The Secret of Success

What can turn an ordinary dish into something Extraordinary? We asked some local experts to share what makes their creations unique


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Secret Ingredient: Anchovies

From: La Rondinella

The anchovy has been a maligned ingredient for being, well, too fishy and kind of funky. But Dave Mancini of Supino Pizzeria in Eastern Market tries to sneak it in everything he can. Whether it’s salad dressing or risotto, most of the recipes for his new restaurant La Rondinella, which will be next door to Supino, include the salty, intensely flavored ingredient. “Anchovies are the Italians’ version of fish sauce; they’ve both got umami,” he says, referring to that “fifth” taste used to describe the meaty, savory quality of food that makes you go “mmm.” He chops anchovy up and adds it to meatballs, too. “There’s a depth of flavor. You don’t taste anchovy per se … and just a little bit goes a long way.” While an anchovy is his secret ingredient to savory dishes, his go-to for sweet things is molasses, which he’ll use in the same way he does anchovies. Adding ingredients like molasses and anchovies to recipes will provide depth, he says. “You can’t put your finger on it. Why does it taste so good? Why is it lip smacking? It’s usually from something (additional) like that.” —Dorothy Hernandez

2453 Russell St., Detroit

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