Best New Chef 2010: Jonathan Sawyer
Best New Chef 2010: Jonathan Sawyer

Jonathon Sawyer

Born: 1980. Raised: Strongsville, Ohio. Education: Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts, Pittsburgh. Experience: Biltmore Hotel, Miami; Kitchen 22, New York City; Lolita, Cleveland. First cooking job: The Mad Cactus, in Strongsville, when he was a teenager. "I fried six garbage cans of tortilla chips every day and rolled cornflakes around ice cream for french-fried ice cream." Ingredient obsession: Vinegar. "I currently have nine kinds that are fermenting, from straight red wine to one with late-harvest Riesling. On top of that, there are five kinds that we're finishing in new-American-oak barrels." What he does with his kids: Forage. "We get a good majority of our springtime produce from foraging: wild watercress, shiitake, oyster mushrooms, ramps, garlic mustards. Those mustards are a big deal here in Ohio: They're an invasive species, so we're encouraged to pull them from the metro parks. The community does a festival every year called the Pestival, and it's all about the garlic mustards." Favorite cheap eat: Superior Pho in Cleveland. "The broth is unbelievable, and they grow their own bean sprouts." After-hours hangout: La Cave du Vin, a beer-and-wine bar in Cleveland Heights. "It's near our house. The owner has the same Chave vice I do. I'll bring a bottle, he'll bring a bottle, and then it will be 4:30 before we know it." Favorite cookbooks: The Zuni Café Cookbook by Judy Rodgers ("My dog, Potato, ate half of the front cover"); The UK version of Nose to Tail Eating by Fergus Henderson.
Chicken-Fried Pork Chops
Rating: Unrated
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Chef Jonathon Sawyer of Cleveland’s Greenhouse Tavern believes that you can chicken-fry lots of things, like these pork chops: He dips boneless chops in a buttermilk mixture, dredges them in seasoned flour, then fries them until they’re crisp and juicy. Slideshow:  More Pork RecipesRecipe from Food & Wine Chefs' Easy Weeknight Dinners
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Popcorn Pudding
Rating: Unrated
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Jonathon Sawyer and his family love chocolate-covered pretzels. That gave Sawyer the idea to create this luscious dessert that brilliantly combines the flavor of salted popcorn with a sweet, creamy pudding. Slideshow:  More Pudding Recipes 
Chef Jonathon Sawyer's secret to a successful holiday feast is doing most of his preparation ahead of time, for what he calls "easy game-day execution." He makes the sauce that becomes a sweet-sticky glaze and the spicy pepper jelly a few days in advance; then, on Christmas day, all he has to do is bake the ham.
Roast Pork with Shiitake
Rating: Unrated
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For his supremely tender pork shoulder, Greenhouse Tavern chef Jonathon Sawyer marinates the meat overnight, poaches it for eight hours in pork fat, then presses it down under a weight overnight. Then he serves the meat with a mix of three wild mushrooms—chanterelle, lobster and chicken—all sautéed in pork juices and pork fat. The recipe here is considerably simpler: It requires marinating pork overnight before roasting, then pairing the meat with shiitake mushrooms sautéed in olive oil. More Pork Recipes
Pommes Frites
Rating: Unrated
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Jonathon Sawyer is something of a french fry expert: There are never fewer than three kinds on the menu at the Greenhouse Tavern. This version, tossed with chopped garlic and herbs, is his most straightforward. At the restaurant, he serves the fries with garlicky aioli. Slideshow: More Indulgent French Fries 
Pizzoccheri Gratin
Rating: Unrated
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In Northern Italy, pizzoccheri are short, flat buckwheat noodles cooked with cabbage and potatoes and layered with cheese. For his version, Jonathon Sawyer cuts fresh lasagna sheets into noodles (buckwheat noodles can be hard to find) and bakes them in a gratin dish with a crispy bread crumb topping. Plus: Ultimate Comfort Food Guide 
Pimiento Cheese Fries
Rating: Unrated
New!
To take his French fries over the top, chef Jonathon Sawyer broils them with a tequila-spiked pimiento cheese topping. It's wonderfully decadent melted into the fries and also excellent as a dip. Slideshow: Delicious French Fries 
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This elegant crudité dish is the perfect start for a hearty holiday meal; the lightly dressed raw vegetables are served in Bibb lettuce cups with fresh, herby Green Goddess dressing for dipping. Be sure to use the freshest vegetables you can find for maximum flavor and crunch.
Jonathon Sawyer makes a fantastic jerk spice blend to sprinkle on a mix of chickpeas, cauliflower and brussels sprouts after they’ve been roasted. You’ll have some left over, but the blend is also great on shrimp and chicken. Slideshow: Great Jerk Recipes 
Pimiento Cheese Fries
Rating: Unrated
New!
To take his French fries over the top, chef Jonathon Sawyer broils them with a tequila-spiked pimiento cheese topping. It's wonderfully decadent melted into the fries and also excellent as a dip. Slideshow: Delicious French Fries 
This elegant crudité dish is the perfect start for a hearty holiday meal; the lightly dressed raw vegetables are served in Bibb lettuce cups with fresh, herby Green Goddess dressing for dipping. Be sure to use the freshest vegetables you can find for maximum flavor and crunch.
Jonathon Sawyer makes a fantastic jerk spice blend to sprinkle on a mix of chickpeas, cauliflower and brussels sprouts after they’ve been roasted. You’ll have some left over, but the blend is also great on shrimp and chicken. Slideshow: Great Jerk Recipes 
Jonathon Sawyer likes serving grilled meat, like these rib eye steaks, with a tangy sauce that he makes by simmering red onions and jalapeños with water and vinegar, then pureeing them until silky. More Amazing Steaks
Spaghetti squash gets its name because once it's cooked, you can use a fork to pull the flesh into long, thin strands. Jonathon Sawyer makes his own curry and cooks his own chickpeas for this vegetarian dish, but this simplified recipe calls for store-bought curry paste and canned chickpeas. Sawyer roasts the seeds from the squash and uses them as a garnish; pumpkin seeds from the supermarket are a fine substitute. More Amazing Vegetarian Dishes More Squash Recipes
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