Vintage Affaire Recipe Archive

Vintage Affaire has been privileged to have some of California’s finest chefs prepare wonderful tasting menus for our guests.

Alessandro Cartumini formerly of Quattro at Four Seasons Silicon Valley

2010: Sage and Butter Roasted Potato Gnocchi

Sage and Butter Roasted Potato Gnocchi, Onion Soubise, Sweet Corn, Tarragon, Three Year Toma Ossolana Cheese, Bloomsdale Spinach

Served in 2010   |   Serves 4

For the gnocchi:

  • 1 lb russet potatoes
  • 8 oz. all purpose flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Freshly grated nutmeg and salt to taste

Bake potatoes in oven until soft. Remove skin and pass through potato ricer. Let cool to room temperature and mix with flour, egg and season with nutmeg and salt. Mix well without over working. Cut into ½ inch slices then into ½ inch sections. Dust pieces with flour and roll into cylinders. Cut into ⅓-inch long gnocchi. Cook in boiling salted water until they float. Strain and proceed to finishing part.

For the onion soubise:

  • To taste extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled, julienned
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, chopped
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 2 Tbsp sherry wine
  • 1 Cup vegetable stock
  • To taste salt, black pepper

Heat oil in sauce pan, add onion, garlic, thyme and cook over low heat until very soft. Add sherry and let dry. Add vegetable stock and bring to simmer. Cook 10 more minutes, remove thyme sprig and blend in bar blender until well emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper and reserve.

To finish:

  • 1 ear corn, shucked, grilled on each side, kernels removed with a sharp knife
  • 8 medium size sage leaves
  • 2 oz. butter
  • 1 handful washed and roughly julienned Bloomsdale spinach
  • 1 small handful tarragon leaves
  • 2 oz. aged Toma Ossolana or any other aged cow’s milk cheese

Heat sauté pan with butter and sage and cook until browned. Add gnocchi, corn and sauté until well coated with butter. Toss in spinach, tarragon leaves and remove from heat. Spoon sauce into serving dishes, top with gnocchi, corn, and spinach mix. Shave aged cheese over, enjoy.

2009: Liberty Farms Duck Ravioli

Liberty Farms Duck Ravioli, Mango Nectarine, Candied Walnuts, Bellwether Pepato

Served in 2009   |   Serves 4

For the poached duck:

  • 4 Liberty Farms Duck legs
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 quart olive oil
  • ½ bay leaf
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 1 small stick of cinnamon
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
  • 2 strips orange peel
  • 2 strips lemon peel

Season duck legs with salt and pepper and toss in the other ingredients. Place in a small sauce pan and cover with oil. Place over high flame and bring to boil. Turn heat down and let barely simmer. Cook for about 1.5 hours, until the duck meat starts falling off the bone. Strain, let cool and pick the meat off the bone. Discard bone and skin, shred the meat and reserve for later. Strain cooking oil and let cool, store in the refrigerator up to 10 days. The cooking fat can be used at least one more time to cook more duck legs.

For the ravioli filling:

  • Cooked Duck Legs, shredded
  • 2 oz. fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 Tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp chopped carrot
  • 1 Tbsp chopped celery
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 oz. grated Grana Padano cheese
  • 1 tsp lemon thyme leaves, minced
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Mix all the ingredients together.

For the ravioli dough:

  • 8 oz. all purpose flour
  • 8 oz. durum semolina flour
  • 12 oz. egg yolks

Mix ingredients together in a stainless steel bowl. Work the dough very well to ensure that it is well combined. Let rest about 1 hour at room temperature wrapped in plastic wrap. Remove from wrap, cut into 3 pieces and roll with a pasta machine. Roll to the thinnest setting and reserve.

To build the ravioli:

Place filling on the bottom half of the dough sheet, about ½ tsp of filling at a distance of ½ inch. Brush the other half of the pasta with egg wash and fold over. Pat down to ensure that the two sheets are sticking together. Cut into small rectangular shaped ravioli and seal edges. You should obtain about 40 small ravioli (10 per portion). Lay the ravioli over a floured surface and reserve in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp peeled, diced yellow onion
  • 2 Tbsp peeled, diced carrot
  • 2 Tbsp peeled, diced celery
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp Madeira Wine
  • 2 Cups duck or brown chicken stock
  • 10 oz. diced tomatoes in juice

Heat olive oil in sauce pan. Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic and cook until soft. Add Madeira and cook off the alcohol. Pour in orange juice and reduce by half. Add stock and diced tomatoes, bring to boil Simmer for about 1 hour. Place in a blender, season with salt and black pepper and emulsify until well combined. Reserve for later.

For the walnuts:

  • 3 Tbsp halved walnuts
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp raw honey
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 pinch salt

Heat butter in a small sauté pan. Add honey, caramelize, and add walnuts. Add nutmeg, cayenne and salt and cook until walnuts are browned, reserve.

Assembling the dish:

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 sage leaves, minced
  • 1 mango nectarine, sliced into 1/10-inch slices
  • 2 oz. thin shaved Bellwether Pepato cheese

Fill a 4 quart stock pot with water, season with salt and bring to boil. Heat sauce in a sauté pan. Cook ravioli in boiling salted water for about 2 minutes; strain with a metal spider and place with the sauce. Add butter and toss to combine, add sage. Plate in serving dish and top with nectarine slices, candied walnuts and Pepato cheese.

