Chef Thomas J. Newsted

Born in Saigon, Vietnam and raised in Oldsmar, Florida.  Thomas first became involved with cooking at the age of 13 in a small-quaint restaurant in Biloxi, Mississippi, where he would visit his mother and siblings during the summer months.  Thomas became engaged with oysters, broiled scallops, and fat charring over an open flame, and was motivated by a fast-paced environment, and aroma of food.  But it wasn’t until later in life that Thomas realized he wanted to pursue cooking as a career.

Thomas has had the pleasure of leading many kitchens and operations within the past 18 years of his professional career.  Served as VP of operations for start-up manufacturing, director of operations, executive chef, executive sous chef, chef de cuisine, and sous chef in Colorado. Currently Thomas is the Executive Chef at the Perfect Landing Restaurant owned by Jim Carter and Sean Carter for the past 27 years.  Thomas was trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Prior to his extensive culinary career, he served in the United States Marine Corps.

Thomas maintains the foundation of classical cooking while embracing his passion for herbs, sauces and seasonal influences to drive innovation.  In Thomas’ spare time he enjoys reading, exercising and spending time with family and friends.  Here are a couple of Thomas’s dishes that you can expect to see on The Perfect Landing’s menu:

 LOUPE DE MER Also known as European Sea Bass or Branzino / Branzini is served skin-on to protect the moisture in this lean fish.  Chef Thomas sears the Loupe de Mer with skin side down in canola oil and finishes on the flesh side.  He serves it over the top of a potato ragout made up of salt pork, yukon potatoes, parsnip, shallots, garlic, thyme, dry vermouth, heavy cream, parsley, kosher salt, granulated garlic, and black pepper.  The dish is dressed with two seasonings, dollops of butternut squash crema and splashes of ginger chartreuse.  Butternut squash crema is made up of roasted butternut squash, canola oil, shallots, garlic, dry vermouth, heavy cream, sugar, yellow mustard, walnut nocello, coriander, star anise and black truffle sea salt.  Ginger chartreuse is made up of ginger, yellow chartreuse, honey, sugar, and deskinned limes.  The dish is garnished with fresh celery leaf and candied sage.

Chef Thomas has prepared this versatile fish in many facets throughout my career.  What he enjoys most about the Loupe de Mer is its ability to support a wide range of flavors that Thomas dreams up and changes as seasonal ingredients change throughout the year.

SEA SCALLOPS

Fresh Massachusetts sea scallops seasoned with kosher salt, granulated garlic, coarse ground black pepper and seared till golden brown.  Accompanied by Saffron risotto, an Italian short grain rice cooked with dry vermouth and lobster stock cooked until the natural starches leech out from the rice.  Chef Thomas adds heavy cream and lobster stock to get a creamy consistency in the risotto along with saffron threads (a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the “saffron crocus”. The vivid crimson stigmas and styles, called threads, are collected and dried to be used mainly as a seasoning and coloring agent in food). When eating risotto, the rice grain has to be tender to the bite and not stick to your teeth while chewing, this is an indicator of properly cooked rice.  The dish is accompanied by a barolo vinaigrette made up of canola oil, barolo salami, celery, dijon mustard, fresh thyme, extra virgin olive oil, and a Macadamia nut Gremolata (toasted macadamia nuts, togorashi, extra virgin olive oil, maldon sea salt, orange zest, lemon zest, toasted baguette, tarragon, chive and parsley). The dish is garnished with micro greens.

“Sea scallops are beautiful on its own, and can stretch the imagination as far as you want to take it.  I love it best with a hint of pork fat for that sweet salty combination.”

WALLEYE FISH & CHIPS

Walleye dipped in flour, beer egg wash, then flour and panko breadcrumb mix, and deep-fried until crispy.  Accompanied by steak fries, and homemade tartar sauce: mayonnaise, capers, pickle relish, old bay seasoning, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce, kosher salt, granulated garlic, and coarse ground black pepper. Served with a side of coleslaw and garnished with lemon wedges.

The Perfect Landing Restaurant has always served fish n chips.  Chef Thomas tested walleye as a replacement to and existing long traditional cod dish for their fish n chips.  He recognized a notable difference in flavor and moisture.  The walleye is flaky, extremely moist, and customers love it.  The effort and time to break down walleye is worth it for the end result. Chef Thomas says its the “labor of love” that keeps us moving forward.

Come visit Chef Thomas at the Perfect Landing in Englewood. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner while enjoying terrific views of airplanes taking off into the Rocky Mountains and perfectly landing at the Centennial Airport.

Chad Pettrone
Sustainability Director
Northeast Seafood