In the kitchen with chef Mark Monette: Potato-crusted Alaskan halibut and arugula salad

In this week's Chef and Tell interview, Mark Monette, the executive chef/partner of the Flagstaff House, sounds off on sharing kitchen space with Thomas Keller, turning fifty and doing double duty at two top drawer restaurants, which keeps him firmly entrenched in the kitchen. He took some away from the burners, however, to share one of his favorite recipes: potato-crusted halibut with arugula, a perfect summer dish that's a showcase of vibrant, seasonal flavors.

Potato-crusted Alaskan halibut and arugula salad


4 halibut filets, six to eight ounces each
1 cup potato chips, crushed
1 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
4 cups arugula
1 red or yellow sweet pepper, roasted and diced
1 dried tomato, chopped
3 tablespoons Niçoise olives, chopped
12 cloves garlic, roasted
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon white truffle oil (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Lightly flour the halibut filets, brush them with egg wash and coat each filet with potato chips.
2. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a pan, and saute the filets, flipping them once, until the flesh is white and flaky.
3. Add the balsamic vinegar to a saucepan and simmer until the vinegar has a syrupy consistency, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and chill. Refrigerated, the syrup will keep up to one month.
4. In a large bowl, mix roasted peppers, dried tomatoes, Niçoise olives, and roasted garlic.
5. In a separate bowl, whisk the balsamic syrup, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and white truffle oil.
6. Divide arugula evenly among four plates, drizzle with the balsamic dressing, and toss. Top each salad with roasted red pepper mixture. Sprinkle with croutons and place a halibut filet on top of each salad.

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Well shoot - so to speak. The photo looked great in miniature, but not so good "properly sized." 100% my fault. I'll fix that ASAP, sorry folks!

Grace Boyle
Grace Boyle

I thought my eyes were fooling me. Photography definitely isn't part of a chef's repertoire (at all) but choosing a photo on a well known publication that does have photographers and relies a lot on the visual and written representation IS part of a publications repertoire. I'm not a photographer myself, but this photo is blurry to the point of not being able to tell what it really is with nothing in focus. A camera phone would even suffice or just finding another photo on hand...

I don't think it warrants to be mad or defensive at your readers (in seeing the comment below) just simply feedback. I still love you guys!

Lori Midson
Lori Midson

Not that this would ever occur to you, but guess what? We didn't take that photo, and last I knew, cameras weren't required as part of a chef's repertoire.


This is what passes for photography?


Seriously!  You guys need to take some of your food budget and buy a decent camera and photography lessons.  You are butchering these works of art.

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