The Hippo


Nov 20, 2019








 Roasted beet salad

From Chef Joseph Sylvester 
5 pounds beets
1 medium red onion, diced
1 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Goat cheese for garnish
Your favorite greens tossed with your favorite dressing for plating (I use a spring mix tossed with homemade balsamic vinaigrette)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut the top and bottom off of the beets and place on a sheet pan. Bake in oven until a toothpick passes easily through the entire beet. Depending on the size of the beets this usually is 45 minutes to an hour. Let the beets cool and with a paring knife peel the beets. Dice the beets and put in a mixing bowl. Add the diced onion, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss to mix thoroughly. Place beets on a bed of your favorite greens topped with goat cheese and enjoy.

In the Kitchen with Joseph Sylvester


 Joseph Sylvester is the chef and cafe manager at the Currier Museum of Art’s Winter Garden (150 Ash St., Manchester, 669-6144, After he received his degree in hotel administration from UNH, Sylvester worked as a waiter, as a manager and as a chef in a number of restaurants in southern New Hampshire, including Cafe Pavone, Villa Banca and the Passaconaway Country Club, to name a few. At the Winter Garden, one of his biggest challenges is working around some of the restrictions of having a cafe in the center of an art museum, like the fact that there are no fryolators, gas cooking or grills in the kitchen. “That’s the toughest part is being creative with a limited menu of what you can cook,” he said. Sylvester manages the daily service in the cafe, as well as catering for the gallery openings, Currier After Hours events and Jazz Brunches.

What is your must-have kitchen item?
It’s got to be a sharp chef knife. Everything you do, you got to cut it somehow.
What would you choose for your last meal?
I would definitely have some sort of steak and potatoes. I’m a steak-and-potatoes type of guy. Whether it was filet, or T-bone or prime rib.
Favorite restaurant besides your own?
I just went to the Tuscan Kitchen in Salem, and that was phenomenal. They make everything there, that’s why it’s so impressive, and they have the store. And locally, I like Villagio.
What celebrity would you like to see eating at your restaurant?
Since it’s Derek Jeter’s last year, Derek Jeter. So I can thank him for being a Yankee for 25 years and then get an autograph.
What is the biggest food trend in New Hampshire right now?
For me, because I serve sandwiches and salads, it’s gluten-free. And all the other allergies that people have now, because growing up, I didn’t know any kids that were lactose intolerant or peanut allergies or gluten-free. … Not that allergies are a trend. But, the other one that was a while ago when I worked at Villa Banca was no carbs.
What’s your favorite meal to cook at home?
I love to barbecue. I make a really, really good pulled pork. I make good ribs too, but I love to barbecue … and I make my own barbecue sauce with it, too.
What’s your favorite dish on your restaurant’s menu?
It’s actually going to be a salad. It’s the roasted beet salad. I was going to say for my celebrity, either Michael Simon or Guy Fieri because their whole thing — like Michael Simon has that five-ingredients cookbook — it’s just simple food, basic ingredients, and that’s what that salad is all about. Roasted beets, a little bit of red onion, greens and goat cheese and balsamic vinegar, and that’s all. It’s really simple, and really good, and it’s even good for you.
— Emelia Attridge 

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