Sweet Corn Panna Cotta Sturgeon Caviar

Sweet Corn Panna Cotta & Sturgeon Caviar

Wine pairing: Chenin Blanc

Prep time: 25-30 minutes, Resting time: min. 3 hours

Yield: 2 dozen small bites

  • 2 ears of corn, husked
  • 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 ounce California sturgeon caviar (Tsar Nicoli or Stolt Sea Farms)
  • 2 to 3 chives, snipped

In a medium pot fitted with a steamer basket, steam the corn until tender, 10 minutes. Let cool, then cut the kernels from the cobs (you should have 1 1/2 cups); discard the cobs. Transfer the kernels to a blender.

Meanwhile, in a heatproof medium bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over ¼ cup of the milk. Let stand for 5 minutes.

In a small skillet, combine the remaining 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon of milk with the cream, salt and both sugars and bring to a bare simmer, whisking to dissolve the sugars. Scrape the hot milk mixture into the gelatin and stir until the gelatin dissolves. Pour the mixture into the blender over the corn and puree until smooth.

Strain the puree through a sieve into a large bowl, pressing on the solids; discard the solids. Strain again without pressing; discard any solids in the sieve.

Arrange Chinese-style soup spoons on a small sheet pan. Transfer panna cotta to a squeeze bottle and fill spoons to just under the lip. Refrigerate overnight until firm, or at least 2 ½ hours.

Plum glazed ribs

Plum-Glazed Pork Baby Back Ribs

Wine Pairing: Zinfandel

Prep time: 30 minutes, Cook time: 3 minutes

Serves 2


  • 1 rack baby back pork ribs
  • 8-10 cups water or broth
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon or more dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the glaze:

  • 2 tablespoons minced yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup zinfandel
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¾ cup plum jam
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper

Garnish: 2 green onions, sliced thin

To Prepare:

Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium flame. Sauté onion and ginger in oil for 1-2 minutes. Add wine then stir in plum jam and spices. Simmer together 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Trim ribs if needed then cut into 4 pieces. Place ribs in a large 8-quart stockpot, add bay leaves, peppercorns, dried red pepper flakes and salt then cover with water or broth. Bring contents of pot to a rolling boil. Parboil ribs for 15-20 minutes. Remove from water and pat dry. Transfer ribs to an oven-safe roasting pan.

Heat grill to 500°F, leaving one burner off. Place ribs pieces over direct heat to sear. Cook on each side for 5 to 6 minutes then move off heat. Brush liberally with plum glaze. Close lid and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn ribs over, brush on additional glaze and cook another 3 to 4 minutes. Repeat process brushing with glaze on each turn. Remove from grill, sprinkle with thinly sliced green onions and served. Serve paired with your favorite zinfandel, steamed rice, and a light salad or slaw.

Recipe by Chef Rachael Levine

Scallop Ceviche

Scallop Ceviche

Wine Pairing: Vermentino

Prep Time: 25 minutes, Cook time: 30-45 minutes

Yield: 4 appetizers

  • ½ lb. sea scallops
  • 1 fresh squeezed lime
  • 1 fresh squeezed Meyer lemon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Dash of Aji Amarillo or scotch bonnet pepper sauce (optional)
  • ¾ cup cooked sweet potato cut into ¼” dice
  • ½ cup fresh sweet corn kernels
  • ¼ cup thinly shaved red onion
  • ¼ serrano or Fresno chile, thinly shaved
  • 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt

To Prepare:

Fill a small pot with lightly salted water, add sweet potatoes and cook until tender, about 15-18 minutes. Strain and let cool completely.

Rinse scallops and remove foot, pat dry, and chop into small pieces. Place in small glass or plastic container with citrus juices, salt and pepper sauce.  Refrigerate for a minimum of 30-45 minutes to allow juices to “cook” scallops.  Be sure to stir occasionally.

After scallops have been in the citrus mixture for a minimum of 30 minutes, stir in sweet corn, red onion, serrano pepper, and cilantro. Spoon evenly into four martini glasses and serve. Garnish with nasturtiums or other edible flowers such as borage or marigold petals.

