Taste Dubs Ep 006: Salvatore Cracco

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Trou Normand is a palatial cocktail and charcuterie restaurant in San Francisco’s Financial District. Its interior is grand and regal – a typically horrifying observation given that dining rooms with high ceilings and ultra-lush booths can often be a sign of  an aggressive overcompensation campaign.

Thankfully, Trou Normand is in a rare class of restaurants that has the pedigree to match the panache. The concept – a cocktail and charcuterie restaurant – sounds deftly simple, but in fact, each of those components are less forgiving than even your initial judgements. They pull off the high-wire act with ease, resulting in a restaurant that at just one year, already looks and feels like a classic.

Last month Frank and I sat down with Salvatore Cracco, the chef and charcuterie master behind Bar Agricole’s second restaurant. Even though we all know what charcuterie is, for Americans, it can still be a hard thing to conceptualize. Along with a (rightly earned) reputation as the essential European aperitivo snack, back home we’ve fallen victim to some fear mongering and uneven experiences from chefs that have perpetuated mixed feelings or downright ignorance about this craft. Sal answers a lot of questions about the making of charcuterie and what makes theirs so good (spoiler alert: $).

The coolest thing by far was learning that Trou Normand is actually a state-licensed meat processing facility, and that in the event a health inspector comes to the restaurant, Sal’s authority as an inspector supersedes that of the health department – a heartwarming image for chefs everywhere.

Cheers!

– Stephen & Frank