Chefs for All Seasons

Article excerpt

Byline: Randall Lane

The U.S. department of agriculture's new dietary guidelines say many people--especially those over 50 and African-Americans--should limit their daily sodium intake to the equivalent of 12 pretzel rods. But rather than cut back across the board, perhaps it's time to start treating salt, as with other good things that can be bad for you, more like a luxury to savored. With that in mind, we asked a handful of top chefs to tell us about their favorite salt, along with a dish to maximize the pleasure from that occasional sodium binge.

Eric Ripert Chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin (N.Y.C.), host of PBS's Avec Eric

Dish: Smoked yellowfin tuna "prosciutto"

Salt: Smoked Viking sea salt. "The smoked sea salt elevates the dish, and also ties the flavor of the tuna with the accompanying crispy kombu and Japanese pickled vegetables."

Wolfgang Puck Master Chef, the Wolfgang Puck Cos. (100 restaurants worldwide)

Dish: Bone-in New York strip steak

Salt: Fleur de sel. "It has a very distinctive flavor that accents grilled meat. I also like it with caramel for dessert."

Sara Moulton TV chef, author, Sara Moulton's Everyday Family Dinners

Dish: Sliced cherry tomato hors d'oeuvres

Salt: Maldon sea salt. …