Chef’s Corner with Daniel Roberts of the Portofino Bay Hotel & Yacht Club
Located on the waterfront in Redondo Beach, CA is a serious restaurant with a whimsical name, Baleen. Originally from New York, Chef Daniel Roberts grew up in a traditional Italian family and was surrounded by food. Cooking was always a part of his life and a natural career path. Chef Daniel, recently from the Mondrian in West Hollywood, brings his passion for food to Baleen, the restaurant at Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club, part of the Noble House Hotels & Resorts Collection. Check out our LA Hotel Guide for more information on Portofino Hotel & Yacht Club and be sure to listen to our upcoming podcast with GM, Jeannene Glenn.
journeyPod enjoyed an amazing tasting with Chef Daniel and sat down to have a one- on-one conversation with this passionate Chef who truly believes “food is the doctor.” What does journeyPod recommend? For starters the Seared ahi tuna with watermelon carpaccio, the cioppino–paired with a nice glass of Vietti, and for dessert the fresh strawberries stuffed with mascarpone with pistachio dustings. The Goy sake pairs quite nicely with the strawberries, so ask for it!
What events to do have coming up here at Baleen?
Each Sunday we have a “happy hour” from 1-6pm, with a live DJ. We also have a Chef’s Tasting Menu Sunday through Thursday. (journeyPod recommends you try the Chef’s Tasting Menu for the Australian lamp chops alone!)
What three ingredients much you always have in your kitchen?
Garlic, proscuitto & ginger
If you weren’t a Chef, what would you be?
A kayak instructor in Maui sounds fun…or maybe a professional poker player…
If you could eat anything for your Last Supper, what would you request?
I would start off with an antipasta platter, some seared ahi tuna with foie gras with pear chutney, scallops with plantains, rustic tomato bread salad, my lasagna, scampi prawns, lobster, rib-eye on the grill, salmon cake, red velvet cake, carrot cake with asian pear…
Who would prepare this enormous Last Supper for you, Chef?
Me! It’s my Last Supper, I love cooking, I would cook it myself.
What is the craziest request you have ever received?
A customer gave the server an index card with about 50 different food allergies. I made her a veggie plate, and grilled sea bass.
Chef Daniel, what celebrities have you cooked for?
I have cooked for a ton–especially being at the Mondrian. I cooked for Chef Gordon Ramsey, Keanu Reeves, Jet Li, & Chef Bobby Flay. But the celebrity I am most proud to have cooked for is the past president of the James Beard Foundation, Leonard Pickell.
What are your favorite places to eat in the South Bay?
Sashi Sushi in Manhattan Beach and Paul Martin’s American Bistro in El Segundo