Chef's Blog

Solage Calistoga's Executive Chef Brandon Sharp shares his passion for cooking, life and all things Napa Valley.

June 23, 2011

Summer finally arrived over the weekend.  96 in the shade in Calistoga on Tuesday and about 128 on the hot line over the stoves.  I think I drank a gallon of water while cooking lunch.  No one sat out on the patio that day . . .

With the heat, hopefully we’ll taste the first great peaches of the year soon.  Yellow corn is already very good, but I’m yet to taste a ripe tomato.  We have two different fried green tomato dishes, one each for lunch and dinner.  Very crispy, very exciting.

Tim from K&J orchards brought in great Rainier cherries last weekend, along with Katy apricots.  Most apricots benefit from cooking, but these went straight onto our fruit plates at breakfast and cheese plates in the evening.  Barney Welsh is bringing us strong, springy genovese basil so intense it almost tastes like cloves.  And we’re getting in calendulas, pansies, and cornflowers to sprinkle on our Forni-Brown Gardens salad.

This is my favorite time of year to eat at work–almost every day it’s a salad of Forni greens, corn, pickled red onions, and chili-lime vinaigrette.  It can only be improved by the onset of cherry tomato season.  And a peach for dessert.



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