Shrimp-and-Chorizo Pizza with Escarole and Manchego
"I don't know if I invented this combo, but since I don't remember stealing it from anyone, I'll take the credit," says Michael Schwartz of his ingenious pizza topping of shrimp, escarole, tangy Manchego and spicy chorizo. He sources his ingredients from local producers, like the chorizo (the firm kind; the soft one would make the pizza too greasy) which is from Miami's El Palacio de los Jugos marketplace.
"I don't eat veal very often, but when I do indulge, I enjoy it," says Amanda Hallowell, who buys her veal from a local butcher shop that raises its cows on grass, the old-fashioned way. Here, she pan-fries veal chops in a panko crust and serves them with a tangy sauce made with crème fraîche and lemony fresh sorrel.
"I like the clean flavors in this dish," says Sam Mogannam of this incredibly simple side, which is as good with turkey as it is with steamed fish, roast chicken or pork. For his Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco, Mogannam raises heirloom vegetables at his Sonoma farm.
"Succotash was one of those things I truly hated as a child. I grew up with the frozen kind—it was the lima beans I especially objected to," says chef Thomas Keller. That changed as he got older and started eating succotash made with fresh vegetables. Now he thinks limas are extraordinary. "One of the best things to happen to lima beans was when they started showing up fresh at farm stands instead of frozen in bags," he says. For a lovely presentation, he spoons his buttery succotash into hollowed-out heirloom tomatoes.
To showcase deeply flavorful, locally raised grass-fed beef, butcher-shop owners Jessica and Josh Applestone make a simple roast beef using any number of cuts, including rib loin (prime rib), top round or a tied sirloin tip. The roast—deliciously crusted with horseradish and black peppercorns—is perfect hot out of the oven, but it's also amazing cold on a sandwich: Thinly slice the roast beef and serve it on white bread with horseradish mayonnaise and juicy tomatoes.
Monica Pope (an F&W Best New Chef 1996) loves the organic pecans from Rio Grande Organics in Quemado Valley, Texas. She uses the nuts to garnish a salad of quickly grilled zucchini ribbons and creamy-fleshed cranberry beans. Pecan oil enhances the pecans' sweet flavor but the dish is equally delicious without it.
Tomato, Radicchio and Grilled-Peach Salad with Basil Oil
Portland, Oregon, chef Gabriel Rucker (an F&W Best New Chef 2007) swears by the heirloom tomatoes from Viridian Farms. Here, Rucker arranges the tomatoes under a salad of sweet grilled peaches with radicchio and tangy feta cheese.
At Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantico Hills, New York, chef Dan Barber prepares this soup with seasonal chicken (raised in late spring, summer and fall), using wings, backs, necks and feet. His recipe yields almost eight quarts of broth, so there's plenty to freeze. He likes serving the soup with fluffy matzo balls laced with rosemary.
At Montagna, chef Ryan Hardy uses ingredients from his own nearby organic farm. This dramatic roast was inspired by a street vendor in Siena, Italy. "It changed the way I thought about food," he says. "It was fatty and sweet, spicy and succulent, smoky and salty—all at the same time." Hardy uses the rub on other kinds of pork cuts, including the shoulder and leg, but the bone-in pork roast is the most dramatic; he often wraps a piece of pork belly around the side to make the meat extra juicy.
Nina Planck believes in eating "real" food in its purest, least-processed state, including unpasteurized whole milk with a thick layer of cream on top. She makes this elegant, juicy custard tart with fresh butter, eggs, milk and—when they're available locally—sweet, firm Green Gage plums.