Mike Isabella received his formal chef training at The Restaurant School in New York, taking classes and cooking at some of New York City’s greatest restaurants. After New York, Chef Isabella made his way to Philadelphia where he worked at Alma de Cuba and then several Stephen Starr restaurants. Most recently, Chef Isabella was the executive chef of Jose Andres’ Zaytinya restaurant in Washington, DC. Chef Isabella recently appeared on Season Six of Top Chef and was the runner-up finalist on Top Chef All-Stars.
120 Chicken Wings, deboned
3 quarts Buttermilk
10 lbs All Purpose Flour
½ cup Salt
¼ cup Pepper
½ cup Coriander
1. Let the chicken soak for at least an hour in the buttermilk.
2. Combine the flour with salt, pepper and coriander.
3. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk and coat with the flour.
4. Fry at 350 degrees until cooked through.
5. Remove and drain on towel.
6 cups Peanuts, ground fine
8 cups Coconut Milk
1 cup Ginger, sliced
½ cup Garlic
½ cup Sambal Chili Paste
½ cup Soy Sauce
1 cup Knob Creek Bourbon
1 cup Glucose Syrup
1. Sweat the ginger, garlic and sambal chili paste by heating over medium-low heat until
the ginger and garlic are softened and translucent in color.
2. Stir in the Knob Creek bourbon, soy sauce and glucose.
3. Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil, let steep for 1 hour.
4. Strain and bring back to a simmer.
5. Add the ground peanuts and cook on low for about a half hour.
3 bunches Celery, cut on the bias, ¼” thick
2 cups Rice Wine Vinegar
1 cup Sugar
3 cups Water
2 bunches Thai Basil, thinly sliced
1. Bring the vinegar, sugar and water to a boil.
2. Cool down and pour over the celery.
1. Toss the chicken with the peanut glaze and serve with pickled celery.