2008: House Made Gnocchetti Sardi

House Made Gnocchetti Sardi, Heirloom Tomato Confit and Summer Beans Garlic Chips, Shaved Capricious Goat Cheese

Served in 2008   |   Serves 4   |   Recommended Wine Pairing: Nickel & Nickel or Far Niente Chardonnay

For the tomato confit:

  • 3 ripe heirloom tomatoes, cored, cut into ¼ inch wedges
  • 2 lemon thyme sprigs
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and thickly shaved
  • 1 whole medium shallot, peeled, sliced into ?-inch rounds
  • 2 strips lemon peel
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 basil leaves
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lay flat on a baking pan lined with oven paper. Bake at 270°F for 2 hours, until tomatoes are slightly dehydrated. Let cool, discard basil, thyme and lemon peel and set aside.

For the beans:

  • 2 oz. Romano beans, blanched in boiling salted water, shocked in ice bath and small diced
  • 1 oz. fava beans shelled, blanched, chilled in ice bath and removed from second shell
  • 4 oz. shelled English peas, blanched in boiling salted water and shocked in ice bath
  • 2 oz. fresh shelled cranberry beans, cooked in boiling salted water for about 10 minutes, until soft
  • ⅓ Cup vegetable stock
  • 1 shallot peeled, cut into small julienne
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Heat extra virgin olive oil in sauté pan, add shallots and garlic and roast until soft. Add half of the peas and then vegetable stock. Bring to boil and mix in bar blender. Chill in an ice bath and reserve.

For the garlic chips:

  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 Cups canola oil for deep frying

Shave garlic into 1/10 inch with a mandoline. Blanch in boiling water 5 times, each time changing water. Pat dry with paper towel. Deep fry at 325°F until crispy and golden brown. Dry on paper towel.

To finish the dish:

  • 1 pound house made gnocchetti sardi (can be found in any Italian Store or Four Seasons Silicon Valley)
  • 2 oz. grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 oz. Achadina Farrms Capricious Goat Cheese
  • 3 basil leaves, chiffonade
  • 1 pinch chives chopped small
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Cook gnocchetti in boiling salted water for 8 minutes, strain. Heat pea puree in a pasta pan; add gnocchetti then tomatoes and remaining peas. Toss to combine and heat. Add basil and chives, extra virgin olive oil and grated parmesan cheese. Plate on serving dishes. Sprinkle garlic chips over and grate the Capricious goat cheese with a micro grater.

Wild Boar Ravioli al Plin

Wild Boar Ravioli al Plin, Summer Truffle and Oven Dried Toy Box Tomato with Shaved Ricotta Salata

Served in 2007   |   Serves 4

Suggested Wine Pairing: Poggio Alla Pietra Petroni Sangiovese (2001) from Sonoma   |   “The grapes are harvested in Italy and crushed here in Sonoma. It matches perfectly with the braising juices of the wild boar as well as the cheese.”

For the pasta:

  • 1 lb. all-purpose flour
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 2 Tbsps extra-virgin olive oil

Mix all ingredients together in a mixing stainless steel bowl. Work the dough very well to ensure that it is well combined. Let rest about 1 hour at room temperature wrapped in plastic wrap. Remove from wrap, cut into 3 pieces and roll with a pasta machine. Start from the thickest until reaching the thinner thickness. Reserve dough.

For the wild boar:

1 lb. wild boar shoulder
3 Tbsps olive oil
1 small carrot peeled and diced
1 small onion peeled and diced
1 stalk celery washed and diced
3 garlic cloves
1 sprig each of thyme, sage and rosemary
2 cups Barbera red wine
1 cup crushed tomatoes in juice
Veal stock to cover

Sear wild boar in a stock pot on each side with olive oil. When well browned add vegetables and start roasting until well browned. Pour in wine and let reduce by half. Add tomatoes and cover with veal stock. Add fresh herbs and bring to simmer. Let simmer at very low temperature for about 3 hours making sure that the meat is covered at all times by liquid. (If necessary, add water.) Remove meat and let cool. Strain cooking liquid and reserve for later.

For the filling:

  • 1 Tbsp steamed spinach, squeezed and thinly chopped
  • 3 Tbsps grated grana padano
  • 2 Tbsps fresh ricotta cheese
  • 1 pinch lemon zest
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 pinch chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 Tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 sprig sage leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Egg wash for brushing

When wild boar is cold, shred into small bites and mix with all the other ingredients. To build the ravioli, place filling on one half of the dough sheet, about ½-teaspoon of filling at a distance of ½-inch each. Brush the other half of the pasta with egg wash and place over the knobs of filling. Pat down to ensure that the two sheets are sticking together. Cut into small rectangular-shaped ravioli nd pinch (that’s where the name “plin” originates) the two layers together per each ravioli. You should obtain about 80 small ravioli (20 per portion). Lay the ravioli over a floured surface and reserve in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the oven dried toy box tomatoes:

  • 1 cup toy box tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Peel of 1 lemon, julienned
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 branch basil
  • 2 garlic cloves shaved
  • 1 shallot peeled and julienned
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsps extra-virgin olive oil

Mix all ingredients together and place over a baking sheet. Bake at 250°F for about 1.5 hours, until well oven dried.

To finish:

  • 1 Tbsp fresh butter
  • 2 sprigs basil
  • Strained cooking liquid
  • Oven dried toy box tomatoes
  • 1 small summer truffle
  • Drops of white truffle oil
  • 1 handful shaved ricotta salata

Cook the ravioli in boiling salted water until they start floating, about 2 minutes. Heat butter in a sauté pan with basil. Drain ravioli and place in sauté pan. Toss until well coated with the butter. Add cooking liquid from wild boar and place into serving dish. Top with scattered oven dried toy box tomatoes. Shave black truffles over each dish and sprinkle ricotta salata over. Enjoy!

