Johnny Fogg/EH Management
6 Servings

When Brooke Shields arrives to meet Scott Tacinelli and Angie Rito, the husband-and-wife chefs behind Don Angie, there’s one question on everyone’s mind: Can Brooke cook? “I once pitched a show to the Cooking Channel called Brooke, Don’t Cook,” confesses the statuesque superstar with a laugh. “I wouldn’t say I cook with ease or flair. I just don’t have the confidence.”

Shields is in luck because her new chef friends have dazzled New Yorkers with their imaginative take on Italian-American cuisine ever since they opened their red-hot red-sauce joint in 2017. Think homemade garganelli nestled in broken-meatball ragu, lasagna rolled into ricotta-stuffed coils, and Thai-inspired prosciutto-melon salad, the summery dish they’re making today.

Cooking doesn’t come naturally to Shields because growing up as a child star in Manhattan meant there wasn’t much time for messing around in the kitchen. She’s been working since she was 11 months old, when famed lensman Francesco Scavullo photographed her for an Ivory Soap ad. As a teen, she appeared in the films Pretty Baby and Blue Lagoon, in Calvin Klein commercials, and on countless magazine covers. So what was a typical dinner? Chinese food. “My mom and I went to the same restaurant every night,” she says. 

Credit: Johnny Fogg/EH Management

These days Shields’s husband, screenwriter-producer Chris Henchy, takes the lead when the couple and their daughters, Rowan and Grier, spend time in the kitchen. “Chris says I’d be a much better baker than a chef because it’s precise, whereas he just throws in a little bit of this or a little bit of that,” she says. “He’s got the palate for it.”

Rito and Tacinelli, who met in N.Y.C. when she was a server and he was a line cook, bonded over their similar upbringings surrounded by food. “My family would get together at my grandparents’ house every Sunday,” Rito recalls. “The minute you walked in, my grandmother had 10 plates on the table.” Tacinelli tells a similar tale. “We cooked every meal together,” he says, reminiscing about hearty meat-and-cheese-filled pizza rusticas.

Back at Don Angie, Shields, a kitchen neatnik, is smiling at the nicely organized honeydew slices, 24-month-aged prosciutto di Parma, mint leaves, lime zest, and French feta. “I love a ramekin,” she says, sighing. When she spots candied hazelnuts, she’s quick to ask how they’re made. “It’s just hazelnuts with sugar, egg whites, and paprika,” Rito says. Shields continues: “Do you fluff the egg whites with a whisk? Can you make them on a stove top?” It sounds as if the actress is planning a kitchen takeover at home after all. Then she sees the vinaigrette, a potent blend of tamarind, lime juice, Calabrian chilies, and Italian fish sauce made of fermented anchovies. “These are the kinds of touches that differentiate this dish from just being a salad,” she says. 

The cooking process is similar to acting. “There are fundamental rules and logistics,” Shields says. “But at a certain point, raw talent has to come through. You either have it or you don’t.” Does she? “I think I do.”

Photographed by Johnny Fogg. Styling: Stephanie Perez-Gurri. Hair: Nate Rosenkranz. Makeup: Ashli Danielle.

For more stories like this, pick up the June issue of InStyle, available on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download on May 17. 

Credit: Johnny Fogg/EH Management

Don Angie’s Famous Prosciutto & Melon

How to Make It

To Assemble
1. In a large bowl, dress melon wedges with ½ cup tamarind dressing.
2. Season with a pinch of salt, lime zest, and half the mint leaves.
3. Spread the melon onto a platter.
4. Sprinkle feta and hazelnuts over the melon.
5. Top with prosciutto.
6. Finish with the remaining mint leaves, olive oil, and pepper. 
The Tamarind Dressing 
¾ cup tamarind concentrate
½ cup plus 1 tbsp lime juice
½ cup sugar
1 tsp Sriracha
½ cup olive oil
2 tbsp Italian fish sauce
2 garlic cloves, grated 
3 tsp salt
½ tsp dried Calabrian chilies, crushed
Whisk ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.  
The Candied Hazelnuts 
1 egg white
Zest 1 lime plus 2 tsp lime juice
2 cups hazelnuts
½ cup sugar
½ tbsp salt
1 tsp Hungarian paprika
¼ tsp cayenne
Cooking oil
1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together egg white with lime zest until thick and frothy.
3. Add lime juice and whisk.
4. Add hazelnuts and toss until well-coated.
5. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, salt, paprika, and cayenne.
6. Combine dry ingredients with the hazelnuts.
7. Spread nuts on a lightly oiled parchment-paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
8. Coat a large spoon with cooking oil and stir the nuts, ensuring the oil evenly coats the nuts.
9. Return nuts to the oven for 10 minutes.
10. Re-oil the spoon and stir the nuts again.
11. Bake for 5 minutes.
12. Spread nuts evenly onto another lightly oiled parchment-paper-lined sheet to cool. 

Restaurant Source

Don Angie

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