September 13, 2004 | Ask Gael

Is there a chef who digs my carbophobia?

        No need to compromise your carbophobic vows at The Sea Grill. Just tell the waiter you want the kitchen to do you a carb-light tasting. Chef Ed Brown shed 30 pounds on Atkins and keeps his trim on modified South Beach, so he’s your guru. At dinner, he has more time to dazzle, but at a recent lunch he sent out cured salmon-belly tartare spiked with wasabi tobiko in little cones made of spring-roll wrappers (“just vapors of carb,” Brown insists). Then we shared lush raw hamachi marinated in a mild ginger “milk,” yuzu juice, and spring onion. A hint of garlic and chili gave a lift to Chatham cod steamed with cockles in their juice, served with fava beans and lush ripe tomato. Tropical fruits will appear in their season. I finished with mango, nashi pear, and Chilean plums. But Brown has challenged his pastry chef to wring the carbs from conventional desserts. He expects a low-carb cheesecake will be the first triumph.

Rockefeller Center 19 West 49th Street 212 332 7610


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