Chef Tom – Hi Gang. Happy to be back. Did you miss me?

Been kinda busy, including flying from San Francisco up to Ashland Oregon to cater this amazing event last weekend.

One Successful Wine and Food Pairing Event

Wine and Food Pairing

About a year ago, my good friends J Maylee Oddo and Brock Dumont invited me to be their guest chef for their Bi-Annual Winemaker Event, to raise funds for the Ashland Independent Film Festival, by pairing food with eight different vintages – for fifty guests! The extravaganza took place last Sunday, June 16th. This was my very first wine and food pairing event and I loved every minute of it!

This is a great example of the kinds of events I love to do. I was even able to glean the expertise of a new friend who happens to be a sommelier, and together we came up with some killer pairings.

My favorite compliment of the event was “The food was better the wine!” The hostess even said she had doubts when she saw I was pairing sardines with one of the Pinot’s, but when she tried the two together, she smiled and said, “You are a creative genius!”


Southern Oregon Pinot Noir

Our Wine Pairing Menu

2015 Argyle Sparkling Vintage Brut
Honey-Roasted Peach, Crème Frâiche, Toasted Brioche

2017 Justin Girardin Savigny-lès-Beaune ‘Les Gollardes’ Burgundy
Wild Mushroom-Chicken Liver Paté Bruschetta

2017 DANCIN Trata Southern Oregon Estate Pinot Noir
Fig-Black Olive Tapenade, Gorgonzola Crumble Crostini

2016 Sanford Santa Rita Hills Estate Pinot Noir
Burrata, Thyme, Roasted Tomato

2016 Wooldridge Creek Winery Pinot Noir
Roast Loin of Pork, Triple Berry Coulis, Black Pepper

2015 Weisinger Estate Pinot Noir
Portuguese Sardine, Sweet Tomato Concasse

2015 Domain Drouhin Pinot Noir Dundee Hills
“Charcuterie Cup” Salami, Gruyere, Artichoke, Roasted Pepper

2016 Irvine & Roberts Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir
Bacon-Bing Bites


Honey-Roasted Peach on Toasted Brioche

Honey-Roasted Peach, Crème Frâiche, Toasted Brioche
Serves 8

2 slices brioche bread
1/2 firm-ripe peach, sliced into 8 wedges
1 tablespoon wild honey
1/4 cup crème frâiche
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Toast bread to a golden brown. Using a 1-inch cookie cutter, cut four circles from each slice.

Slice peach half into 8 wedges. Carefully toss wedges with the honey and gently mix until well covered.

On a parchment paper-lined tray roast wedges at 350 for 10 minutes or until starting to soften, but still firm. Remove from oven and let cool.

Thin out the crème frâiche with a little half-n-half until the consistency of honey and place into a squeeze bottle (or you can use a small spoon for drizzling).

ASSEMBLE: Place one slice of peach onto a circle of brioche. Decoratively drizzle with crème frâiche, and top each with a few thyme leaves.

Wild Mushroom-Chicken Liver Pate

Wild Mushroom-Chicken Liver Paté
Serves 8

1 1/2 sticks butter
1 pound organic chicken livers, cleaned
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons brandy
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound wild mushrooms (such as shiitake, chanterelles, morels and/or
black trumpets)

In a skillet, melt 3 tablespoons of the butter and add the chicken livers. Cook on medium heat, stirring occasionally until the livers are cooked and there is no trace of pinkness, about 15 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper.

Transfer the cooked livers to a food processor. Add the brandy, garlic, and thyme to the skillet and deglaze all of the juices from the livers (this is where the real flavor is!). Add the brandy mixture to the food processor and blend with the livers. Let cool. ramekins and refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.

While the livers are cooling, cook the wild mushrooms: Place a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. After 1 minute, stir in the mushrooms and season with salt and black pepper. Cook the mushrooms for about 5 minutes, stirring to ensure that they cook evenly. Remove from the pan and finely chop, then let cool.

Fig and Black Olive Tapenade

Fig-Black Olive Tapenade, Gorgonzola Crumble Crostini 
Serves 6

3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup mixed, pitted black olives
1/2 cup stemmed and halved dried Mission figs
2 teaspoons capers
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces sweet gorgonzola, crumbled

Reconstitute figs in hot water for 20 minutes and drain.

Pulse olives, figs, capers, and 1/2 of thyme in a food processor until a coarse mixture forms. Add remaining oil, the balsamic, salt, and pepper and pulse to combine; set tapenade aside.

ASSEMBLE: Spoon tapenade on top of a cuke slice and top with crumbles of cheese ; garnish with remaining thyme leaves. Serve with something crunchy, or on top of a slice of toasted baguette.

Burrata and Roasted Tomato

Burrata with Thyme-Roasted Tomato 

Serves 6

1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
1 container cherry tomatoes
1/2 bunch thyme
3 whole burrata cheese

Lay cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet and toss with a little olive oil, thyme leaves, and salt and pepper to taste.

Place baking sheet in the oven at 250° F for 3 1/2- 4 hours. You can do this a day or two ahead of time if you want, just wait for the roasted tomatoes to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container in your refrigerator.

ASSEMBLE: Quarter each whole burrata and place on top of roasted thyme tomatoes. Serve this on top of slices of cucumber, or on toasted, butted slices of baguette.

Roasted Pork and Triple Berry Coulis

Roast Loin of Pork, Triple Berry Coulis, Black Pepper
Serves 4

1/2 cup fresh orange juice (about 2 oranges)
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 cup fresh blackberries
1 1/3 cups raspberries
1 cup blueberries
1/3 capful vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 pound pork tenderloin
salt, pepper, olive oil
1/2 cup microgreens for garnish

Generously season tenderloin with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Roast at 375 for 15 minutes, or until 140 degrees (still pink).

Combine juice and cornstarch in a small saucepan; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Stir in berries, sugar, vanilla, and pepper. Adjust seasoning with sugar and salt.

Reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until sauce thickens. Let cool and sieve to remove seeds. Add pork drippings to berry sauce.

ASSEMBLE: Drape half a pork slice with the sauce. Garnish with a grind of pepper and top with a few microgreens.

Portuguese Sardine in Sweet Tomato Concasse

Portuguese Sardine, Sweet Tomato Concasse
Serves 6

1 tin (Portuguese) Sardines in olive oil
1 can fire-roasted chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon brown sugar
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon chives, minced

Separate the sardines and set aside.

Bring tomatoes, sugar, and salt and pepper (to taste), to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 minutes, or until thickened.

ASSEMBLE: Place a couple of tablespoons of tomato concasse at the bottom of a small plate/bowl, lay one or two sardines into the sauce and garnish lightly with chives. Serve with a small fork.


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

2 Responses to “Chef Tom – Hi Gang. Happy to be back. Did you miss me?”

  1. good to have you back! And thanks for all these wonderful recipes!

  2. Good to be back, Roxanne, and thanks for your kind words.

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