Flourish Magazine

Fall-Winter 2014

Flourish Magazine, the North Bay's Guide to Sustainable Living. Serving Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties and sharing the stories of local people working towards sustainable living, organic foods and eco-conscious lifestyles.

Issue link: http://www.ifoldsflip.com/i/382330

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Page 18 of 51

FALL/WINTER 2014 • FLOURISH 19 A bundance is such a short word for the extraordinary cornucopia of produce that's available to us in the Bay Area more than six months a year. In many states, where September means already cooking foods akin to Thanksgiving, we're still reveling in plums, peaches, heirloom tomatoes, sweet yellow and white corn and a multitude of other fruits, vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. "There's something holistic about growing the produce, rais- ing the animals, and consuming them. We are hunter-gathers by nature. Taking that approach to cooking, something about that makes me feel good inside," said Dustin Valette, Chef de Cuisine at Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg. Valette loves his contribution of sweet pea and asparagus soup anchored by a crab salad, because it's a marriage made of his fas- cination with the produce of earth and sea, and how ingredients from these different realms combine so beautifully. Valette and the other chefs we spoke with for this story, Benja- min Balesteri of Poggio in Sausalito and Perry Hoffman of Etoile at Domaine Chandon, all have much in common. Each was raised in a family where the restaurant business and/or food was integral to his family culture. And each went into the business in his early teens, convinced that a farm to table approach to cooking and eat- ing, was the only way to go. "At Domaine Chandon we now have 10 acres including two huge greenhouses dedicated to growing herbs, fruits and vegeta- bles for the restaurant, so we can really stay committed to cooking with the seasons," explains Perry Hoffman, executive chef at Etoile restaurant at the Yountville winery. He contributed a recipe for a delicately rich, lightly acidic plum/Meyer lemon vacherin. Benjamin Balesteri of Poggio thinks of using locally sourced produce to create exceptional meals much like a composer uses notes to make a new piece of music. "You start out with one line of melody, a hook," he said, "and build a song around it. I like to do this with food. I start by saying here's one flavor we're go- ing for, and after that, you start building flavors around it. Balesteri contributed a recipe for wild Bodega Bay salmon, which you can buy at the Marin Thursday and Sunday Civic Center farmers markets. The market is also the place where you can flesh out this dish with sparky garnishes of Padrón peppers, squash blossoms, watercress and chanterelles, which bracingly balance the unctuous richness of the fish. "Honestly, eating seasonally should come naturally to people," said Perry Hoffman. "Also, when you eat seasonally, you support your local economy. Not only the farmers but the infrastructure supporting those farmers, such as farmers markets, that makes it possible to have such wonderful seasonal ingredients to work with." On the following pages are three recipes adapted from these top Bay Area chefs in Marin, Sonoma and Napa Counties, from which you can create your own spectacular late summer seafood- inspired meal. Our delicious starter comes from Dustin Valette, chef de cui- sine, Dry Creek Kitchen at Hotel Healdsburg, Healdsburg. Of Earth and Sea 3 chefs share their seasonal best by leslie harlib images by stuart lirette

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