Porcini Mushroom Risotto

Porcini Mushroom Risotto with Chianti and Shallots Reduction, Fresh Parsley

Served in 2006   |   Serves 4

For the risotto:

  • 1 lb. rice for risotto vialone nano brand
  • 1.5 quarts vegetables stock
  • 4 Tbsp chardonnay
  • 4 oz. soft butter
  • 4 oz. freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tbsp small diced shallots
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Sweat shallots with butter in a sauce pan. Add rice and stir until hot. Pour in wine and let dry out. Add stock to cover and keep stirring. Cook for about 18 minutes from this oint. Add stock to keep the rice covered and after 18 minutes taste the rice to make sure is cooked. Keep the risotto simmering and stir continuously. Remove from the heat and add butter and cheese. Stir until well emulsified. Add parsley and season with salt and pepper.

For the mushroom:

  • 2 cups porcini mushroom, dirt removed and brushed with dump cloth
  • 1 Tbsp coarsely chopped shallots
  • 1 garlic clove peeled and halved
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Cut mushroom into big pieces. Heat pan with oil, add shallots and garlic and add mushroom. Add herbs and cook over medium heat until mushrooms are golden brown and soft. Season with salt and pepper and reserve.

For the chianti reduction:

  • 2 cups chianti wine
  • 1 Tbsp shallots julienne
  • 1 tsp butter

Roast shallots with butter. Add red wine and simmer until reduced to 2 tablespoons. Remove from the pan and reserve.

To serve:

Place risotto into serving dish. Top with a spoonful of hot mushroom and drizzle reduction around.

Douglas DeGeeter, Sous Chef at Cetrella

Konbu Cured Spanish Mackerel

Konbu Cured Spanish Mackerel with Vegetable Jardinière, Ranier Cherry Shiso Dashi & Pasta Chip

Served in 2010

For the marinade:

  • 6 fluid oz. white agreso
  • 2 fluid oz. rice wine vinegar
  • 2 fluid oz. mirin
  • 1 oz. sugar
  • ½ fluid oz. shiro shoyu
  • 2 ea. 6 inch piece ma kombu (soaked)

Combine all ingredients for marinade and whisk together thoroughly.

For the fish:

  • 1 each serving filet Spanish mackerel
  • Sea Salt

Sprinkle the mackerel with marinade and sea salt, place between kombu and let marinade for one hour.

Pull mackerel from kombu, wipe clean, cut into 1-inch squares, dredge in rice flour and cook over moderate to high heat, top and bottom of filet. Remove fish from skillet and place on paper towels.

For the vegetable jardinière:

  • ½ cup julienne of daikon radish
  • ½ cup julienne of simmered kombu
  • ½ cup julienne of carrot
  • ½ cup julienne of celery

Toss together julienne of vegetable and place half in the bottom of a nonreactive casserole dish, place seared fish on top of vegetables and cover with the rest of the julienne of vegetable. Bring marinade to the boil and pour over the fish and vegetable, cover with plastic wrap and let marinade 24 hours.

For the cherry shiso dashi:

  • 1 cup cherry pits
  • 10 grams ma kombu
  • 1 liter water
  • 30 grams hannakatsuo
  • 5 each red shiso leaves
  • 1 Tbsp kuzu starch

Combine cherry pits, ma kombu and water and bring to and hold at 65 degrees Celsius for one hour. Remove the kombu and bring to 85 degrees Celsius. Add hannakatsuo, and shiso leaves and steep as if making tea for one minute. Strain the broth through a coffee filter. Bring broth to a simmer, add kuzu starch (dissolved in 1 tablespoon water) and simmer one minute to slightly thicken. Cool dashi in an ice bath.

For the pasta cracker:

  • 600 grams All Purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 14 egg yolks
  • 8 grams of salt

Make a well with the flour; mix all the eggs with the salt and place in the well and mix. When mixed knead the dough for 10 minutes. Form the pasta into a ball, cover and let rest for one hour. Roll the pasta out to 1.5 on the pasta machine, brush with egg wash, sprinkle with black sesame seeds and fry at 325 degree F. until crispy. Remove from the oil and set on paper towels. When cool store in air tight container.

To finish:

In a small, shallow dish put 1.5 ounces of cherry shiso dashi, add a tablespoon of the marinated vegetables, place the pasta cracker on top and finish with the marinated mackerel. Garnish with a sprig of chervil and serve with a pitted Ranier cherry.

Edward Higgins, Chef de Cuisine at Four Seasons Silicon Valley

Braised Snake River Farms Pork Cheek

Braised Snake River Farms Pork Cheek with Peach & Pickled Red Onion Salmorigano

Served in 2010   |   Serves 4

For the pork cheek:

  • 1 pound pork cheeks, trimmed of any excess fat
  • Salt and black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, large dice
  • 1 celery stalk, large dice
  • 1 carrot, large dice
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 Tbsps tomato paste
  • 1 quart veal demi glace
  • 2 thyme sprig
  • 1 fresh bay leaf

Season the cheeks liberally with salt and black pepper. Sear in sauce pot over medium heat until well browned on all sides. Remove cheeks and set aside.

Pour off fat, reserving only two tablespoons. Add the vegetables and cook until fragrant and slightly softened (about five minutes).

Add the tomato paste and continue to cook over low heat for fifteen minutes more. Deglaze the pan with the red wine and reduce until completely dry.

Return the cheeks to the pan, arranging them in one even layer and cover with the stock. Bring to a simmer, add the herbs and cover with a lid or aluminum foil.

Place in a 300 degree oven for approximately three hours, or until the meat is fork tender.

Gently remove the meat from the braising liquid and strain the liquid. Discard the vegetables.

Return the liquid to the stovetop and reduce over medium heat until it reduces to a sauce-like consistency.

Transfer to warm plates, coat with the reduced sauce and serve with peach salmoriglio.

