Chef's Table with Biederman's Eugene Mopsik
Photographer Eugene Mopsik has traded his camera lens for a slicing knife.
State of play: Mopsik is the self-proclaimed "loxsmith" at Biederman's Speciality Foods on Christian Street, which opened in late 2020.
- With no formal culinary background, Mopsik came out of retirement to slice fish and cook at the shop near the Italian Market.
Axios asked Mopsik a series of questions for our culinary advice series, Chef's Table:
🔪 Must-have tool in your home kitchen: A good knife. An 8-inch chef's knife does the trick, and make sure it's good and sharp.
🛒 Go-to grocery store: The Al-Jana food market on Bustleton Avenue has great Lebanese ingredients. For produce, I go to Anastasio Produce on 9th and Christian.
- In New York, Kalustyan's at 28th and Lexington is my favorite spice shop. It's fabulous and has every ingredient or spice you could ever dream up.
🌿 Most overlooked spice: Lebanese seven spice for grain salads, vegetables, meat dishes.
🐟 Favorite home-cooked meal: My sesame-crusted salmon.
- Get a nice, skin-on fillet of salmon, dredge in egg white, dip it in some sesame seeds, and press them in. Then put it in a stainless skillet with a mix of butter and olive oil.
- Top side then skin side into the pan until it gets golden on all sides, and keep it high heat. Then it goes into a 400°F oven for about five minutes.
- Serve with some seasoned rice and maybe some broccolini.
🍽 Last restaurant you went to and your order: Tacconelli's Pizzeria.
- I get the white pie with spinach, garlic and tomato. I've been going there since the late 70s. I even remember when they put in the current oven.
☝ Quick tip for at-home cooks: Don't walk away from the stove.
🔌 How to unplug: I cook. I sail. I garden. In the winter, I light up the fireplace to unwind.
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