Mike IsabellaIn March 2007, Chef Mike Isabella was appointed as head chef of the popular Penn Quarter restaurant Zaytinya, located at 701 9th Street, NW. THINKfoodGROUP’s José Andrés and Rob Wilder were pleased to welcome Chef Isabella who came to Washington with an extensive list of restaurant experience. Mike earned an associates degree in culinary arts at the New York Restaurant School and has several years of industry experience including three years working for Stephen Starr's Philadelphia restaurants. He worked as executive sous chef with James Beard Award-winning Chef Marcus Samuelsson at Washington Square, and as a sous chef at El Vez and Alma de Cuba, the modern Latin restaurant which received accolades from Conde’ Nast Traveler as one of the “Top 50 Restaurants.” Most recently Mike was chef de cuisine at Kyma, the award-winning Greek seafood restaurant in the exclusive Buckhead neighborhood of Atlanta. Zaytinya serves an extensive array of various hot and cold mezze “little dishes” reflecting the rich regional diversity of classical and contemporary Greek, Turkish and Lebanese cuisine. Open seven days a week. Zaytinya is located at 701 9th St., NW, in the heart of the Penn Quarter. For additional information call (202) 638-0800.
Mike Isabella: How are you doing? My name is Mike Isabella. I am the Chef at Zaytinya restaurant, award winning restaurant at Washington DC and graduated at New York Restaurant School. I have cooked allover the East Coast of the United States and also in different countries. I am the chef here at the Zaytinya. Today, I will be showing you how to make spanakopita from top to bottom.
Working with the Phyllo dough, making the filling with using fresh spinach and feta cheese with scallions, dill, mint and leeks, preparing everything separately and combining it all to make a filling and then also putting it together. So, we are going to clarify a little butter to work with the Phyllo dough. Make our little spanakopita pies, roll them up, wrap them up. Chill them off and then pop them in the oven and the bake them off, so nice golden-brown to you have the best spanakopitas that you have ever had before.
You will need a couple of large mixing bowls, a large pot to blanch the spinach, a small saut pan, a small sauce pan, a pastry brush, cutting board and a couple of sharp knives. You will also need Phyllo, some fresh spinach, leeks, scallions, butter, feta cheese, fresh dill, fresh parsley and then egg. Always remember to be careful around a sharp knives and hot stoves when cooking.
Lets get ready for the first step.