Recipe by Chef Rachael Levine

Cast iron steak II

Cast-iron New York Strip Steaks

Suggested Wine Pairing - Barbera

Prep time: 12 minutes, Cook time:10-12 minutes

Serves 2-4

  • 2 New York strip steaks, (10 to 12 ounces each)
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup olive oil plus 2 tablespoons
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, sliced very thin
  • 3 tablespoons oil-cured black olives, pits removed and quartered
  • ½ teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon oregano leaves, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary leaves, coarsely chopped

Combine 1/3 cup olive oil with garlic, olives, and pepper flakes; set aside.

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in medium skillet over medium-high flame. Season the meat on both sides with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Carefully add steaks to pan; cook 4 minutes, turn over, cooking 3 minutes more. Reduce heat to low, pour olive oil mixture over steaks; cook 1 minute. Remove pan from heat and transfer steaks to a cutting board. Let rest 2 to 3 minutes. Stir herbs into warm oil, garlic and olive mixture. Carve steaks and finish by spooning warm olive oil mixture over the top.

Recipe by Chef Rachael Levine.


Grilled Swordfish with Cherry Tomato Salad

Wine Pairing Suggestion: Sangiovese

Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time: 10 minutes

Serves 4

  • 4, 6-ounce swordfish fillets or steaks
  • ¼ cup fresh oregano leaves
  • 1 tablespoon shallot, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon zest
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Place swordfish in a shallow dish. Blend ingredients and pour over fish. Marinate in refrigerator 45 minutes to 1 hour. While swordfish marinates, prepare cherry tomato salad.

Remove fish from marinade shaking loose the excess. Grill fish over medium-high flame for approximately 4-5 minutes each side. Serve each topped with a generous spoonfuls of Cherry Tomato Salad.

Cherry Tomato Salad

Prep time: 15 minutes

  • 1½ cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chiffonade
  • 1 tablespoon shallots, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar
  • Toss ingredients together in a bowl and refrigerate until just before grilling the fish.

Recipe created by Chef Rachael Levine


Uni with Grilled Stone Fruit & Mustard Seed Caviar

Serve with warm grilled bread, arugula or sunflower sprouts

Wine pairing – Rhone-style white wine such as viognier or roussane/marsanne

Serves 8

  • 8 slices sweet baguette, each cut ½” thick, by 4 ½” long
  • 1, 3-ounce tray of fresh uni
  • 1½ tablespoons mustard seed caviar (pickled mustard seeds)
  • Prepare mustard seeds at least 24-hours in advance.
  • 2-3 pieces of medium-sized stonefruit (peach, plum, or nectarine)
  • 1½ tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1, 3-ounce container sunflower greens or a handful arugula
  • Extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Heat grill. Arrange baguette slices evenly on a baking sheet, drizzle each lightly with olive oil; set aside.

Pick clean sunflower greens, discarding bottom half of stems, reserve tops in a small bowl. Just before serving, toss lightly with evoo, sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Prep stone fruit by halving and removing pits. Combine in a small bowl, toss with vegetable oil and season lightly with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Grill cut side down over medium-hot flame or coals for 3 minutes, turn over and cook 1-2 minutes more. Remove from heat immediately. Let cool then dice into small even pieces.

Grill bread just prior to serving the appetizer, about 2 minutes each side.

To Assemble:

Quickly spread 2-3 lobes of uni (like you would spread butter) and about ½ teaspoon of mustard seed caviar evenly across the warm bread slices. Sprinkle diced fruit evenly across uni, top each with dressed sunflower greens. Serve while warm.

Above recipe by Chef Rachael Levine

This following recipe is borrowed from the cookbook Momofuko, by David Chang and Peter Meehan. If you would rather purchase than make, mustard seed caviars can be found at specialty grocery stores.

