
Cioppino is a fish stew that originated in San Francisco, California. Italian immigrants who
settled in the North Beach neighborhood of San Francisco in the late1800s, developed cioppino on the boats at sea. Afterwards it became a classic in San Francisco’s Italian restaurants. The name, cioppino is derived from ciuppin, a classic soup from Liguria made with less tomato than cioppino and using Mediterranean seafood. Downey’s Cioppino is also similar to a gumbo in body. And it is overfilled with Gulf Coast seafood. Downey loves it so much that he wants it to be the last dish he ever cooks and eats in his life. San Francisco Cioppino Ingredients:
1 8-ounce snapper, cut into pieces
1 garlic clove, smashed
10 Royal Red Gulf Shrimp
1 Cup lump crabmeat
½ Bulb fennel, chopped
½ Cup red wine
1 Splash lemon juice
1 Teaspoon fresh oregano
½ Baguette grilled bread
1 Can San Marzano Tomatoes
Sprinkle chili flakeSan Francisco Cioppino Procedure:
Sauté garlic and fennel in olive oil over medium high heat for one minute. Add snapper, shrimp, and mussels. Continue to cook for two minutes. Add red wine, lemon juice, and tomatoes. Cook for four minutes. Finish with herbs and chili flake and crab. Soon into in bowls with mussels at base of the bowls with grilled bread on top. Serves four.
Published, B-Metro magazine April, 2016