It's the frozen concentrated pineapple juice that gives the "zing" to his mango salsa.
And in just that simple sentence, Chef Rob Wickner of Catch Twenty Three Restaurant let the public in on a key ingredient that has kept diners coming back to his Westchase restaurant for more.
Wickner was front and center at Sweetbay Supermarket on Racetrack Road this past Saturday during a special cooking demonstration. He prepared Alaskan salmon and topped it with mango salsa, a recipe that has been on the restaurant's menu since it opened in 2002.
"We had a very simplistic approach to our cooking," Wickner said about the basis of his menu, which has a 'Floribbean' flair. "We started with quality fish and fresh ingredients. It all works."
Saturday's event was sponsored by The Mango Board. The organization seeks to educate the public on the nutritional and culinary value of mangos. The fruit has over 20 different vitamins and minerals including Vitamin C and Vitamin A. It's also a good source of fiber, according to the board.
Wickner's mango salsa added another boost to the fruit's sell on Saturday. Shoppers formed a line waiting for a sample. Sweetbay gave away a free mango for any shopper who purchased Alaskan Salmon.
Wickner demonstrated how to cut a mango properly and how to select the best fruit.
Under-ripened mangos can sit room temperature to ripen more. Once the mango has reached its desired ripeness, put it in the refrigerator to slow the process, Wickner advised.
Catch Twenty Three is located at 10103 Montague Street, Tampa, Fl 33626. The restaurant is currently offering a $10 for a $25 gift certificate deal on their website.