Chef Nilton Castillo Takes Over Kitchen at the Dome
|Photos courtesy of The Dome|
On a busy restaurant street, the Dome Restaurant & Caviar Bar hides between monsters Hillstone and Graziano's. The quaint eatery seats no more than 40, but that's enough for an executive chef who's been around the kitchen block.
Good news, then, that a new executive chef has been appointed and that he's worked under notables such as Daniel Boulud and José Andrés. Meet Nilton Castillo.
Castillo has more than ten years of experience and has been with the Dome since it opened in January 2012.
"I was a line cook. We don't have sous-chefs, just cooks," Castillo says. His resumé includes the Bazaar at the SLS Hotel South Beach, where he worked for six months alongside esteemed chef and TV personality José Andrés.
"I learned a lot from José -- from molecular gastronomy to Spanish and Peruvian fusion," he says.
Castillo, originally from Peru, says his cooking has Peruvian and Spanish influences that stem from his roots, from Andrés, and from classic French technique learned in his time working as chef de partie at DB Bistro Moderne alongside Daniel Boulud, who hailed Castillo's ceviche as "the best in the USA."
"I made a mahi ceviche that had pico de gallo incorporated into it," Castillo says. "I guess he had never seen such a thing. I was very happy to be the one to show it to him."
At the Dome, Castillo will focus on a "garden-to-table" approach and says "sustainable food is the heart and soul of our concept."
The Dome has a garden at nearby Coral Gables High School, where the restaurant has a joint project with the school to educate students in farming locally sourced organic food.
"I attended Coral Gables High School myself, and it's where I first realized my passion for the culinary arts, so I think it's important to give kids a chance from an early onset," he says.
As far as the menu, Castillo expects to change it seasonally according to what's available. The chef has added a few new items to the menu, including a gazpacho ($7); a crisp jalea salad with crispy calamari over garden greens, salsa criolla, and tartar sauce ($10); and Cuban frita sliders infused with white cheddar, arugula, tomatoes, caramelized onions, and ketchup ($10) for lunch. New dinner items include ceviche quatro, comprising mahi-mahi, escolar, jumbo shrimp, and salmon served in ceviche spoons ($14); short-rib ravioli, house-made ravioli filled with short rib and topped with blueberry reduction and basil oil ($11); camarones al ajillo, sautéed in olive oil with sofrito, paprika, and a splash of brandy ($12); and pan-seared scallops with saffron risotto, arugula, and black truffle caviar ($18).
|Frita Cubana Sliders|
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