For this incredibly moist almond cake, Alex Roberts demands the very best just-picked plums, which sink into the batter as they cook. "You can also make it with all kinds of seasonal fruit, like cherries or apricots," he says.
Alex Roberts learned the secret to great soffritto—an aromatic vegetable mixture used as a base for many Italian soups and sauces—while traveling through Tuscany. "The trick is to cook it really slow—otherwise the vegetables scorch," he says.
Stewart Woodman often serves savory waffles and pancakes with his dinners in place of rice or potatoes. Here, he pairs big, beautifully seared scallops with delectable corn pancakes. "Perhaps the reason is my dyslexia," he jokes. "My wife, Heidi, thinks I see the world backwards—savory as sweet and vice versa."
Alex Roberts's father, Don, took up full-time farming in his sixties, after a career as a librarian. He and his partner, Joni Cash, now own a 40-acre property in Otter Creek, Wisconsin, where they grow a huge assortment of organic produce, including the chiles and tomatillos that make the base for this smoky sauce. Alex pairs it with grilled local trout and a tart salad made with his father's cucumbers.