Second Course: Tim Maslow of Strip-T’s (and Soon, Ribelle)

Chef Tim Maslow made his name by turning his father’s Watertown sandwich shop, Strip-T’s, into one of the most exciting dining destinations in the area. This spring, he brings his talents a bit closer to the city—Brookline’s Washington Square, to be exact—with his second restaurant, an Italian-influenced venue called Ribelle. As he preps his new kitchen, Maslow talks us through the tools and ingredients he relies on to execute the vision at both of his eateries.

tim maslow ribelle

Photo by Jonathon Kambouris / Food styling by Jessica Weatherhead/Team

1. Ibérico fatback (used for lardo): “We have $300 worth of raw product just curing. It will be used mostly as ‘meat glass’ at Ribelle—when you drape it over something warm, it turns translucent.”

2. Left-handed yanagi knife: This sushi knife was a gift from mega chef David Chang, for whom Maslow worked as the chef de cuisine of New York’s Momofuku Ssam Bar: “It’s a thin, one-sided blade that’s for slicing fish.”

3. Left-handed deba knife: Another gift from Japan, from a friend: “It’s for cleaning fish. It’s built to ride the spine of a round fish, and the thick heel is made for cutting through the neck bone.”

4. Bread starter: When Strip-T’s sous chef Dan Amighi left Bondir to join Maslow, he brought some of chef Jason Bond’s nearly decade-old bread starter (nicknamed “Lydia”) with him. “We are experimenting with ways of using the starter as a food product, because it has this sour-apple scent about it that’s so comforting.”

5. Strip-T’s staff: “Everybody that has come to eat at Strip-T’s has seen the quality go up when the talented staff started coming to work here. It gave them room to be creative, but it also gave me the freedom to be creative, rather than just dealing with every day-to-day issue.”

6. Mortar and pestle: “I really want to make a commitment to using only hand-ground spices. We have been grinding a lot of dried roses, nigella seeds, and green coriander seeds.”

7 . Cayenne chili peppers: “They go in the chili oil that we put into half the dishes we make. We just made ’nduja—a fermented smoked sausage. We probably used a pound of the chilies for three pounds of meat. It’s supposed to be ripping spicy.”

8. Homemade vinegars: Maslow makes a slew of vinegars (sweet flag, honey, ume, and turnip are recent examples), most of which are derived from an ale vinegar brewed with Genesee Cream. “There’s a plethora of ways we use them, from vinaigrettes to gastriques to poaching vegetables.”

9. Triticale Flour from Four Star Farms: “We use it in every pasta and bread that we make. We know it’s been milled the day before we get it, and they deliver it every week.”

10. Preserved lemons: “They are very potent. We like to keep a small brunoise of them on the line to add a punchy salt flavor with a tiny bit of acid.”

11. Torshi (Iranian-style pickles) “We found a way to pickle things with lemon. You salt vegetables and let them ferment, and then add the lemon later.”