Chef Andrew Pastore
As Executive Chef of Hollywood’s Pig’n Whistle, White Lotus, and now Sterling Steakhouse, Executive Chef Andrew Pastore is on the move.
A native of Brooklyn, the bright-eyed and tattoo-covered Pastore started cooking for his family at the age of fourteen. Throughout his teens, he segued into professional kitchens as dishwasher and short order cook. After a brief stint at an arts magnet school in Manhattan, Pastore realized his calling and enlisted in the New York Restaurant School, which launched his professional cooking career and led to his working in some of America’s top kitchens. Pastore credits mentors such as Jean-George Vongerichten, owner of the haute JoJo and Vong; Neil Murphy of the Blue Water Grill and John Dilio of the French- Asian influenced Zoë as pivotal mentors in his life. “I’ve been fortunate enough to mix it up with some of the most talented, creative and driven chefs in the country.” After spending six years honing his skills with such highly regarded chefs, Pastore packed his bags and headed for California to work at Wolfgang Puck’s infamous Granita, in Malibu, California.
During his three-year stint at Granita as Executive Sous- Chef under Jennifer Naylor, Andrew was given creative freedom to follow his instincts, which meant he designed the menus, ran the kitchen and got a taste of what it takes to call the shots. Word quickly spread and Andrew soon began organizing and cooking at off- site ‘A List’ parties for the likes of Kenny G., Sugar Ray Leonard and Martin Short.
Pastore’s valuable experience awarded him a coveted stint at Michael’s in Santa Monica, known as one of the country’s top breeding grounds for high profile chefs, including alumni such as Jonathan Waxman, Roy Yamaguchi, Sally Clark, Ken Frank, Nancy Silverton and Mark Peel. When, in 2001, The Sunset Room proprietors Chris Breed, Alan Hajjar and Eric James Virgets were on the hunt for a talented new chef, they turned to Pastore. After creating a fabulous taster or ‘pupu’ menu for the owners, Andrew was hired to re-invent The Sunset Room’s menu. Quickly proving his capabilities, Pastore went on to invigorate Pig’n Whistle’s menu, and was a driving force in the opening of Hollywood hotspot White Lotus.
Pastore doesn’t like to classify his culinary gift, he simply believes in utilizing the local markets, incorporating organic produce and integrating elements of his favored French, Asian and Italian ingredients. Above all, Pastore leaves his ego at the kitchen door. “Restaurants need to evolve, try new things, but still keep their finger on the pulse of the customer.”
Talent and enthusiasm recently won the 30 year-old an even greater task. Between active involvement at the Pig’n Whistle and Hollywood’s White Lotus, Pastore has just been awarded the esteemed position of Executive Chef of the newly opened Sterling Steakhouse in Hollywood.
When Andrew is not busy heating up the kitchen, he loves to draw, create new art for his tattoos and focus his attention on his two-year-old daughter.
Served Checker Board Style
( cucumbers, mixed seaweed & soy ponzu )
INGREDIENTS: FOR SALAD
3ea sashimi slices of blue fin tuna (sushi grade)
3ea sashimi slices of yellowtail hamachi (sushi grade)
½ ea hot house cucumber thinly sliced
1ea jalapeno chili thinly sliced
¼ oz wasabi caviar
¼ cup dry mixed seaweed salad re-hydrated in cold water
3ea slices fried garlic chips
INGREDIENTS: FOR SOY PONZU DRESSING
1 cup citrus juice
2 cups light soy
1 cup rice wine vin.
½ cup mirin
¼ cup sake
1 piece kombu
1 cup bonito flakes
PROCEDURE FOR SALAD:
1) thinly slice hot house cucumber on a Japanese mandaline and place in a circular pattern around the rim of the plate
2) place hamachi and tuna in a checkerboard pattern in the center of the plate
3) place ¼ tsp. on top of the hamachi slices as well as one piece of fried garlic chip
4) place one thinly sliced jalapeno on top of each tuna slice
5) place a small amount of hydrated seaweed salad in the center of the checker board pattern
PROCEDURE FOR PONZU:
1) mix all ingredients and let marinate for 24 hours
2) strain all kombu and bonito
3) serve approx 3oz on the side of the salad