Choosing the perfect produce isn't daunting or difficult when you know what to look for.
Tutorials in this course: 19
Total viewing time: 1 hour 32 minutes
Total course time (including prep and cooking): 2 weeks and 9 hours*
*This unusually long total course time is due to the time necessary for preservation and infusion techniques, as required by some recipes.
As the summer rolls in, fresh fruit is becoming ever more abundant at the farmers market. Utilizing it at peak freshness can not only maximize flavor, but help to get the most nutritional value out of the fruit. Knowing how to select, peel, chop, preserve, and incorporate fruit into your repertoire for both sweet and savory dishes will seriously advance your culinary chops, while helping to deepen your understanding of the diverse produce available from your local farmer.
Seasonality is key when considering what fruit to use and how to use it. Selecting fruit that is in season and locally grown will ensure the best flavor from the produce, which is really half the battle when it comes to being a great cook. While this course mostly focuses on summer fruits and does highlight imported varieties, it also incorporates citrus, generally in season during the winter months, and pomegranates, which tend to be in season in mid fall. Use this course as a starting point to understanding the vast possibilities of nature’s greatest gift. Talk to your local farmers, ask questions, and get creative. From savory salads to sweet desserts, preserved jams and infused liquors, fruit is wildly diverse and can be incorporated into any meal.
Michael Sichel is the executive chef of Galatoire’s Restaurant, one of the largest, most well-known, and frequented fine dining restaurants in New Orleans, as well as their bar and steakhouse affiliate, Galatoire’s 33 Bar & Steak.
Pace Webb is the executive chef at her own boutique, Los Angeles-based catering company, Taste of Pace, and is also a leading lifestyle expert. Her motto is “Cook them tasty food,” and Pace does just that with a focus on farmers’ market-fresh produce and creative use of ethically sourced proteins. Pace studied in Rome and was classically trained in Western European Cuisine, and her food is a reflection of her personality and heartfelt commitment to innovative, healthy cooking.
Chef Hourie Sahakian quickly made a name for herself by becoming an Eater Young Gun in 2013, as well as one of ZAGAT’s “30 Under 30.” She recently moved on from Short Cake Bakery where she got her start, to join La Brea Bakery as their Culinary Innovations Manager.
Susana Querejazu is the pastry chef at the James Beard nominated Odd Duck restaurant in Austin, Texas. Her talent and passion for pastry were recently recognized by Zagat, where she was featured on their Austin’s 30 under 30 list.
Brian Mercury is the pastry chef at acclaimed Boston restaurant, Harvest. Chef Brian’s style is contemporary and refined, highlighting local, seasonal, and sustainable ingredients. His goal is to make desserts that employ modern techniques and unusual flavor combinations. Brian Mercury was recently named "The People's Best New Pastry Chef (East)" by Food & Wine Magazine.
Chef Nyesha Arrington is a young, classically trained chef whose accomplishments have already vaulted her into star status. She was most recently Executive Chef at Santa Monica’s fine-dining restaurant Wilshire. She appeared on season nine of Bravo’s hit reality show “Top Chef” and on the Esquire Network’s chef competition show “Knife Fight.” She was twice named to Zagat’s “30 Under 30” list of rising chefs. Arrington has trained under award-winning chef Josiah Citrin at his two Michelin-starred restaurant Mélisse in Santa Monica and under French culinary legend Joël Robuchon at his award-winning Las Vegas restaurants, L’Atelier and The Mansion.
Brynn Smith is the bar director at Sotto in Los Angeles. She is also the creative force behind Bartending Pretty, a website where she shares original recipes and professional tips and tricks for cocktail masters-in-the-making.
Chef Patricio Sandoval is the executive chef and co-owner of the Mercadito restaurants in Chicago. Chef Patricio channels his childhood memories of growing up in Acapulco with a restaurant family into refined Mexican street food that has won the hearts of Chicagoans.
Tyler Kinnett is the executive chef of Harvest in Boston, where he showcases regional ingredients and produce-centric cuisine though fresh and sophisticated dishes. He has been featured in Boston Magazine and Zagat.
Chef Wilfredo Avelar is the sous chef at Emeril's Delmonicos in New Orleans where he brings bold tastes and revived tradition to the residents of New Orleans through expertly crafted Cajun and Creole meals.
Coco Kislinger is the tour de force behind Coco Bakes, a Los Angeles-based bakery specializing in vegan and gluten free goods. Coco Bakes has been lauded by Food & Wine, Elle, Zagat, Refinery 29, Goop, Huffington Post, Vice, and many others.
Luke Reyes is is currently the chef and co-owner of a soon-to-be-opened Japanese-American fusion restaurant, Oh Man! Ramen. He is also the former executive chef at Butchers & Barbers in Hollywood, and in 2013, was a victorious contestant on Food Network’s “Chopped”.
Chef Bruce Kalman is the head chef at Union in Old Town Pasadena. Driven by a “hands on” philosophy towards cooking, Chef Bruce can be found hand-rolling pastas, making his own butter, packaging pickles, and butchering his own meat.
Bryon Freeze burst into the culinary spotlight when he won "Chef Wanted," a chef competition show on the Food Network. Freeze's interest in a culinary career began at age 15 when he worked in fast food and felt the excitement of a service rush. After heading up the Manhattan Beach kitchens of Mexican eatery Mucho Ultimo and Circa, he moved on to Santa Monica's acclaimed Tar & Roses, where he was most recently Chef de Cuisine.
Chef Kelly Boyer is the founder and executive chef of Paleta, the wildly popular farm-to-table meal delivery service committed to providing locally sourced and humanely raised ingredients. Thriving since its inception, Paleta now makes and distributes cold-pressed juices, cleanses, and snacks. Chef Kelly is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and received a Master’s degree from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.
What You Need
- Cutting board
- Chef's knife
- Paring knife
- Medium mixing bowl
- Small bowl
- Large saucepan
- Chinois or strainer
- Medium container
- Jar with lid
- Blender with tamper
- Mortar and pestle
- Rubber gloves
- Tall cocktail glass
- Tall mixing glass
- Cocktail shaker
- Rocks glass for serving
- Small hotel pan
- Disposable pastry bag
- Plastic squeeze bottle
- Sheet pan (2)
- Ice cream maker
- Parchment paper lined baking sheet (optional)
- Baking dish or mini tart shells
- Ingredients are listed within each respective tutorial
These concepts drive healthy eating, and will help you select the most flavorful, nutrient-rich products available.
Sweet persimmons are paired with roasted squash, balanced with creamy burrata, brightened with tart lemon, and enhanced with smoky trout roe for a salad worthy of main-course attention.
This fresh and clean watermelon, fennel, and cucumber salad is dressed with a bright basil dressing and is elevated by a sophisticated presentation.