2011 Chef of the Year: Kevin Sousa

When it comes to Kevin Sousa’s passionate culinary point of view and unique menu, you may love it or hate it.

Kevin Sousa (right) works on the line at Salt of the Earth, Garfield.

Photo by Laura Petrilla

back to Best Restaurants 2011

Kevin Sousa, Salt of the Earth

Kevin Sousa (right) works on the line at Salt of the Earth, Garfield.

Photo by Laura Petrilla

 

No matter your take on Kevin Sousa's approach, you have to admit that he didn’t open just one more Pittsburgh restaurant to vie for our cash by serving the same familiar plate of seared ahi tuna.

Kevin Sousa Salt of  the Earth

2011 Chef of the Year: Kevin Sousa

Photo by Laura Petrilla   

Sousa, 37, consistently comes up with dishes that manage to surprise and satisfy—for example, a dish of Arctic char with couscous, pomegranate, coconut and cheddar. How does he do it, though? “It’s pretty simple in that I start with what’s in season and available, and then brainstorm with the sous chef,” Sousa says. “Lots of our dishes are born out of classic flavor combinations. In this case, I thought tart pomegranate would be a match made in heaven with fatty coconut and sharp-white cheddar, which is rich but has a bite to it.”

Sousa does some culinary research, but above all, he relies on his own palate. “I never say, ‘Maybe someone will like this.’ It has to be something I like.”

Hmm, does this mean that diners who are miffed over the lack of bread baskets or hot tea at Salt of the Earth will now have another axe to grind with Sousa if they taste an ingredient pairing they don’t like? He wouldn’t be surprised—or especially bothered, it seems.

A recent New York Times article focused on chefs who dictate rather than accommodate. Sousa sees himself as “part of that philosophy.”

“I see it as my role in helping to build a burgeoning food scene where people have options that are very specific. Nobody wants every restaurant in town to do the same thing with the same seasonal ingredients.” Amen to that.
 


Salt of the Earth, chef/owner Kevin Sousa; 5523 Penn Ave., Garfield. Info: 412/441-7258, saltpgh.com.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Recycling Made Easy: A One-Stop Spot to Unload Your E-Junk

Recycling Made Easy: A One-Stop Spot to Unload Your E-Junk

The Pennsylvania Resource Council is hosting a hard-to-recycle collection event Saturday at LaRoche College.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
First Look: Superior Motors

First Look: Superior Motors

Kevin Sousa's Braddock restaurant finally is open. So how is it?

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Read on for some under-the-radar ideas on how you and the kids can survive a rainy day this summer.

Comments


Bloomfield Bridge Tavern To Close in October

Bloomfield Bridge Tavern To Close in October

The 32-year-old bar, known for Polish fare and live music, is shuttering due to increasing insurance costs.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Deal or No Deal is a Complex Question for Surprising Pirates

Deal or No Deal is a Complex Question for Surprising Pirates

There’s no reason to be sellers now that the season has taken a turn toward the competitive, but nor should the Pirates be desperate to buy and in the process over-spend.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Ease Your Way Into Style With These Slides

Ease Your Way Into Style With These Slides

Slide through summer with these trendy velvet slip-on shoes from Vintage Grace Boutique.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
Valerian and Dunkirk are (Very Different) Winners

Valerian and Dunkirk are (Very Different) Winners

Reviews of "Dunkirk" and "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
 Pittsburgh-Area Couples Get Creative with Guest Books

Pittsburgh-Area Couples Get Creative with Guest Books

These two couples turned their traditional guest books into artistic opportunities.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Downtown Plans: From Parking Garage to Luxury Condos

Downtown Plans: From Parking Garage to Luxury Condos

The proposed mixed-used development would include 185 high-end apartments, plus retail space.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

School trustees voted this week to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Comments

Edit Module

Edit Module