For the peach salmoriglio:

  • 2 peaches (Frog Hollow if available)
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, grated with a Microplane
  • 2 tsp dried Sicilian oregano
  • Salt Lemon juice

Combine water, olive oil, garlic and oregano in a small sauce pan and simmer for ten minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt and lemon juice. Add finely diced peaches and serve.

Robert Holt, Executive Chef at Cetrella


Spiedini with House Cured Monterey Bay Sardines and Baia Nicchia Sungold Cherry Tomatoes

Served in 2008   |   Serves 4   |   Recommended wine pairing: Rosé

for the cured sardines:

  • 1 pound Fresh Sardines Filleted
  • 1½ Cups Rice Wine Vinegar
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Toasted Fennel Seeds
  • 1 tsp Toasted Coriander Seeds
  • ½ tsp Red Chili Flake
  • 2 Fresh Bay Leaves

Fillet sardines. Combine all ingredients and whisk together to make sure everything is incorporated. Lay sardine fillets flat in a container and pour brine over the sardines. Let the sardines cure for 2 hours. Pull sardine fillets out of brine and cover with extra virgin olive oil. Put in fridge for one day. Pierce one cherry tomato on a skewer then thread a sardine fillet on the skewer then pierce one more cherry tomato.

Chef’s Note: Lomo is a salt cured porkloin that is smoked and dusted with smoked paprika.

Crudo of Young Yellowtail Jack “Hamachi”

Crudo of Young Yellowtail Jack “Hamachi” with Lemon Cucumber and a Calabrian Chili-Preserved Lemon Salsa

Served in 2007   |   Serves 5   |   Suggested Wine Pairing: a Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling

  • 5 oz. of yellowtail hamachi or ahi tuna sliced thin and diced
  • 1 lemon cucumber sliced ¼” thick into 5 pieces
  • 2 Calabrian chilis, seeds removed and sliced in thin rings
  • 1 preserved lemon diced
  • 8 sprigs of cilantro, chopped
  • 1 small piece of ginger, grated
  • 1 shallot minced
  • ¼ Cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Salt and white pepper

Make vinaigrette by macerating minced shallot and grated ginger with lime juice; let sit for 5 minutes. Slowly whisk in half of the olive oil, and season with salt and white pepper. Make chili salsa by combining preserved lemon and sliced chili, plus a little of preserved lemon juice and the rest of the olive oil. To assemble the dish, combine the sliced hamachi, the vinaigrette and the chopped cilantro; season the crudo. Place the hamchi crudo on each piece of sliced cucumber and top each piece with a dollop of Calabrian chili salsa.

Kirti Pant, formerly Executive Chef at Junnoon

Black Pepper Steak with Pomegranate Molasses

Black Pepper Steak with Pomegranate Molasses

Served in 2007   |   Suggested Wine Pairing: A hearty red

For the black pepper steak:

  • 2 Tbsps roasted ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp dry mango powder
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsps canola oil
  • 4 6 oz. flatiron steaks (ask butcher for “top blade” cut)

Roughly grind spices and mix with canola oil. Rub generously on steaks. Skewer and barbeque over medium heat until desired doneness.

For the pomegranate molasses:

  • 3 Cups pomegranate juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • ¼ Cup lemon juice
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Black pepper
  • Salt

Reduce pomegranate juice, lemon juice, sugar and garlic to about half of the original volume. Whisk in salt, pepper and vinegar to taste.

Daniel Patino, formerly Executive Chef at Arcadia Modern American Steakhouse

Seared Bay Boat Scallops

Seared Bay Boat Scallops, Passion Fruit, Cauliflower Tempura

Served in 2009   |   Serves 4

For the scallops:

  • 12 Fresh Sea Scallops
  • 1 tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh Pepper to taste

Season both sides of the scallops with sea salt and fresh pepper. In a hot sauté pan add the oil. Add the scallops making sure they are laying flat. Cook for one minute, turn over and add the butter. Cook for 30 seconds and take out of the pan and set them on a paper towel. As the scallops cool make the vinaigrette.

For the passion fruit vinaigrette:

  • ¼ cup of Cauliflower (sliced thinly)
  • ¼ cup of Fava Beans (blanched)
  • 2 tbsp of Passion Fruit Seeds
  • ¼ cup of Passion Fruit juice
  • ¼ of Fresh Orange Juice
  • ¾ cup of Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp of Toasted Almonds
  • 1 Squash Blossom (leafs only)

Using a large bowl add all the ingredients except for the squash blossom leafs. Mix well. Taste and add salt and pepper if necessary. Add 2 tablespoons of the passion fruit vinaigrette to a cool bowl. Add three scallops to each bowl and garnish with squash blossoms.

Osetra Caviar Parfait

Osetra Caviar Parfait

Served in 2008   |   Serves 4 (Appetizer Portions)

For the egg salad:

  • 4 Large Hard-Boiled Eggs, Peeled
  • 1 ½ tsps Finely Chipped Flat-Leaf Parsley
  • 1 Tbsp Minced Red Onion
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Push the hard-boiled eggs through a strainer into a small bowl (be sure that the mesh is large enough to allow the egg to pass through the holes). Add the parsley and red onion and toss gently to incorporate. Season lightly with salt and pepper. This may be made a day in advance and stored, covered and refrigerated.

For the whipped crème fraîche:

  • ¾ Cup Crème Fraîche
  • 2 tsps Finely Chopped Fresh Chives
  • 1 tsp Finely Grated Lemon Zest (from 1 lemon)
  • Generous Pinch of Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Combine the Crème Fraîche, chives, and lemon zest in a mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until very stiff, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. May be made a day in advance and stored, covered and refrigerated.

