Len DePas Photography

Tony Chittum

Notti Bianche
824 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20037
(202) 298-8085

924 25th Street NW
Washington DC, 20037
(888) 874-0100

Biography & Interview »

Tony Chittum
Dish and Notti Bianche | Washington DC

Born on Kent Island on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Tony Chittum spent his youth fishing on the Chesapeake Bay where he learned from local fishermen how to prepare the native crab and rockfish. As a teenager, he worked in neighborhood eateries washing dishes and earning his allowance. An encounter with Peter McDonaugh made Chittum seriously consider a career in cooking and he relocated to San Francisco to study fine dining, French technique, and Creole cooking under Donald Link. In 1999 Chittum returned to DC to work with Todd Gray, who passed on a sensibility for local seasonal produce and a strong knowledge of the business. He opened Aria Trattoria with wife Heather Chittum in 2004, before joining the team at Dish and Notti Bianche where he heads up the kitchen.

Virginia Rockfish with Celery, Clams and Chowder Froth
Chef Tony Chittum of Dish and Notti Bianche – Washington, D.C.
Adapted by StarChefs.com

Yield: 4 Servings


    Chowder Froth:
  • 2 teaspoons blended oil
  • ¼ cup bacon, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
  • ¼ onion, roughly chopped
  • ½ parsnip, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 small potato, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ½ cup clam juice
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

    Fried Clams:
  • 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • ½ cup sparkling water
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 middle neck clams, shucked
  • Peanut oil
  • Salt and pepper

    Glazed Vegetables:
  • ½ cup celery, finely diced
  • ¼ cup leek, finely diced
  • ½ cup potato, finely diced
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon blended oil
  • ½ cup apple wood bacon, finely diced
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 6-ounce rockfish filets
  • 2 Tablespoons butter

  • 1 cup micro celery greens
  • ½ cup celery leaf, yellow leaves only
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper

For the Chowder Froth:
Heat oil in a medium-sized stock pot until it begins to smoke. Add bacon and cook until crispy. Next, add the garlic, celery, onion, parsnip and potatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add the white wine and reduce by half. Add stock, clam juice, milk and thyme, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by one third. Remove the thyme and purée the remaining liquid in a blender until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set sauce aside.

Fried Clams:
Mix flour, sparkling water, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and chill for a minimum of twenty minutes. Place clams in batter and fry in peanut oil at 350ºF until golden brown. Once cooked, place on a paper towel to dry. Season with salt and pepper.

For the Glazed Vegetables:
Preheat oven to 400ºF. Combine celery, leek, potato, 1 Tablespoon of butter, and chicken stock together in a small stock pot and bring to a simmer. Heat oil in sauté pan. At smoking point, add the bacon and cook until crispy, then drain on paper towel. When the vegetables are tender, strain and add back to the pot with bacon, remaining butter, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste.

For the Rockfish:
Preheat over to 400ºF. Heat oil in a large sauté pan until very hot. Season fish with salt and pepper and place into the pan, skin side down. Press down on the flesh and reduce temperature to medium-low. Continue searing for 2-3 minutes, then place in oven. Remove from oven after 5-6 minutes and return to the burner at high heat. Add butter to the pan and splash it over the flesh of the fish as it melts. Cook for approximately two more minutes or until medium. Remove the fish from the pan and lay it skin side up on a paper towel to dry.

To Assemble and Serve:
In a medium-sized saucepan, reheat the chowder liquid over high heat. When it begins to boil, whisk the chowder liquid vigorously to make it foamy. Place one quarter of the glazed vegetables on the center of a plate and drizzle chowder froth around them. Top vegetables with one piece of rockfish. Mix celery greens, celery leaf, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper in mixing bowl then place on top of fish. Garnish with crispy clams and serve immediately.

   Published: October 2006