Tony ConteIn July of 2006 Restaurateur Ashok Bajaj was pleased to announce the appointment of Antonio (Tony) Conte as Executive Chef of the Oval Room, the elegant 100-seat main dining room and 40 seats al fresco dining restaurant located one block from the White House on 800 Connecticut Ave., NW. Already receiving accolades at The Oval Room, Chef Conte was named “Rising Culinary Star” in 2006 by Star Chefs. Chef Conte brings a wealth of culinary experience to his position, having worked as the executive sous chef at four-star Jean Georges. Conte joined Jean Georges in 2003, and he was responsible for menu innovation, research and development, product management, assessment and culinary training, as well as purchasing and food costs. Chef Conte’s impressive resume also includes a stint as the chef de partie at JoJo, a contemporary French restaurant also owned by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and a turn as executive chef and co-owner of Pesce in Branford, Connecticut, where, during his tenure, the restaurant earned Connecticut Magazine’s “Best New Restaurant 2002” and Taste of Nation’s “Golden Fork Award” Best Food in Show 2001. Born and raised in New Haven, CT, Tony Conte received his A.O.S. Culinary Degree from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. He spent the early part of his career honing his skills close to home at notable restaurants such as Sole e Luna Ristorante in Westport and then advanced to the position of executive sous chef for the Greenwich Country Club and after, the Belmont Country Club in Belmont, Massachusetts. The Oval Room features modern American cuisine and offers three dining rooms for daily lunch and dinner service Monday-Friday, and dinner service on Saturday with menu items ranging from $7 to $29. For reservations please call 202-463-8700 and visit www.ovalroom.com.
Tony Conte: Hi my name is Tony Conte, I'm the Executive Chef at Oval Room restaurant in Washington DC. We are going to show you how to cook Thanksgiving dinner and now we are going to show you how to make gravy. We have already pulled our turkey out of the oven. The oven is resting for the 20 minutes we have taken the drippings from the turkey, we have strained it, skinned off the fat. To this we are going to add a half a part of chicken stock, then I'm going to go to the stove. We are going to bring it up to a boil; we will skin some fat from the top. To skin properly if you start with a small ladle as I have here and start in the center and push towards the outside of the pot, the oil will collect on the outside and you will get oil and not your gravy. You want to try to skin first touch the boil. When it boils very hard, the fat will emulsify with the liquid and that will make for a very nice gravy. So, our gravy has come up to a boil, we skinthe fat from it and now we are going to add our slurry of cornstarch and water and a recap on that, that was cornstarch with water added to it until it reaches a heavy cream consistency, that is what we have here and we are going to mix that into our gravy and we have here probably three tablespoons, we add it little out of time. This will thicken up instantly on us, so we can judge if we want it to be thicker, we can add more. Now, we are going to add all three tablespoons to our gravy. We are going to let this come up to a boil again, give it a whisk or two just to check, make sure that it is thick enough and you can make this as thick as you like or thin as you like it's totally up to you and that is perfect. This is our gravy, finish product, and this is our gravy and now we are going to pull our turkey out of the oven, let her rest for 20 minutes and then carve it.