Pickled Mustard Seeds

Makes about ½ cup

  • ½ cup yellow mustard seed
  • 1 cup water
  • ¾ cups seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt

Combine the mustard seeds, water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to the gentlest of simmers over low heat. Cook the mustard seeds, stirring often, until they are plump and tender, about 45 minutes. If the seeds look to be drying out, add water as needed to the pot to keep them barely submerged. Cool and store in a covered container in the refrigerator. Pickled mustard seeds will keep for months.

goat cheese

Petite Goat Cheese Torte with Strawberries & Lemon-Thyme in Pastis

Yield: 2, 3-inch diameter cheesecakes

Suggested Wine Pairing: French-style Rose (pictured – Starfield Rosé of Cinsault)

Crust –

  • ¼ cup crushed gluten-free crackers
  • 2 tablespoons crushed roasted walnut
  • ½ teaspoon Chinese Five Spice
  • 1½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2, 3-inch ring molds
  • 2 square pieces aluminum foil (about 5”x5”)
  • Butter

Preheat oven to 400°F oven. Place ring molds in center of lightly buttered foil pieces. Pull foil up tightly around each mold then place on a sheet pan. Place crackers and walnuts together in a food processor and pulse until mixture reaches the texture of coarse sand. Transfer to a bowl and stir in spice and melted butter. Divide in half and place at the bottom of each mold. Use a fork to spread and press crust down forming an even base. Bake 10 minutes, remove immediately, and let cool. Refrigerate 15 minutes to help set. Lower oven temperature to 300°F.

Filling –

  • 6 ounces chevre
  • 1 medium-sized egg
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1½ teaspoons chopped lemon-thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp finely minced orange zest
  • 1/8 tsp cracked black pepper
  • Pinch of sea salt

Whisk ingredients together until mixture is smooth. Place chilled ring molds on a sheet pan. Evenly spoon goat cheese mixture into each. Bake 15-20 minutes - check at 15 minutes, filling should be just set. If it is still jiggly, cook 5 minutes more. Remove promptly from oven and let cheesecakes cool to room temperature (about 45 minutes). Transfer to refrigerator, chilling for a minimum of 3 hours prior to serving. Use a thin metal spatula, running it carefully between cheesecake and side of ring mold, to loosen. Pull foil down, carefully lift off ring mold then transfer to a small serving plate. Top with strawberry mixture, serve with gluten-free crackers or toast points and a glass of lightly chilled rose.

Strawberries & Lemon-Thyme –

  • ¼ cup ripe strawberries diced small
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon-thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 roasted walnut halves, lightly broken
  • ½ teaspoon pastis or anisette liqueur
  • Pinch of sea salt

Prepare ½ hour prior to serving. Gently toss ingredients together, divide evenly and topping each cheesecake in the center allowing pieces to fall down sides.

Syrah glazed lamb

Syrah-Molasses glazed Rack of Lamb with Potato-Parsnip Mash

Suggested Wine Pairing: full-bodied Syrah

Serves 4

  • 1 rack of lamb, “frenched”, cut in half (4 bones per piece)
  • (ask your butcher to prepare the meat for you)
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup of Syrah or other hearty red wine
  • ¼ cup dark molasses
  • 10 juniper berries
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¾ pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium-sized parsnip, peeled and chopped (about 1½ cups)
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste

Rinse lamb rack and pat dry. Season lamb liberally with sea salt and cracked black pepper; cover and refrigerate.

Combine wine, molasses, juniper berries, and cinnamon together in small saucepan and place on stovetop over a low, simmering heat. Whisk together until the molasses dissolves completely. Simmer wine mixture until it has reduced to one-third its original volume, about 20 minutes. When tested, the glaze should lightly coat the back of a spoon. Set aside.

While glaze is simmering, prepare potatoes and parsnips, then combine in a stockpot with lightly salted, cold water. Place pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until you can easily insert a fork into the potatoes. Drain water from pot; add butter, olive oil, and rosemary to potatoes and mash until mostly smooth; season with sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Keep warm.

Preheat oven to 400º F and arrange oven rack to rest 1/3 of the way down. Begin cooking the lamb while the potato-parsnip mixture is boiling. Warm the olive oil in a large, oven-safe skillet (should be large enough to fit both pieces) on the stovetop over medium-high heat until hot and shimmering. Add lamb, breast side down and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Turn racks over, brush with syrah glaze and then carefully transfer skillet into the oven. Roast lamb for 20-25 minutes, brushing lamb with the glaze every 5 minutes or so. Pull immediately from oven and let rest 8-10 minutes. Half each piece, plate and serve with Mashed Parsnips & Potatoes.