For the potato cakes:

  • 2 Russet Potatoes (about 1 ¼ pounds)
  • ½ Large Egg White
  • 2 Tbsps Chipped Fresh Chives
  • Generous Pinch of Kosher Salt, Plus Additional to Taste
  • Canola Oil, For Frying

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil and place them in a small baking pan. Transfer to the oven and bake until tender but not totally cooked through, approximately 40 minutes. To test, slice the potatoes in half; the “eye” in the center of the flesh should be opaque and about the size of a quarter. Par-baking the potatoes prevents them from oxidizing.

Refrigerate the potatoes until completely cool (if they are hot when you grate them, they can become gummy from the starch). This may be done the night before. Peel the potatoes. Using a box grater, coarsely grate them into a mixing bowl. Fold in the egg white and chives to bind the mixture together; season with a generous pinch of salt.

Coat the inside of a 3-inch ring mold with nonstick cooking spray. Pack the potatoes into the mold to form a ½-inch-high cake. Transfer to a plate, and continue making potato cakes until you have 4. The potato cakes can be formed ahead and refrigerated, for up to a day in advance, but it is best to fry them just before serving.

Just before serving, shallow fry the potato cakes. Line a plate with a double thickness of paper towels and set aside. Heat 1 inch of oil in a large skillet or electric fryer to 350° F on a frying thermometer. Remove the potato cakes from their mold and add them to the oil. Fry until golden brown and crispy, 4 to 5 minutes, turning several times. Using a slotted spatula, remove the cakes to the prepared plate. While they are still hot, season with a light sprinkling of salt.

To assemble:

  • 6 oz. smoked salmon, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 oz. caviar, Preferably Osetra
  • Fresh Dill Leaves, For Garnish

Coat the interiors of four 3-inch ring molds with nonstick spray. Set the molds on a plate or pan. Scoop 4 tablespoons of the Egg Salad into each mold, pressing gently with the bottom of a glass to create an even, compact layer. Repeat the process with the smoked salmon, creating a layer on top of the egg salad. Spoon 2 tablespoons of the Crème Fraîche over the salmon and even it out with the back of a spoon. Finish with about 1 ounce of caviar to cover the top completely, distributing it evenly with your fingers without smashing. Each component should create a distinctive layer; it is crucial that the layers are packed tight so the parfait does not fall apart when you remove the ring. Ideally, the assembly of the parfait should be done in advance and chilled for at least 1 hour to set up or it may “melt” when unmolded. If desired, the dish can be prepared up to this point the day before; simply cover the molds tightly with plastic and refrigerate.

To serve:

Place a warm Potato Cake in the center of each of 4 plates. Working gently, press the bottom of the parfait to release the seal. Working close to the plate, carefully shake the parfait out through the bottom of the mold and onto the Potato Cake. Garnish the plates with dill and any leftover egg salad.

Suggested Wine Pairing: Egly-Ouriet Blanc de Noirs Champagne NV; a rich sparkling wine is the only answer to this simple but rich combination of caviar and its accompaniments. The salty caviar needs a refreshing finish. An alternative is a dry Riesling or chilled pure vodka.

Lewis Rossman, formerly of Cetrella

Maine Lobster Ceviche

Maine Lobster Ceviche with Heirloom Tomatoes, Picked Chervil and Tiny Basil

Served in 2006   |   Serves 4

  • ½ lb. picked over Maine Lobster
  • ½ lb. ripe heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 finely chopped jalapeno chile
  • Chiffonade of 6 basil leaves (sliced in thin ribbons to avoid blackening)
  • 3 Tbsps chopped fresh chervil
  • fresh key lime juice to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together and let marinade for a minimum of an hour and up to one day.

Chef’s Note: Chef Rossman comments that “this is one of those, ‘by feel’ recipes. The idea is to pair the sweetness of the lobster with the acidity in the tomatoes, complimented by either lemon or key lime juice. This is dependent on the acidity of the tomatoes. If the tomatoes have good acid you may want to add less lime juice.”

Peter Rudolph, Executive Chef at Madera

Marinated Laughing Bird Shrimp

Marinated Laughing Bird Shrimp with Corn Custard, English Pea Puree and Chorizo

Served in 2010   |   Serves 6

For the marinated laughing bird shrimp:

  • 1 pound laughing bird shrimp
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ lemon zest peel 1 pint extra virgin Olive Oil

Sautee all ingredients through the lemon zest together in a pan with ¼ cup olive oil till the shrimp in half cooked, add the remaining olive oil and let marinate at least 1 hour.

For the corn custard:

  • 175 gram corn kernels, cooked
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 30 ml milk
  • 80 grams all purpose flour
  • 1 egg, 1 yolk

Blend ingredients together in a blender, pour into buttered baking dish and bake at 250°F for 25 minutes or until just set in center. Cool and cut into desired shape.

For the English pea puree:

  • 1 pound English peas, shelled
  • 1 pint chicken stock
  • 1 oz. butter
  • Salt and pepper

Bring the chicken stock to a boil and add the peas cook till soft. Remove the peas and blend with just enough of the chicken stock to make the puree smooth and thickened to your desired consistency, add butter and let it puree for about 5 minutes. “I like mine thicker that soup,” says Chef Rudolph.

To finish:

Place a serving of the puree in the center of the plate, place the desired shape and size of the custard in the center of the puree. Garnish with the marinated shrimp and finish with a julienne of dry chorizo. Enjoy!

Xavier Salomon, Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

Chilled Summer Corn Soup with Lobster “Lollipop”

Chilled Summer Corn Soup with Lobster “Lollipop” and Fresh Thai Basil Oil

Served in 2010   |   Serves 6

For the chilled summer corn soup:

  • 6 ears fresh corn, husked
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 cups water
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 6 Tbsps crème fraîche
  • 2 Tbsps chopped fresh chives

Cut raw corn kernels from cobs. In a heavy pan, sauté the corn kernels, garlic and onions in the olive oil. Add 5 cups water and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until corn is very tender, about 25 minutes. Cool. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until very smooth. Strain soup through fine sieve set over large bowl, pressing on solids with back of spoon; discard solids. If needed, add enough water to create the consistency of heavy cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate soup until cold, about 4 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep refrigerated.) Ladle soup into 6 bowls. Top each with a dollop of crème fraîche. Sprinkle with chives and serve.

