Haute Dining: 10 Questions for Chef Fernando Navas of Sushisamba

Chef Fernando Navas of Sushisamba

It’s no mystery why SUSHISAMBA has become a mainstay in NYC (and now Miami, Chicago, Las Vegas and London): the seamless blend of Japanese, Peruvian and Brazilian cuisines (including inventive sushi rolls such as the Samba park), signature cocktails (including Peru’s most famous drink, Pisco Sour) and fresh take on desserts. Here, we speak to SUSHISAMBA Chef Fernando Navas, a native Argentinean who now calls Brooklyn home.

Haute Living: What’s new at Sushisamba?
Chef Fernando Navas: Within the last few months I’ve launched new dishes inspired by my trip to Japan this past November, these include the Kuromitsu-Glazed Pork Belly with palmito-citrus salad and Steamed Maine Scallop Dumplings served with shaved zucchini, enoki mushrooms and yuzu kosho butter.

HL: What are some of your favorite dishes at your restaurant
FN: I have a sweet tooth so, I’d have to say (of our latest additions) it’s the Cafe com Leite Parfait with milk chocolate-japanese whiskey mousse, coffee ice cream and milk foam….

HL: Where do you like to dine when you’re not working?
FN: When I’m not working I like to stay in my neighborhood, Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Rosarito Fish Shack and Aurora are two of my favorites. I also really enjoy Casa Mono in Manhattan.

HL: What’s your ideal meal?
FN: A nice cut of meat on the grill with a great mix of fresh salads. In the winter, definitely pasta, mostly from the Northern part of Italy: braised meats, ragus…delicious.

HL: Where do you like to dine on a special occasion?
FN: I really like trying new restaurants for special nights out. Next on my list is The Dutch (Andrew Carmellini).

HL: What’s your favorite NYC neighborhood?
FN: Wiliamsburg, Brooklyn. It’s the neighborhood I’ve been living in for the past six years and it’s where I call home. It’s a great balance between an energetic city and a laid back community.

HL: What do you like to do in the city on your days off?
FN: Enjoy my apartment, go for a bicycle ride, read, play guitar.

HL: What’s your favorite vacation destination?
FN: Buenos Aires. I’m from Palo Alta, Argentina, so it’s the perfect combination of friends/family/home with a vibrant, ever-changing city.

HL: What’s your most memorable meal?
FN: My most memorable meal was at Michel Bras Restaurant in Laguiole, France. It was incredible from the start of the 8 hour ride from Spain until the last bite of dinner.

HL: What are your five favorite ingredients?
FN: Arbequina olive oil, razor clams, heirloom tomatoes, sea salt and yuzu kosho.

Sushisamba is located at 245 Park Avenue South and other locations around the city; 212-475-9377.

Visit food + travel writer + Haute Dining columnist Tracey Ceurvels‘ blog, The Busy Hedonist, for more food stories.