"It's not just learning a new language -- but learning to write poetry in that language," says Octavio Becerra, executive chef and partner of Pinot Bistro in Los Angeles, of studying to be a chef. Becerra was planning a career as a commercial photographer when he met chef (and future partner) Joachim Splichal. A decade later, he was nominated for the "Rising Star Chef of the Year" Award by the James Beard Foundation for his cooking at Pinot Bistro. Prior to the opening of Pinot Bistro, Becerra apprenticed at three Splichal restaurants, including Max Au Triangle in Beverly Hills. Later, he left to study in France and Spain. When he returned to the United States, he went to work with Splichal, and in 1990, one year after the opening of Patina, Becerra became chef de cuisine. It was during this period that he and Splichal began planning Pinot Bistro, which was voted "Best New Restaurant" by Esquire Magazine and "Best Restaurant in the Valley" by the Los Angeles Times.
* Exported from MasterCook * Warm Crab & Fingerling Potato Salad w/Horseradish, Creme F. Recipe By : Octavio Becerra -- Pinot Bistro, LA, Calif. Serving Size : 4 Preparation Time :0:00 Categories : Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method -------- ------------ -------------------------------- 8 fingerling potatoes -- assorted sizes 8 Red Bliss potatoes -- assorted sizes 1 pound Maryland lump crab meat 3 ounces cre`me fraiche kosher salt white pepper -- freshly ground cayenne pepper lemon juice 1/2 teaspoon prepared horseradish 1/2 teaspoon flat chives -- finely chopped 3 tablespoons shallots -- finely diced 1/2 teaspoon Italian parsley -- finely chopped 12 baby red oak lettuce leaves 1/2 teaspoon peppercress -- (a type of watercres 1/2 teaspoon onion sprouts 4 garlic blossoms -- optional Rinse and sort potatoes to uniform sizes -- small, medium and large -- with smaller potatoes on top. In a large saucepan, cover sorted potatoes with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for approximately 35 minutes, or until potatoes are cooked through. Drain potatoes and allow to cool slightly, then slice. Pick crab meat clean to make sure no shells remain. Set aside. Season cre`me fraiche with salt, pepper, cayenne, and lemon juice to taste. Add horseradish, flat chives, shallots and parsley. Mix thoroughly, then gently add cleaned crab meat. Prepare last four ingredients (all for garnish) by picking through the herbs and lettuce, making sure they are crisp and clean. TO SERVE: Toss warm potatoes gently but thoroughly with the seasoned cre`me fraiche, crab meat and peppercress. Place some of the mixture in the center of each 12" dinner plate. Lay the baby lettuce leaves around the dish. Garnish with onion sprouts and garlic blossoms. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
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