Sea Scallop Carpaccio, Orange Chili Vinaigrette

Sea Scallop Carpaccio, Orange Chili Vinaigrette

Served in 2009   |   Serves 4

  • 4 King Sized Scallops
  • 4 Slim Spring Onions
  • 2 tbsp. Poppy Seeds
  • 4 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 tbsp. Fresh Lime Juice
  • 4 tbsp. Fresh Orange Juice
  • Orange Zest
  • Espelette Pepper
  • Fleur de Sel
  • Micro Cilantro
  • Chive Flowers

Clean the scallops and remove the muscle, carefully patting the white flesh dry. Slice thinly and horizontally, no more than 3 mm thick. Arrange on plates in layers. Wash the spring onions and slice thinly. Toast the poppy seeds in a pan until fragrant. Sprinkle spring onions, micro cilantro, chive flowers, orange zest, and poppy seeds onto the scallops in a 2 cm line lengthways. Mix the olive oil with the lime juice, orange juice, Espelette pepper, and fleur de sel. Drizzle over the scallops and serve immediately with Baguette crostini.

Heirloom Tomato Basil Terrine

Heirloom Tomato Basil Terrine with Goat Cheese Ice Cream

Served in 2008   |   Serves 12   |   Recommended Wine Pairing: California Viognier

For the basil oil:

  • 1 pound Fresh Basil
  • 1 quart Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Blanch basil leaves and ice down. Puree basil with olive oil and let set for a minimum of 24 hours.

For the terrine:

  • 2 pounds Roma Tomatoes, very ripe
  • 12 – 15 Heirloom Tomatoes of different colors
  • ½ cup Fresh Thyme
  • 1 whole Garlic head

Puree Roma tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Hold in a fine mesh strainer for about 2 hours to collect tomato water – about one quart. Peel Heirloom tomatoes by dipping in boiling water for 1 minute and then ice down, cut in quarters and take out the seeds. Layer in pans with extra olive oil, thyme, whole garlic cloves, salt and pepper. Cook in 240°F oven for about 2½ hours. Cool.

For the tomato gelee:

  • 12 Gelatin Sheets

Melt down gelatin sheets with a little warm tomato water and then mix with the remaining tomato water.

To finish:

  • ½ cup Whole Basil Leaves

In a terrine mold alternately layer the cooked tomatoes, whole basil leaves, salt and pepper and tomato gelee. Let sit overnight.

To serve:

Place one slice of the tomato terrine on a plate, drizzled with basil oil, fleur de sel, and toasted olive bread. Fresh goat cheese is a good accompaniment.

Chilled Summer Pea Soup

Chilled Summer Pea Soup with Crab and Mint Salad

Served in 2007   |   Serves 8

Suggested Wine Pairings: 2005 Chateau Ste. Michelle “Erica” Riesling, Columbia Valley, Washington or 2004 Grans-Fassian, “Piesporter” Riesling-Kabinett, Mosel-Saar-Rower

For the soup:

  • 4 cups fresh sweet peas, shelled
  • 1½ cups water, plus more as needed
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 cup whole mint leaves
  • Heavy cream lightly whipped (still liquid)< br/> Mint leaves (for garnish)

In a large pot of boiling water, blanch the peas for 2 to 5 minutes or until tender when bitten into. Drain and immediately submerge into cold water. Drain again.

Transfer half of the peas and ¾ cup of the water to a blender. Add mint leaves. Puree until smooth. Strain through a chinoise or fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Puree the remaining peas and water and strain into the bowl.

Gently stir in more water until the soup reaches the consistency you prefer. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. Cover and chill.

For the crab and mint salad:

  • 1 shallot, fine diced
  • 1 pound Dungeness crab meat, picked through for shells
  • 2 Tbsps olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 Tbsp mint
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Combine all ingredients.

To assemble:

Place a small ring mold in the center of chilled soup plates. Place about 2 ounces of the crab meat salad in the ring mold and pack down flat on top. Carefully remove the ring mold straight up. Ladle the chilled pea soup around the crab salad. Garnish the crab salad on top with mint leaves. Drizzle the lightly whipped cream around the top of the soup. Serve immediately.

Pan Seared Sea Scallops

Pan Seared Sea Scallops, Morel Mushrooms, and Wild Onions, Summer Pea Foam

Served in 2006   |   Serves 8 (appetizer size)

  • 16 Sea Scallops (10/20 size)
  • 1 pound Fresh Morel Mushrooms
  • 2 bunches Wild Young Onions
  • 1 lb fresh English Peas
  • ¼ gallon cream
  • 1 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 cup butter
  • To taste: mix herbs (parsley, chervil, tarragon)

Clean and blanch the peas in salty hot water. Cool down on ice and process in a blender, adding some cold water until you obtain a slick puree. Separate the puree in half and add the cream to the first half. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the cream. Cool down and add the other half to obtain a nice green color. Check the seasoning and place the mix in a Siphon (also known as an Espuma Bottle). Add one cartridge of gas and let set in cooler 1 hour before serving.

Clean and wash the mushrooms and onions. Cut in half if onions or mushroom sizes are too large. Blanch the onion for 1 minute in boiling water. In a pan with olive oil, sauté the morels and the onions together, season and finish with fine chopped shallots, herbs and fresh butter. Place the rest of the olive oil in another pan and sear the season scallops on both side for about 3 minutes. Your pan needs to be very hot to obtain a nice brown color. On a plate, place your morels then your cooked scallops and top them with the pea foam. You can garnish your plate with a fresh pea shoot (optional).

