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Chef's Cook Backwards

Yesterday at an event a group of guests asked what some of my favorite recipes are when I’m cooking at home and it got me thinking…  Chefs cook backwards; planning is what happens at work - at home we open the frig and say ummmm. It really starts at Farmer’s Market on Saturday when I’m busy getting all the produce for the events. Whats newly in season, fresh, colorful and inspiring - that’s what I get a bit of for me. Chefs start with what we have and then we create; we don’t plan a menu and then go shopping. 

Mid June here in Santa Barbara is when Tutti Frutti’s organic heirloom tomatoes make their first appearance and it’s exciting!  Definitely got as many of those as I could get onto the event menus and a few for home along with some black Tuscan kale, leeks, cilantro, spinach, Lily’s free range eggs, Drake’s Family Goat cheese and the also newly arrived & beloved pit fruit.  

I always have some new ingredient I’m experimenting with too. Right now I’m seriously excited about Crushed Aleppo pepper. Aleppo chili comes from northern Syria, near the town of Aleppo, which is considered one of the culinary meccas of the Mediterranean. It has a moderate heat level with some fruitiness and mild, cumin-like undertones, with a hint of a vinegar, salty taste.  It has a very robust flavor that hits you in the back of your mouth, tickles your throat and dissipates quickly.  

We love green’s for breakfast so this Sunday I sauteed kale, spinach & leeks popped in some goat cheese and a few fresh eggs and topped them with Aleppo chili and maldon’s flake salt. While that finished in the oven I made a quick salsa with the tomatoes and cut some fragrant fruit.

One sweet pink grapefruit became aqua fresca; to a cup of ice water I squeezed in the juice and dropped in a few fragrant wedges, no sugar required. 

For more Pure Joy inspirations on the Santa Barbara Farmer’s Market check out our other site Santa Barbara Venues

I’m Lynette at Pure Joy Catering; if I can be of any use to you in creating a really special celebration give us a call at 805 963 5766


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