Sunil Kumar, executive chef, Marigold Maison, Chicago and Phoenix
Butter chicken masala is an Indian-restaurant favorite that gains both texture and depth of flavor when made with shrimp. “At Marigold, we typically don’t use butter in our cooking, but due to the popularity of this dish in Indian culture, I wanted to keep the name ‘Butter Shrimp [pictured above],’” said Sunil Kumar, executive chef. He creates the silky, mildly sweet sauce with mango, cream and chipotle peppers.
Sellia Georges, owner, Cupitol
This next-level shrimp on the barbie is found at Cupitol, an all-day lounge with elements of a grab-and-go café, bakery, restaurant and bar, with locations in Chicago. Hefty prawns are rubbed with paprika, lemon, brown sugar, garlic, chili pepper and olive oil for a smoky flavor profile. Then, they’re thrown onto a hot flattop and served on a cool bed of made-to-order guacamole. BBQ Prawn has been a dinner menu star since Cupitol opened last summer.
Tello Carreón, chef, Nixta, St. Louis
Chef Tello Carreón takes shrimp and grits from down home to downright modern at Nixta, an upscale modern Mexican and “American Mediterranean” restaurant in St. Louis. On the spring menu, Gambas combines colossal shrimp with mojo de ajo, a citrusy, garlicky and herbaceous Cuban barbecue sauce. The flavor-forward shrimp rests on a bed of grits with a sweet finish of corn crema.