F&B’s Pasta de Marisco
Barilla America

F&B’s Pasta de Marisco

Profiles in Pasta: F&B’s Pasta de Marisco

Chef Adrian Cruz at F&B explains why pasta is a perfect fit for the brand’s modern coastal menu.

Regardless of concept, pasta can be used to create craveable dishes on nearly every restaurant menu. Take F&B in South Padre Island, Texas, for example. Though the brand prides itself on what it describes as modern American cuisine with coastal flair, the brand’s chef, Adrian Cruz, looked to pasta for F&B’s recent LTO, Pasta de Marisco.

Here, Cruz explains why pasta-based LTOs are a fit for the brand and how Barilla pasta helps the brand stay true to its concept with its recent fan-favorite offering.

Barilla America

Adrian Cruz is a self-taught chef and winner of the James Beard Foundation blended burger project competition. He’s executive chef at F&B in South Padre Island, Texas.

1. What is this LTO dish and how does it fit into the overall menu offerings at F&B?

This is a very flavorful and colorful dish featuring local fish and a housemade guajillo chile fish broth. It’s got just the right amount of heat and layers upon layers of umami flavors from the fish broth and tomato-guajillo paste at its base. It’s a great vehicle to feature local fish in a quick pick-up off the line and at an excellent food cost.

The Pasta de Marisco fits our menu because of our selection. We are a fresh seafood-focused restaurant, which leads to having a lot of bones and shells we can use for outstanding seafood broths like this one.

I’m proud that this is a full utilization, zero-waste dish. I’m making use of everything we have on hand, down to the bones. Pasta is a great canvas for creating appealing dishes from the odds and ends in the kitchen.

2. Was this part of a set of offerings or a standalone?

The Pasta de Marisco was a weekly special that we offered until we ran out—it happened too fast! I’m hoping to have it on the menu again soon.

3. Why did you choose Barilla Rigatoni as the pasta for this dish?

I chose rigatoni because that tube shape holds sauces and “pops” on the palate. For brothy dishes like this one, it’s perfect, and I know I can count on Barilla to perform on every plate.

4. What makes this dish stand out among offerings from other restaurants of a similar concept?

You’d have to have both a seafood focus and a higher level of skill in the kitchen to get this dish right—the pasta is the easy part! But making your own fish stock and building from the ground up takes patience.

We stand out here on South Padre with the level of technique and freshness and quality of the product we use. Sometimes we are imitated, but we find our guests always come back for dishes like this one—I’m happy about that.

5. How did guests respond to the dish?

The response to the pasta was excellent. We received so many positive comments and reviews. People loved the guajillo sauce and the fact that it was something different.

To learn more about how to use pasta to create extraordinary LTOs, visit the Barilla website at barillafs.com.