Chef Bryan Jones Presents Top Recipes – Fresh Starts Culinary

Cooking with chef bryan recipes

Video Cooking with chef bryan recipes

It’s a rare event when the #1 restaurant in America comes to you. That’s what happened when St. Francis Winery chef Bryan Jones arrived at Fresh Starts Chef Events.

The winery’s dining room has twice been voted the top honor by Open Table diners, with Chef Bryan leading the most recent award in 2015.

The evening began with Chris Silva, CEO of St. Francis Winery, speaking briefly about the history of the winery and its sustainable wines. The winery’s commitment to sustainable food includes a 2-acre vegetable garden.

That garden provides inspiration for the chef, who says he has cooked since his early years, admitting that “my mother was a horrible cook.” He trained at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, and before coming to the winery, he spent nine years as a chef and general manager at Sondra Bernstein’s fig café in Glen Ellen.

He demonstrated his most requested recipe, Cucumber gazpacho with cucumber and mint granita, as a first course. Easy to prepare and made in advance (the slush has to

be frozen for about three hours), it is a perfect starter for warm weather


The dish uses a high-quality extra virgin olive oil, “to give it a pleasant mouthfeel,” says the chef, and vinegar to balance the richness of the oil. The result was much tastier than the family tomato versions and was paired with 2015 Sauvignon Blanc from Dry Stack Vineyard in Bennett Valley.

Chef Bryan then prepared brick chicken with grilled roma and salsa verde, also a dish that needs pre-work but little heat in the kitchen. He demonstrated how to carefully bone the chicken with the skin intact, then cover with the “brick,” a preheated cast iron pan wrapped in aluminum foil, while the chicken goes to the grill.

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Salsa verde, drizzled over chicken and lettuce, added “oomph” with capers, anchovy and orange zest. The flavors paired perfectly with a 2013 Cabernet Franc (Wild Oak Vineyard, Sonoma Valley).

A dessert of Bruleéd apricots with English honey cream, also an advance preparation project, requires enough work to discourage some home chefs: cooking over a water bath, constantly stirring, cooling in an ice bath, and that’s just custard. The feuille de brick (a Franco-Tunisian cake), apricots and apricot mascarpone also have their own preparation.

Surprisingly, the 2013 Banti Vineyard, Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel was a wonderful addition to dessert: Chef Bryan described it as “smooth and elegant.”

The Republic of Tea, the main sponsor of the events, offered iced tea to cool off between dishes. Taken together, the three dishes and wine pairings created an elegant evening. — Contributed by Carol Inkellis with photos courtesy of Neely Wang.

Chef Bryan Jones-16_crop

Cucumber gazpacho with cucumber and mint slush – Yields 6 ingredients

: For gazpacho: 2 English cucumbers,

peeled and seeded 3 sprigs of green onions, base and top 1/3 removed (use only the white part) 2 medium cloves garlic 1 cup diced baguette, without crust 3 tablespoons toasted almonds 1 tablespoon Moscato vinegar 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Juice and

zest of 1/2 lime 1 cup ice For the slush: 1 tablespoon lemon zest 1/2 cup lemon juice 3/4 cup

sugar 1 cup water 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 sprigs mint 1 pound English cucumbers, peeled and seedless Instructions: For gazpacho

: Cut cucumbers into cubes. Combine cucumbers, green onions, garlic, baguette, almonds, lime zest and lemon juice in the blender and mix until smooth.

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Add the ice,

vinegar and olive oil, then puree until smooth


For the slush: Place the lime zest, lemon juice, sugar, salt and water in a large saucepan and bring

to a boil.

Boil for 1 minute, then add the mint and remove from the heat to stand for 10 minutes.

Add the ice,

vinegar and olive oil, then puree until smooth


To serve: Pour the gazpacho into a bowl, cover with a tablespoon of slush and cover with micro-cilantro.

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