Chef Christopher Maitland (pictured above) of Portsmouth’s 15 Point Road Restaurant started working in restaurants in college. After working for multiple restaurants including The Glass Onion, Le Bistro Newport and Providence’s Capriccio, he’s returned to his roots.
15 Point Road is famous for its seafood. What is a favorite dish you make?
One thing I really like to make is Seafood Pasta. It consists of lobster, shrimp and seared sea scallops finished with garlic and fresh herbs sautéed with a little olive oil. Then I open up the ingredients by splashing in some white wine, cream and tomatoes. I’ll serve it with something like fettuccini, topped with a chiffonade of fresh basil.
How do you keep your dishes tasty yet simple?
A lot has to do with using simple ingredients. You don’t want to overdo anything but also have a reasonable amount of ingredients. I always use kosher salt and a blend of white and black pepper.
Many people are intimidated by cooking seafood. What’s an easy dish anyone can make?
Poached sole or cod. Create the poaching liquid with white wine, herbsand onion. Stew it in the liquid just until it starts to flake apart. One of the poached dishes we do is Portuguese Cod with chourico, white wine, bay leaves, garlic, basil, tomatoes and roasted red peppers.
How do you pick fresh seafood?
Through a visual inspection as well as the smell and feel. For whole fish there are two main things: the eye should be a clear, not cloudy at all; and the gills should be nice and pink. That’s an indication that you are using a fresh fish. If you have filleted fish, there should be no slime, no scent.
How do you store it?
Do not let it sit in its own juices. The best way to store it is to put it in a strainer with ice on top. If it’s whole fish you can have the ice touch, but if its filleted, use parchment. Also, only buy enough fish to use for one day; it’s about quality, not quantity.