Anthony Belter leans on his fine-dining French training to create a menu at Impecca Restaurant in Roselle that combines classic Italian cuisine with European techniques and flavors.
The chef, who lives in Rolling Meadows, features items like prosciutto and melon pizza and a polenta Bolognese. But what some diners seem happier about is what some of his dishes don't include: gluten.
The executive chef now offers gluten-free meals and will prepare any of his signature pastas dishes with gluten-free noodles if requested.
What is your earliest food memory? The most significant was when I was 12 and I worked for my sister's boyfriend. He owned a restaurant in Glenview. We would go there all the time, and I started working there. He had me doing dishes and cleaning tables, all the fun stuff. I really enjoyed my first restaurant job, and it turned into my passion.
Who are your culinary influences? I would say I follow chef Thomas Keller the closest. I like his style and the way he cooks. When I ate at Per Se in New York, I was completely blown away.
Share your culinary instruction and where you worked prior to Impecca? Before I began at Kendall College, I worked at The Willow on Wagner. During culinary school and thereafter, I was at one sixtyblue and Chambers.
What is one of the favorite dishes on your menu? One of my personal favorites is the red snapper. It combines eggplant, snapper and a green salsa, which consists of parsley, garlic, hard boiled egg and cheese.
Why did you provide gluten-free options to your patrons? There was a strong calling from the neighborhood. People are more conscience about what they're eating, and we always go above and beyond for them. Gluten -free options have become an important element to our business.
Do you follow a gluten-free diet in your own home? Not strictly. I see the health benefits from it, but I'm a sucker for an old fashioned PB&J.
Tell us about your plans for cooking classes at the restaurant. No dates scheduled as of yet, but check the website for details soon. Hopefully early this fall, we will be ready.
We want to inform people about what they are eating, the importance of a well-rounded diet, and that you can eat out and still eat healthy. Even kids should know how to prepare good food themselves.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? I enjoy working out and playing basketball. I enjoy trying other restaurants, especially Asian and South American cuisine. It's so different from what I work with on a daily basis. It's good to try something different.
Tell us about this recipe: Mediterranean White Fish. When it comes to fish, this is one of my favorites. It's light and fresh, and it pairs easily with white wines. I've been serving this dish to my family for a long time, and I thought the readers would want to serve it to theirs too.
Try it at home or at Impecca Restaurant, 123 Main St., Roselle. (630) 295-9700.
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