Forest Berry Tart

For just over a year, I have put being a “Chef” on the back burner in order to focus on my service education and wine studies. I can remember being much younger with my parents at a wine tasting. I also remember thinking that group of adults were crazy, there was no way you could pick up such complex flavors such as tobacco, mixed berries. Many years have passed since then, and I have completely fallen in love with the world of wine. I am trying my best to dive deep into my studies. As well as frequently tasting and trying to pick up minute complexities in wines that may not be overtly expressive.

During peak Berry Season, you can pick up almost all berries at Union Square Green Market in New York City. I wanted to make sure to familiarize myself with their scents and flavor profiles. Without a real plan for what to make with them, I threw them into yogurt, mixed drinks, and in sparkling water.

Blackberries, Red Currants, and Blueberries.Processed with VSCO with  preset

Forest Berry Tart

As a final hurrah, I decided to throw together a Forest Berry Tart. Which is simply a Chocolate Tart Shell, with Sweetened Chantilly topped with all the berries. Below is the recipe I used for the tart shell, it is classic Chocolate Sable recipe.


Tart Dough:

3 Tbsp (50 g)   Butter, Room Temp (Soft but not melting)

1/2 cup (75 g)  Confectioners sugar

1 each               Egg

1 pinch             Salt (If using salted butter, salt may be omitted.)

1/3 cup (45 g)  Cocoa Powder, Unsweetened Dutch Processed

2/3 cup (80 g)   Flour, sifted

-Whisk the butter in a mixing bowl until soft and creamy.

-Add the confectioners sugar.

-Whisk the mixture until it is smooth. Combine the egg and the salt and whisk into the mixture.

-Whisk in the flour.

-Turn out the dough onto a sanitized work surface and finish combining the ingredients, using your hand and a pastry scraper, until you have a smooth dough.

-Shape into a flat disk, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the refrigerator for 2 hrs.

Tip: Double the recipe and save half the dough in the freezer for a rainy baking day.

Adapted from French Patisserie: Master Recipes and Techniques from the Ferrandi School of Culinary Arts 

I purchased the linked book above, and want to  make as many recipes from it as I can. I think its interesting to make and compare then with the standard recipes that I have been using for years.

Low and Slow Salmon


  • 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 Grapefruit, sliced, seeds removed.
    • Juice the other half for plating.
  • 1/2 orange, sliced, seeds removed. I ate the other half.
  • 1/2 Lime, very thinly sliced, seeds removed.
    • Juice the other half for plating.
  • 1 Serrano, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and Freshly Ground Pepper. I currently only have white in house so I went with that.
  • 16 oz Salmon fillet
  • 2 Tablespoons, Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • Save the Fennel Fronds for garnishing

Preheat oven to 250°F.


Toss fennel, orange slices, grapefruit, lime, and orange slices, and Serrano peppers in a shallow baking dish; season with kosher salt and pepper. Season salmon with kosher salt and place on top of fennel mixture. Drizzle oil over.

Roast until salmon is just cooked through, 30–40 minutes for medium-rare. It will be flaky outside and darker pink inside.

Low and Slow Salmon Plated

Plating: Preferably a shallow bowl or plate with rounded edges.

Mix Grapefruit and Lime juice together, pour onto the plate. Transfer salmon to a platter, breaking it into large pieces as you go. Spoon fennel mixture and oil from baking dish over; Season with sea salt and pepper and top with fennel fronds. Salmon Devoured

Recipe based on Bon Appetit’s Slow Roasted Salmon.

A visit at Channing Daughters

Channing Daughters

I first heard of Channing Daughters Winery a few months back when I was looking into wineries who were leaning towards sustainable, organic and biodynamicpractices out in Long Island, NY. Channing Daughters continued to sequentially pop into my life, either via wine lists at various restaurants, wine stores, and finally podcasts.

Long Island is slowly transitioning into organic practices with their first certified organic wine produced last year (June 2017.) A few farmers produce a small quantity of organic and biodynamic wine that isn’t really distributed out to the city. But there are a handful of certified sustainable wineries, which possibly is a step in the right direction. Sustainable/organic foods overall can be a hot button issue and I try not to lean 100% towards one way or another. I simply don’t want to drink something chock full of chemicals that vineyard predators wouldn’t even touch.

A few weekends ago (with hesitation), I convinced my Aunt who has lived in Long Island for over 30 years to try a new winery. She has been fortunate enough to watch the Long Island wine community grow into what it is today but has her tired and true favorite wineries. Last summer I convinced her to visit a winery which has been around for many years. Long story short, we were not impressed. Mainly because we had less of a hospitable experience than we would at one of the wineries we frequently visit. This year I was reluctant to suggest a visit to a new winery after my attempt to get my family to try something a new spot last year.

