Jul 25, 2023 - Food and Drink

Last Meal with Rocca's Chef Bryce Bonsack

Photo illustration of a place setting shaped like a skull and crossbones containing a photo of Bryce Bonsack.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photos: Courtesy of Rocca.

Chef Bryce Bonsack is fresh off a Michelin star for his Tampa Heights Italian restaurant, Rocca. The restaurant is a tribute to the family he lived with and worked for during his time abroad in Monforte d’Alba, Italy.

  • We asked Bonsack for his perfect meal which, of course, included some pasta. But Bonsack isn't cooking any himself.
  • "When I taste my own food I just look at it from an analytical perspective," he told Axios.

Here's his ideal last meal, in his own words:

🦪 To start: Some nice cold water oysters, maybe a few West Coast oysters in there, too. Some stone crab claws. Not to get too crazy but just a little shellfish tower to start the meal.

🥣 Then, I think any good meal has a really comforting soup in it. My mom's Colombian, and I grew up eating a meat stew with potatoes and plantains and all these kinds of different root vegetables and cilantro. It's called Sancocho. That's the first warm course.

🍝 Up next: I'd have to go with some pasta — I don't know how I'm going to eat all of this, by the way — probably a pasta noodle called tagliolini that we do at Rocca, or maybe something a little bit thinner-cut, like tajarin.

  • That with a little bit of a veal ragu would be very nice or if white truffles are in season that's always nice, too.

🥩 Last but not least, I think I'd just have a really really, like, borderline stinky, overaged dried fatty steak, probably a ribeye or Porterhouse with some real funk on it that kind of stings the nostrils.

🍷 Drinks: An older, dryer riesling from Alsace, a French region close to Germany, for the beginning of the meal.

  • When the steak comes out, I'd open up a birth-year (1989) Barolo (an Italian wine) from Aldo Conterno, or maybe a Châteauneuf-du-Pape (a French wine) from Chateau Rayas.

🍨 Dessert: Bananas foster flambéd to perfection. Any good meal ends with some flames on the table. A little vanilla ice cream with that, and some very old Madeira, a dessert wine. It's got a lovely acidity that cuts through the sweetness of everything.

  • I think after that you could just put me out to pasture, and I'd be ok with it.

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