Chef Talk: Jennifer Girasole

Six questions for the executive chef of Girasole.

Chef Jennifer Girasole is the mind behind the menu at Girasole, a fixture in Shadyside for more than 11 years.

Size of your cookbook collection? 
Probably about 900. But I’d say that I use a third of them. Silver Spoon, a big Italian cookbook that was recently translated to English, is probably the one I refer to the most. 

Food you’re likely to eat with your hands?
Any kind of pork: Italian porchetta, roasted pork, pulled pork—delicious. 

Ravioli or gnocchi?
Ravioli. One of my favorites is a pea, shiitake and corn ravioli that I make at the restaurant. 

Best meal ever?
Le Bernadin, New York City, 2001. I remember it so well. It was seven courses of fish, and each one was incredible. 

Grilled or fried?
Grilled, because you get more flavor from the food. I like to grill Mortadella; the fat pockets char up so nicely, and it tastes phenomenal. 

Favorite Pittsburgh-centric dish?  
Pierogies with butter and caramelized onions. We eat them at home all the time.

Girasole, 733 Copeland St., Shadyside; 412/682-2130, 733copeland.com

Categories: Eat + Drink Features