So glad these are still on the menu, even after you left! How did you come up with the recipe?
“About 4-5 years ago, I wanted to do a Thai mussel special, but I didn’t want to use coconut milk. I’d made mussels before with wine, butter, garlic, tomato and basil, so I started by adding Thai aromatics to that—fish sauce and lime juice. It became a joke in the kitchen; my sous chef thought it was ridiculous. “Fish sauce and butter don’t mix!” And I’d still hear that whenever an order for mussels came in, which was a lot.
When you experiment, you sometimes hit on something, and sometimes it’s a mess. Fusion cuisine can sometimes be confusion cuisine. I figured out that there’s only one fish sauce that will work for this dish, the Three Crabs brand. I get it at Hong Kong Market. When they were out, I tried another, and it was a disaster. And I use a very special Pinot Grigio—I went through probably six different types of wine.
I’m really proud of the mussels.”