Posted August 8, 2016

Talking CA Cuisine with Chef Anthony Sinsay

Eat + Drink

When asked to describe his cooking style in three words, Anthony Sinsay responds: “Natural, detailed, thoughtful.”

After hearing all of his interview responses, we’d have to say these descriptors might just apply to the chef’s personality, too. Anthony, a San Diego native, has cooked in high-profile kitchens in Los Angeles and Las Vegas and has served as lead chef of several local restaurants. (Most recently, he launched the Hawaiian-inspired Duke’s La Jolla.) These days, however, Jsix excitedly counts Anthony among its very own.

ChefSinsay_Jsix

Chef Anthony Sinsay

Anthony began cooking at a young age out of necessity. His father died when he was 11; his mother, he claims, wasn’t a very good cook. He reminisces, “Cooking was a passion of my dad’s, and I remember sitting with him on weekends as a young child watching Julia Child with Jacques Pepin, Graham Kerr and—our favorite—Martin Yan. We would watch these shows and I would follow him into the kitchen and watch him try to emulate the chefs we saw on TV. This instilled a curiosity and passion for learning about technique and food.”

Anthony easily counts his parents among his greatest influences. “The more I mature, I find myself becoming more aware of my own cultural identity that I had growing up in a Filipino immigrant household. This has influenced me more so recently and definitely helped to find my own culinary voice.” But he counts the next generation—his children—as highly influential, too. “I want them to grow up with the same traditions and food memories I was fortunate enough to have,” he comments.

When it comes to Jsix’s sophisticated, scratch-cooked American fare, Anthony attempts to stay in great command of the ingredients, allowing them to speak for themselves. But he intends to up the ante, too—elaborating upon “the relationship of the people who produce it and the story behind it.”

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Jsix’s inviting interior is both casual enough for a weeknight dinner and elegant enough for a special occasion.

Anthony’s favorite part of working in San Diego revolves around the camaraderie found in a community where “the pretense in the scene is minimal at best.” Everyone genuinely wants to make the whole dining scene better; he explains: “We work together instead of against each other by helping each other out when we need it.” Chefs in San Diego remain open to collaboration and host events in one another’s kitchens. “No one is too prideful to ask another about a technique one of us is using, and we aren’t too scared to share it either. It’s quite unique and something that you don’t find in a lot of cities.”

It’s no secret that most chefs have limited time (or energy) to cook for themselves, so Anthony’s post-work meal of choice makes perfect sense. Staying true to his California roots, Anthony divulges, “Nothing really beats a Double Double Animal Style.”

Old-School Bolognese

oldschool bolognese

Serves 6

For the sauce:

  • Olive oil
  • 2 lbs. ground pork
  • 1/2 lb. boar sausage
  • 4 oz. ground pancetta
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup tomato paste
  • 8 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped thyme
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp porcini powder
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For assembly:

  • 1 1/2 lbs. spaghetti
  • Fresh mozzarella and basil, for garnish

To make the sauce:

  1. Set a stockpot of salted water to boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Separately, add olive oil to a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the meats and brown them together.
  3. When the meats are browned, deglaze the pan with red wine and reduce the volume by half.
  4. Add 1 c. of the chicken stock and reduce until all the liquid has evaporated.
  5. Allow the meat to caramelize, then deglaze with the remaining 1/2 c. of chicken stock. Remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Add spaghetti to the pot of boiling water.
  7. Separately, heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Saute the carrot, onion, celery and garlic until soft but not brown. Remove from heat.
  8. Gently reheat the stockpot with the meats and add the mirepoix. Mix well.
  9. Add in the tomato paste, and cook for 3 minutes. Stir constantly; do not allow the bottom of the pan to scorch.
  10. Add in the crushed tomato. Cook, continuing to stir, to reduce the moisture and meld flavors.
  11. Finish by adding the herbs, porcini powder and cream.
  12. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  13. Assemble the plates of spaghetti and top with sauce.
  14. Garnish with roughly torn basil leaves and chopped fresh mozzarella.

 

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