Chef Asif, photo credit: Nicole Nixon

Food


Chef Asif in the Spotlight Again

Naples’ own celebrity chef heads to the James Beard House Nov. 16.

First it was various stints on the Food Network, including a victory over Bobby Flay with his tandoori chicken. Now Chef Asif Syed from 21 Spices by Chef Asif in East Naples is making headlines with an invitation from the James Beard House in New York to prepare a dinner for around 70 guests on Nov. 16.

Syed established a relationship with the James Beard Foundation through the NaplesNEXT event last March, where the Beard House curated a dinner and Syed served seafood curry from his restaurant’s progressive East Indian repertoire.

“We support the foundation’s cause, and therefore we are looking at this as an opportunity to be part of a bigger mission,” said Chef Syed. “Being one of only a few Indian chefs to cook at the James Beard House is an absolute honor.”

He will be serving a trio of passed appetizers followed by a five-course dinner that builds on the quality of his exotic fusion cuisine.

Chef Asif’s biryani; photo credit: 21 Spices by Chef Asif

Syed’s favorite on the menu, Hyderabadi biryani hails from his birthplace of Hyderabad in India. He will make the biryani, synonymous with the town, he says, with basmati rice, spices and goat meat.

General admission to the Beard House event is $180. Tickets are available through the James Beard Foundation’s website. Those who wish to follow the “Innovative Indian” event remotely can watch it on live stream.