Robert Sapirman, Executive Chef at Parcel 104

Grilled Chiapetti Lamb with Licorice BBQ Sauce

Grilled Chiapetti Lamb with Licorice BBQ Sauce

Served in 2007   |   Serves 4   |   Suggested Wine Pairing: Kathryn Kennedy Maridon Vineyard Reserve Syrah 2002

For the BBQ sauce:

  • ½ cup licorice beans
  • 2 tsps toasted fennel seed
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 oz. molasses
  • 2 Tbsp ginger (grated)
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 each lemon juice and zest
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 each bird chili (split)

Place all ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil slowly. Reduce the heat and simmer 20 minutes until sauce coats the back of the spoon. Strain and season to taste with kosher salt and cracked black pepper.

Donato Scotti, Executive Chef at Donato Enoteca and formerly Executive Chef at La Strada

Baccala Manteceto e Carta Musica

Baccala Manteceto e Carta Musica, Insalata di Quaglie e Orzo and Panzanella Toscana

Served in 2010   |   Serves 12


Traditional Veneto milk braised salt cod on house made carta musica bread with organic Umbrian Barley and lentils salad with marinated and grilled Sonoma quail and Classic tuscan salad of heirloom tomatoes, cucumbers, spring onions, celery and grilled bread.

For the bacacala’ manteceto e carta musica:

  • 2 pounds dry baccala’
  • 3 laurel leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsps chopped anchovies
  • 4 oz. garlic
  • 2 oz. finely diced onion
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 4 oz. flour

Soak baccala for two days in cold water, until de-salted. Put de-salted baccala’ in pot to boil with plenty of water. Wrap some pepper and the laurel leaves in cheesecloth and tie it into a little spicebag. Put spicebag in the water in which the baccala’ is boiling, along with a lemon cut in half. Let boil for another hour. Then remove lemon halves and spicebag, remove the pieces of baccala’ and put aside for later use. Dispose of the water.

Put some olive oil in a pan. Add chopped anchovies, garlic, and diced onion. Little more live oil, medium heat, and add the pieces of baccala’. Break up the baccala’ into finer pieces by hand and let cook. Raise heat and add milk. Cook to a boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer for a half hour. Add flour. Stir, being careful to not let the mixture lump up. Let cook some more, check for salt and add as needed. You’re done, spread on crostini and serve.

Baccala Gratinato

Baccala Gratinato

Served in 2007   |   Suggested Wine Pairing: a white soave or sauvignon blanc; or a red valpolicella, nerello mascalese or teroldego

  • 1 lb baccala (salt cod)
  • ½ quart milk
  • 1 cup manufacturing cream
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 onion
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 oz. anchovies in oil
  • 2 oz. all-purpose flour
  • 3 cloves garlic

Soak the baccala in cold water (in the refrigerator) for 24 hours, changing water frequently. In a sauce pan, cook olive oil, chopped onion, garlic and anchovies over medium heat, stirring frequently, until onion is translucent and anchovies are melted. Add the milk and bring to a boil. Add cream.

Pat salt cod dry, and pass through the flour. Use olive oil to grease a low baking pan. Add the salt cod, covering the bottom of the pan. Cover with milk. Repeat process with as many layers as possible.

Cover and place in oven on a double boil pan (pan with water with baking pan inside) for 1½ hours at 375°F. Uncover and cook for 5 minutes at 400°F.

to serve:

Serve warm with toasted Sfilatino bread (or fennel seed flat bread) or in the winter with soft polenta.

Cal Stamenov, Chef & Culinary Director at Bernardus Lounge

Garden Mâche with Wild Mushrooms, Fingerling Potatoes and Bacon Vinaigrette

Garden Mâche with Wild Mushrooms, Fingerling Potatoes and Bacon Vinaigrette

Served in 2009   |   Serves 4

Recipe History:

It all started with the bed of mâche in my garden. It thrives here in Carmel Valley year-round, so I devised a salad to keep up with my proliferating crop. It quickly became a hit at Marinus, and proved so popular that I created four variations on this theme, one for each season. In the winter months, I often use black truffles in addition to or in place of wild mushrooms, but this is a luxury most of don’t have at home. Feel free to add them if you wish, but this robust, country style salad is absolutely delicious without them. The tender mâche will wilt slightly when tossed with the hot, smoky mushrooms, and the salad is meant to be served slightly warm. Although I use at least two varieties of mushrooms in this recipe, more or less is fine—use whatever you like and can find.

For the bacon vinaigrette:

  • ¼ Cup thinly sliced, peeled shallots
  • 1/3 Cup thinly sliced thick-cut bacon (about 3 slices)
  • 1 tsp minced fresh garlic
  • ¼ Cup sherry vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine the bacon and shallots in a large skillet and place over medium heat. Cook until the bacon renders its fat and the shallots soften and turn translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes.

Add the sherry vinegar and cook until the liquid is reduced to about 1 tablespoon. The mixture will smell strongly of bacon and pungent vinegar. Transfer the warm mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth, stopping the machine to scrape down the sides several times. Add the olive oil and run the machine for 2 or 3 minutes to create a smooth vinaigrette. The dressing will be thick. Set aside at room temperature or refrigerate (for up to 2 weeks) if making in advance.

