Tucked away in the corner of Sarasota’s downtown restaurant scene is a little gem called Painter’s Palate. We sat down with owner Marc Brediger to see what inspires his masterful culinary creations.
Described as “Asian Fusion,” the delectable dishes Painter’s Palate serves up are more a marriage of French and Thai cuisines, rather than a blending of Asian influences. That union reflects the heritage of Marc Brediger, who grew up spending time both in his father’s homeland of France and his mother’s in Thailand. “I enjoy both cuisines,” says Brediger, “So I create dishes that blend the two, such as a half chicken stuffed with Thai herbs then finished with a French mushroom sauce.” He also serves tartines of delicious French bread topped with meats marinated in Thai spices. His food is a culinary feat.
Brediger delights diners with not only the daring duo of cross-cultural flavors, but also with the 5-star-worthy presentation. From the Thaicos appetizer, with sesame-seed-crusted tuna tataki, crab sticks, and seaweed salad on prawn crackers, to his sweet and sour take on Goat Cheese Salad, with its creamy baked cheese, savory Thai basil, and tart vinegar dressing balanced with a drizzle of honey, every dish delights patrons with its presentation. Surely the chef has studied the culinary arts since childhood.
“Actually, I was maintaining machines in a paper factory in France,” says Brediger. “It’s true I’ve always enjoyed cooking and having friends over for a good time and a good meal, but the only official training I’ve had is as a sushi chef at my mom’s restaurant.” His mom, Oy Punyahotra, owns the Drunken Poet Café on Main Street in Sarasota. “Marc came to visit me from France, and he decided he wanted to stay,” says Punyahotra. “He began working with me, and I realized he has wonderful new ideas!”
Brediger opened Painter’s Palate on July 14, 2014, in honor of France’s Bastille Day. Word about the quality of his food and the creativity of his flavors spread quickly. His reviews online are outstanding, and it’s the locals in the neighborhood who have become his regulars. Foodies flock to sample his signature specials, such as the Veggie Pizza with red curry, Thai basil, bamboo, and eggplant. For a special meal sans the white tablecloth, this is a welcome addition to our community of Locavores.
Goat Cheese Salad
- 2 slices goat cheese (about 1/2 inch thick)
- 2 sheets filo dough
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 apples, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar, plus extra for the goat cheese packets
- 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 head romaine lettuce
- 1 tomato
- 1/2 cucumber
- Handful walnut halves
- Thai basil leaves
- Salt and pepper
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
For the goat cheese
Spread filo dough sheets on a work surface, sprinkle each with brown sugar and place a slice of goat cheese on each sheet. Wrap the cheese into a small packet and brush with melted butter. Bake at 400° F until golden, about 15 minutes.
For the apple con fit
Put cut apples in a saucepan with water, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Bring to a simmer, and cook over low heat until apples are soft and liquid is thick, between 40 and 60 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator before using.
For the salad
Chop lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber. Slice basil leaves into strips (chiffonade). Pour vinegar into a measuring cup, whisk in honey and grapeseed oil, then season with salt and pepper. Dress salad, add cold apple confit, walnuts, and basil. Toss lightly, plate with warm goat cheese packets and drizzle with honey over top.
Painter’s Palate, 2801 N Tamiami Trail, Sarasota; (941) 355-4620