ChanningDaughtersPeekaBooGood thing I tried again!

Channing Daughters blew us away. Beyond having extraordinary wines and vermouth (more on that later), the staff was incredibly knowledgeable, patient, and most importantly friendly. Anthony their wine attendant had a lot to do with our experience.



Baby Grapes, July 2017

We ran through a tasting of only a few of their extensive production of wines. I’ve never seen so many grape varieties at one winery, currently growing over 20. From classics like Chardonnay and Merlot to Tocai Friulano, Ribolla Gialla and Blaufränkisch.

Everything we tried was perfectly balanced, there were a few standouts!

DSC074982014 Meditazione skin contact white. 36% Pinot Grigio, 21% Muscat Ottonel, 14% Chardonnay, 13% Tocai Friulano, 7% Sauvignon Blanc, 5% Pinot Bianco and 4% Gewurztraminer. Fragrant overripe peach, nectarine, lychee, bitter orange peel, boxed raisins.

First time my Aunt ever tried a skin contact white! This wine is not what I would call a beginners “orange” wine, although it is indeed orange. The grape varieties themselves scream obscurity. Not something I think my Aunt would find palatable, but somehow this blend was gorgeous. She loved it so much she brought a bottle home to my Uncle. Which is a monumental move for my family!


2014 Blaufrankish. 75% Blaufrankisch and 25% Dornfelder. Black fruits, game, high acid, tar, mild tannins. 


2016 Petit Verdot. 100% Petit Verdot. High acid/tannin tomato skins, rose, forest floor blackberry.


DSC075162017 Rosso Fresco. 76% Merlot, 11% Syrah, 8% Blaufrankisch, 4% Cabernet Franc, 1% Teroldego. Super crushable, light cherries juicy not super complex, simply delicious.


ChanningDaughtersVervinoVermouthVervino Vermouth

I had no idea Channing Daughters made vermouth before our visit. They had a few variations based on six growing seasons out in the island, with botanicals all grown locally. Flavor profiles ranging from jalapeños to plum. My favorite was Variation 5 (their late summer white), made with musk melon, peaches, flowering basil, flowering dill, lemon balm, papalo, lemon verbena. Which was fermented dry and reminded me of Sherry.

I loved every moment at Channing Daughters, and can’t wait to go back!



July 4th, 2018

I figure I’ll kick my blog off with how I spent my Fourth of July.  This was my first fourth of July were I actually saw Fireworks. The past few years I’ve worked through the Holiday, which isn’t really the worst Holiday to work through. (New Years Eve is my least favorite holiday to work.)

I met up with my friend Morgan, who I met a few years ago now, in Los Angeles. Back then we both worked at the same restaurant, and we have been friends ever since. We both have similar tastes and interests (which is simply a love for food and wine.)


Fun Fact: Brooklyn is so huge, that in order to get to some parts of the borough I have to take a train into the city and back to Brooklyn.

The night kicked off with a killer sandwich from Campbell Cheese and Grocery.  Specifically their Albacore Tuna Sandwich with White Beans, Capers, Kalamata Olives, Radish, Parsley, Lemon, and the best Ciabatta that I’ve had in New York thus far. Toasted to perfection. I’d make a pit stop even if I weren’t hungry for a bit of shopping and a sandwich for the road.



Honestly couldn’t name each variety of cheese, but Morgan simply keeps her house stocked with cheeses at all time. Which is greatly appreciated.


Taiheikai Tokubetsu Junmai

The World Of Sake: Before that evening on Morgan’s gorgeous Brooklyn balcony, the only Sake I have had either was warmed, or in the form of a Sake Bomb. I have made Sake Ice Cream before but thats a story for a different day.

Taiheikai being the specific brand of the producer Watari Bune. Tokubetsu Junmai “special pure” designating that it is a high quality sake and a pure rice wine without the addition of alcohol.

Not my usual beverage of choice for such a humid day but I loved it. Perfect for a hot summer day,lightly floral and with some weight to it. Served chilled.

This bottle inspired me not only to try and understand sake, but also to watch an amazing documentary on Netflix called Birth Of Sake. Definitely recommend watching, so good I watched it twice!


Eminence Road Farm Winery


Considering it was an All American Holiday, Morgan thought we should drink domestically. Eminence Road Farm Winery out in the Catskills is as domestic as it gets! She found this beauty at a natural wine store, I’m unsure if the winery or the wine store wrote on the bottle itself but it reads Still Funky Riesling.

It delivered just the right kind of funk for us. Nothing like your typical German or Alsatian Riesling, as it sees a bit of skin contact and is unfiltered and unfined.

Lightly sparkling, and chock full o’ texture. My love for skin contact whites, stems from my love of tannins (pun fully intended.) Orange peel and peaches really shinned through for me. It was a beautiful pick me up after such a smooth sake.