For the mushrooms:

  • 16 oz. trumpet, porcini, cremini or hedgehog mushrooms, trimmed and sliced (¼-inch thick)
  • 3 Tbsps olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tsps minced shallots
  • 1 tsp minced fresh garlic
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tsps minced fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tsps minced fresh tarragon

Clean the mushrooms with damp paper towels or use a paring knife to lightly scrape off any loose dirt. If you must wash them, let the mushrooms dry on paper towels or on a wire rack for 2 hours in a warm place before proceeding.

Place a skillet over high heat, and when hot, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add mushrooms and sprinkle with salt; this helps them to melt and soften. Sauté the mushrooms without stirring over high heat until one side begins to color and becomes slightly crusty. Reduce the heat to medium-high, flip the mushrooms to their uncooked side, and finish cooking. (The length of cooking time will depend on which mushrooms you choose.) Set aside at room temperature. You can cook the mushrooms up to 2 hours in advance of serving this salad. Loosely cover them with foil and keep at room temperature.

Chef’s Tip:

If you’re using several varieties of mushrooms, cook them in separate pans, so you can control the cooking times, which will vary.

To assemble:

  • 4 fingerling potatoes, cooked and peeled
  • ¼ cup basic French-style vinaigrette
  • 4 oz. mâche, washed and dried

Peel the fingerlings and cut into ¼-inch slices. Drizzle the potatoes with some of the French-style vinaigrette; set them aside while you proceed with the recipe.

Place the mâche in a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of French Vinaigrette.

Place a large skillet over high heat and when hot, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Combine all of the mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, to reheat and crisp the mushrooms, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the shallots, garlic, pepper, parsley and tarragon, and stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, then add 2 or 3 tablespoons of Bacon Vinaigrette to deglaze the pan. Remove from the heat and immediately pour the mushroom mixture over the mâche. Add the potato slices and toss gently to combine the ingredients. Divide the salad among 4 plates and serve immediately.

Chef’s Notes:

Don’t be put off by the instructions to cook mushrooms over high heat. Mushrooms are about 80% water, and the flesh needs to be broken down to release the juices and flavors inside. The easiest and quickest way to do that is with heat. When a mushroom encounters heat, the juices begin to rush out, which could cause the mushrooms to steam and become soggy. The way to avoid this is to start with a very hot pan and use a fat (in this case olive oil) that can withstand high temperatures without burning. If you add the mushrooms and allow them to sear and brown, undisturbed by stirring, they will caramelize beautifully and release their meaty flavor.

This recipe involves two vinaigrettes, both very different. The bacon vinaigrette is excellent as a pan de-glazer, infusing the mushrooms with a hint of sweet smokiness. As a dressing for the mâche, however, it is too heavy, which is where the second vinaigrette comes into play.

Fingerling potatoes are small and thin skinned, resembling, as their name suggests, a fat finger. One popular and commonly available variety is called Russian Banana. It has a buttery textured, yellow flesh and is very sweet tasting. For this salad, you can steam or boil the potatoes several hours in advance of making the salad. Let the fingerlings cool completely, and peel and slice them shortly before assembling the dish. Never refrigerate a cooked potato, however, because once chilled, it loses flavor, sweetness, and its subtle earthy essence.

Duck Foie Blond Salad

Duck Foie Blond Salad with pickled Bing cherries, olive oil crouton, and organic greens

Served in 2008   |   Recommended Wine Pairing: Pinot Gris

For duck foie:

  • 13 oz. duck and squab livers
  • 8.5 oz. foie gras
  • 13 grams salt
  • 33 grams cognac
  • 5 grams finely cracked pepper
  • 21 oz. cream

In a blender purée livers until smooth. Add foie gras, salt, cognac and cracked pepper and blend well. Strain through a small holed colander or medium sieve. Gradually add the cream to assist in straining. Mix well to combine with rubber spatula. Place in terrine mold and cover. Cook in water bath for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees. Cover with melted duck fat and refrigerate.

For pickled bing cherries:

  • 4 pounds bing cherries – stems trimmed
  • 2 (750ml) bottles red wine
  • 2 cups sherry vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 bunches tarragon
  • ¼ cup black peppercorns

Place red wine, sherry vinegar, sugar, tarragon and black pepper in a large pot. Bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat. Place cherries in large bowl or container and pour liquid over the top. Cover well and refrigerate for 2 weeks.

Mark Sullivan, Chef/Partner at Village Pub

Fresh Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

Fresh Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho

Served in 2007   |   Suggested Wine Pairing: champagne, riesling, or sauvignon blanc

For the diced vegetable garnish:

  • 2 quarts cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 quarts red and yellow bell peppers, skinned, seeded and diced
  • 1 quart red onion, diced
  • Juice and zest from 2 lemons
  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

Dress red onions with lemon juice and season. Add olive oil and diced vegetables. Garnish with parsley and mint in small bowl. Chill.

For the soup base:

  • 1 gallon tomatoes, with seeds and trimmings
  • 1 gallon cucumber and sweet pepper trimmings
  • Juice and zest from 4 lemons
  • 3 cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsps banyuls vinegar
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

Blend tomatoes, cucumber and sweet pepper trimmings until liquid. Pass through a tamis. Reserve half of the fluid and pass the other half through a fine chinoise. Add the lemon juice and zest, sherry vinegar, olive oil and season to taste. Keep well chilled.

Parsley and garlic croutons:

  • 2 quarts small dice country bread
  • 6 Tbsps parsley chiffonade
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 Tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

Sauté diced bread crumbs in olive oil with herbs, garlic and seasoning until golden brown. Add parsley chiffonade during the last minute of cooking.

To assemble:

  • Mint chiffonade
  • Parsley chiffonade
  • Fleur de se
  • Ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil

Place 6 ounces of soup base in a well chilled soup bowl. Add 2 ounces of diced vegetables. Garnish with mint and parsley. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with fleur de sel. Top with 1 tablespoon of crispy croutons and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper.