April 11, 2010: Chef Saito Cooks for Friends & Family

April 11, 2010

Katrina (L) and Karen (R) Photo by Jonah Goldstein

At a request from his daughter, Katrina Grigg-Saito, Chef Saito made a special meal for her friends’ (Jonah, Karen and Rich) surprise party to honor Rich’s birthday. All Yoshio knew was that Rich liked meat, so it was up to him to design the menu. He served:

  • Lobster Bisque
  • Crown Roast of Rack of Lamb
  • Julienned Carrots in  brown butter
  • Spinach w/Lemon-Butter
  • Steamed Broccoli
  • Yam with Rosemary

I got a chuckle when Yoshio characterized this as a “simple” meal, although I knew what he meant: yes Yoshio, simple for you (maybe not so simple for the rest of us.) Never having made a crown of rack of lamb he gave me a few tips:

  • Sear rack to seal in juices
  • Small incisions at the top, between each bone allows you to shape rack
  • Turning the crown while cooking (unless you have a convection oven) helps to heat the crown uniformly because ovens are often uneven
  • Cover rack with foil and rest 15 minutes instead of the usual 5. Resting allows the pressure of juices to equalize and be distributed throughout the interior of the meat

Yoshio was unhappy with how the crown sat. If he had time, he would have trimmed the rack to set it more evenly. I think it sounds (and looks) wonderful! In the photo, at the bottom you see the broccoli and spinach. Inside this you see the juliened carrots. At the top you see the yams. Chef Saito pointed out that the rosemary for the yams was chopped extremely fine, so that it did not overpower the yams. He always tries something new for each meal and the rosemary was the new thing. He was very pleased by the effect.

It turns out that Rich (as well as everyone else) loved the meal although it turns out that Rich didn’t think that he liked lobster or lamb. Figure Chef Saito to make a convert to just about any food aversion. You just need a master chef at your next “simple” meal!

Photo has a link to Katrina’s wonderful article about her friends  published “Skirt” magazine.



  1. wow, lamb…the lambs we have are a bit….ummmm…stif….. but they look sooooo real…one would never “cook ‘ them.

    Are there recipes…esp. the spinach!

    LOVE this web site…you inspire me.


  2. it was so delicious. and the essay on them is being republished in october for another magazine 🙂

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