- Recipe by Rachael Levine, Chef

finished clams

Clams with Chorizo, Apple & Fennel

Suggested Wine Pairing:  Albarino

Serves 2

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • ¼ cup Spanish chorizo, small dice
  • ½ cup fennel bulb, small dice
  • ¼ cup tart apple, small dice
  • 2 tablespoons shallot, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons preserved lemon
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ¼ tsp cracked black pepper
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 dozen fresh clams
  • 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped


Upon bringing clams home, transfer them to a suitable sized bowl and gently run a stream of cold water over them for a minimum of 30 minutes. Periodically stir them around to help loosen any grit on the shells. The water also helps the clam release grit trapped inside making your meal a more appreciable experience.

To prepare:

Drain clams from water. Select a large skillet with a matching lid. Place over high heat, add 2½ tablespoons butter and heat for about 3 minutes. Add chorizo, fennel, apple, shallot, garlic, and preserved lemon, sautéing for 2 to 3 minutes. Carefully add white wine and lemon juice, bring to a boil then add clams. Cover skillet with lid and cook for 5 minutes. Clams should be opened. Sprinkle with herbs, gently swirl contents of pan then divide clams evenly between two bowls, pour wine mixture evenly over clams. Pair with a cool, crisp Albariño.

Serve promptly with toasted or grilled bread and a small greens salad.



crispy potatoes with romesco

Crispy Smashed Yukon Gold Potatoes with Romesco Sauce

Suggested Wine Pairing - Tempranillo
Serves 2
Potatoes –
  • ¾ pound baby Yukon gold potatoes
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons duck fat
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary, coarsely chopped
  • Coarse sea salt and cracked black pepper
Romesco Sauce – (yields about 1 cup)
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper (Ital brand recommended), seeded and skinned
  • 1-ounce toasted bread (1 slice about 1-inch thick)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup almonds, lightly roasted
  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 ½ tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Potatoes –
Place potatoes in a small pot with lightly salted cold water. Bring to boil and cook 20-25 minutes. Drain immediately, let cool to room temperature then chill for a minimum of 1 hour. Potatoes can be prepared up to two days in advance. Once cold, place potatoes on a flat surface or cutting board and gently smash using a flat-bottom ramekin or something similar.
Heat duck fat in a skillet over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add potatoes to duck fat, being careful not to crowd the pan. Fry potatoes for 3-4 minutes on each side. Set on paper towel lined plate to absorb excess dripping. Sprinkle potatoes with rosemary, sea salt, and cracked pepper. Process can be completed in two batches if needed. Keep potatoes warm in a 250°F oven while frying second batch.
Romesco Sauce –
Arrange oven rack in upper third of oven, turn oven to broil. Halve Roma tomatoes, season with sea salt and cracked pepper then drizzle lightly with extra virgin olive oil. Arrange cut side up on sheet pan and place on rack under broiler. Broil for 6-8 minutes. Tomatoes will be charred. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature. Prep remaining ingredients while tomatoes cool. Cut roasted pepper into strips, toast bread to dark golden in color and tear into pieces, lightly chop garlic, and parsley.
Use a food processor to prepare sauce. Combine bread, garlic, and almond together. Process for 30-40 seconds. Scrape sides down and process about 10 seconds more. Texture should be mealy like polenta grains. Add tomatoes, pepper, smoked paprika, parsley, sea salt and pepper. Process for 20-30 seconds, scrape down sides, add sherry vinegar and olive oil then process an additional 20-30 seconds more. Transfer sauce into a storage container and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes before serving. Romesco sauce may be made up to 3 days in advance.
To serve –
Follow directions for frying potatoes. Spoon about ½ cup Romesco sauce onto a serving plate or into a small. Place hot potatoes on the plate and serve. Enjoy while hot! Use remaining sauce on toast or as a compliment to grilled vegetables or roast chicken.