Meet Your Chef: Dimitri Souvorin of Montauk Seafood Grill and El Segundo
Get to know your local Vail Valley chefs
Editor’s Note: The Vail Daily is showcasing area chefs in a new series called “Meet Your Chef” so you can learn a bit more about those creating art in the kitchen. If you’re a local chef and would like to be a part of this series, please email Tricia Swenson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Sean Naylor (email@example.com).
Q: What is your name, where do you cook and what is your official title?
A: Dimitri Souvorin. I cook at Montauk Seafood Grill and El Segundo. I am the executive chef at Montauk Seafood Grill and executive chef/owner at El Segundo.
Q: How long have you lived in the valley and what brought you here?
A: I moved to Vail at the end of the 1992-93 season. I moved here because I wanted to snowboard every day for the rest of my life.
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Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to become a chef?
A: I have no memories of ever wanting to do anything else.
Q: Who has inspired you throughout your culinary journey?
A: I am culinarily inspired on a daily basis. I am a huge fan of anyone who shows commitment to creating delicious food. If you take the time to prepare fresh food, season it well and cook it with some care and love, I am probably going to love it.
Q: What’s your favorite spice?
A: I tend to use a lot more fresh herbs than dried spices. I love how fresh herbs become another layer of flavor without overshadowing the food you are preparing.
Q: Favorite protein?
A: Choosing a favorite protein is tough, there is no greater land-based animal than our friend the scrumptious little pig. Pork is such an incredibly flavorful and versatile protein, I never get tired of finding new pork preparations. When it comes to the ocean, my greatest love is the scallop. Such a delicious little mollusk. A perfectly seared Maine Sea Scallop has to be one of the greatest flavors and textures on Earth.
Q: Favorite fruits and veggies?
A: When it comes to fruits and veggies, I say the more the better, I think a bright summery ratatouille is one of my favorite things, the combination of all those veggies is amazing, you can taste each vegetable individually and then they all work together to create an incredibly intricate new flavor.
Q: Name your carb: pasta, potatoes, rice, polenta, etc.?
A: Yes! Who could ever say anything bad about a perfect al dente pasta with fresh seafood. But if I must choose a favorite, risotto is the greatest starch. I always marvel at the depth of texture and flavor you can get out of a simple grain … with a little love of course.
Q: What’s your favorite comfort food?
A: Fried Chicken! I am a Georgia boy after all. … Perfectly crispy fried chicken marinated in buttermilk with fresh watermelon and potato salad outside at a picnic table is my true happy place.
Q: Is there anything else about you we should share?
A: I love living and working in Vail. As a chef, it is so great to cook for people who are on vacation in such a beautiful place. After you have spent the day exercising outside in the beautiful mountains, a fresh and healthy meal to finish off your perfect day is a great thing!