Chef Tom Herndon – Roasted Sausages with Grapes over French Green Lentils

Today, we’ve got Roasted Sausages with Grapes over French Green Lentils, the Incredible Jacob Collier with some jaw-dropping music, and news about a Blog….

Sausage and Grapes


1/2 pound cooked smoked bacon, thinly sliced crosswise

1/4 cup duck fat

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 large carrots, finely chopped

3 large stalks of celery, finely chopped

1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

3 fresh bay leaves

1 pound green Puy lentils, rinsed and drained

4 cups chicken stock (more if you prefer it a bit soupier)

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

2 pounds assorted high-grade sausages

2 cups seedless grapes

1 cup white wine

Juice of a lemon

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


For The Lentils:

Heat duck fat over med-low heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery. Sweat the veggies, covered, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 15 minutes.

Add thyme, bay leaves, lentils, cooked bacon, and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes (or longer depending on age of lentils). You want them soft, but not mushy.

Stir in half the chopped parsley, mustard and vinegar; season with salt and pepper. Cover and set aside.

For The Sausages and Grapes:

Preheat the oven to 375. Place sausages on a foil-lined cookie tray that has a light coating of olive oil.  Roast the sausages until blistered (as they cook add splashes with wine to evaporate), about 10-15 minutes.

When they are brown all over, prick each sausage in a few places with a fork. Add grapes, and turn heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until some of the grapes collapse (about 5 minutes more). Add lemon juice, stir, and turn off the heat.

Carefully slice each sausage into thirds. Fold sausages into lentils. Top with roasted grapes. Garnish with remaining parsley and serve.

On That Note

Jacob Collier: Boy Genius

Jacob Collier. I’m sure that many of the music nerds who read DBAWIS have heard of this young prodigy, but I just found him. He’s one of those supremely talented individuals who make you feel both incredibly inspired and really, really dumb. Whatever. I spent a few hours watching his videos and getting a sampling of his talent, which is not only deep, but wide.

He had a residency at MIT’s Music and Theater Arts and Quincy Jones signed him to his management level so Jacob could bring some of his own ideas to life. Winner of two Grammy’s by the age of 22, including his debut album “In My Room”, Jacob is a musical force.

Borrowing a quote from his website:
“In 2016, Jacob released his debut album, “In My Room”, which was entirely self-recorded, arranged, performed and produced in his home in London.

Jacob then set out to bring his room to the stage. With the help of MIT PhD student Ben Bloomberg, he designed and built a groundbreaking one-man live performance vehicle which defies the musical laws of nature, featuring a circle of musical instruments, six simultaneous multi-instrumental loopers, a custom-designed vocal harmoniser instrument, a real-time reactive multi-Jacob video screen, and one Jacob in the centre of it all, The first ever performance was held at the Montreux Jazz Festival, 2015, where Jacob opened for Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea. Minds were blown; goosebumps were risen. Jacob set out to tour the world.

From winning two Grammy awards for his debut album, to playing 150 shows in 26 countries on his One-Man-Show World Tour; to collaborations with Hans Zimmer, Herbie Hancock, Pharrell, Tori Kelly, Snarky Puppy, Metropole Orkest, Samsung and Apple; to speaking at the TED Conference 2017; to harmonising hundreds of fans’ #IHarmU melodies to crowdfund his musical adventures; to teaching masterclasses and confounding music theorists around the globe with chords and rhythms that shouldn’t exist; to improvising circlesongs with musicians on the streets of the world; to simply walking through the rain — Jacob’s life is full of different colours. He learns new things every day.

He looks forward to meeting you, someday.”

The only way I could possibly follow his conversation (see Listen to the Way He Talks below) is to try and think in food metaphors. I have a bit of music experience, but a LOT of food experience, so applying his theoretical innovations and discoveries to my own experience with how I relate to cooking and recipes, especially how he talks of symmetry and emotion; of inversions, transpositions, reversals and maybe occasionally and often by happy accident, something like finding negative harmony in food combinations to evoke emotions, helped me understand that this young man, as a musician, is already a master chef. Not bad for 23.


Jacob’s Grammy Winning Arrangement of “Flintstones”

His TED Talk (performance)

Explaining Harmony at Five Levels

Snarky Puppy feat. Jacob Collier & Big Ed Lee – “Don’t You Know” (Family Dinner Volume Two)

Just Listen to the Way He Thinks

From the Foodiverse


I am a visual person. The way food looks is as important as how it tastes. I find myself easily and often seduced by a huge universe of really beautiful food porn. I have a list on my home page called Blog Porn where the recipes are great, but the pics are gorgeous. I can scan through hundreds of photos in one sitting, and still be hungry for more. Yes, I used the word porn twice in one paragraph.

Case in point, as one example in hundreds, there is a site called Fooddeco. Click on THIS LINK and scroll down, go to their gallery, but especially take a look at their Instagram account. They work mostly in avocado, which I think is extraordinary anyway, but take a look at their design sense with colors and patterns.

Here’s an amuse bouche of all of the images available.



Chef Tom is currently Resident Chef for a small tech firm in San Francisco. He also teaches cooking classes, caters small parties and leads overseas culinary tours. His specialty for the last twelve years has been cooking for people with food allergies and sensitivities. His motto is “Food should give you pleasure, not pressure.”

Check him out at

6 Responses to “Chef Tom Herndon – Roasted Sausages with Grapes over French Green Lentils”

  1. Peter Montreuil Says:

    Wow! Great column.

  2. “When they are brown all over, prick each sausage in a few places with a fork. Add grapes, and turn heat to medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until some of the grapes collapse (about 5 minutes more). Add lemon juice, stir, and turn off the heat.”

    Doesn’t the sausage have to be removed from the oven and all of this happens back in the saucepan containing the lentils? Or is it in a separate pan? Obviously not in the oven like it sounds?

    • Two separate pans, one for the sausages and grapes in the oven and one stovetop for the lentils. You want to add the grapes into the same pan with the juicifying sausages. Grapes only take a few minutes. They should soften and begin to collapse, then pull them out so as not to overcook. Once the meat and fruit are done, cut the sausages into thirds, add them to the lentils (either in the lentil pan, or better yet on a serving plater), then top with grapes.

  3. Sorry Mike, well, first, you need to loosen up about the literal translation of the recipe (or any recipe). Recipes are like GPS, they’re designed to get you from point A to point B, but have little to do with the actual experience of driving. Ingredients, equipment, your own experience in the kitchen, temperature…there are always a ton of variables. Point is, you’re cooking the sausages and grapes together for a few minutes. You can just leave the oven where it is and watch that you don’t overcook the grapes. The sausages will already be done. Does that help?

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