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Flavor! Napa Valley Recipes

Nhi Hoang

Chef Morimoto demonstrates his sushi technique at Flavor! Napa Valley.


  • Seaweed (also called nori)
  • Sushi rice
  • Bamboo mat
  • Your choice of fresh fish
  • Your choice of toppings (scallions, ginger, sesame seeds, etc.)
  • Wasabi (optional)
  • Spicy mayo (optional)


1. Set your seaweed wrap with the shiny, smooth side facing down.

2. Wet your hands thoroughly and pick up a handful or ball of rice. Sushi rice is extremely sticky, so it's important to keep your hands wet when handling. Note: Morimoto seasons his rice with rice vinegar, sugar and salt.

3. Using what Morimoto calls “cat fingers,” lightly spread a thin layer of rice on the seaweed, leaving about 2 cm of room on each end. Do not compress or flatten the rice.

4. Top your rice with ingredients. This can include wasabi, spicy mayo, your choice of fish and your choice of toppings. Line everything horizontally for easy rolling.


5. Begin rolling the seaweed tightly and firmly with pressure. Use the extra room on each end to seal.

6. Use the bamboo mat to shape the sushi roll.

7. Cut the roll in half (it helps to wet the tip of your knife blade), then cut the remaining sushi into 6ths or 8ths.

Don't get discouraged if your sushi looks wonky the first time around (like ours does). As with anything, it takes a little practice.


The Forgiones demonstrated their rib eye steak with parsnip hash and bone marrow gremolata recipe.

Rib Eye Steak with Parsnip Hash

Larry Forgione's rib eye steak with parsnip hash and bone marrow gremolata recipe | Photo: Flavor! Napa Valley 2012

Yield: 4 portions

Paired with Newton Vineyard Unfiltered Merlot


Rib eye

  • 32 oz. rib eye steak, 2 1/2" thick, preferable dry aged
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil as needed
  • 2 Tbsp. of butter
  • 1 garlic head, halved horizontally
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs


Parsnip hash

  • 1 1/4 lb. of parsnips, peeled, trimmed, medium dice
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. minced shallots
  • 1 Tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 oz. creamy sherry
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp. chives 



  1. For the rib eye: Thoroughly pat the steak dry and season liberally with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F; position the rack in the middle.
  3. In a large saute pan set over high heat, add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. When the oil begins to smoke, add the steak and sear for 1 minute, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook the steak, without disturbing, for another 4 minutes.
  4. Once the bottom is charred, turn the steak over and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes to sear both sides.
  5. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for about 10 minutes for medium rare. Return the steak to the stovetop and over medium heat, add the butter, garlic and the thyme.
  6. Raise the heat to high and baste the steak for about 2 minutes. Transfer the steak to a plate and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving; reserve the butter in the pan.
  7. In the meantime and while the steak is cooking and resting, prepare the hash and set aside in a warm place.
  8. For the parsnip hash: Place the parsnips in a sauce pan, cover with lightly salted water and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook for 10 minutes and strain. Dry the cooked parsnips on a paper towel.
  9. In a nonstick pan, heat the olive oil to wavy hot. Carefully, add the parsnips and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until golden brown. Add the butter, garlic, onion, a little salt, and a few turns of pepper from the mill.
  10. Continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
  11. Deglaze the pan with cream sherry and toss; add the heavy cream and cook for another minute or two until the cream thickens. Stir in the chives.
  12. To serve, spoon the hash into a serving dish; slice the steak away from the bone, and place on a large platter. Spoon all the juices from resting and slicing the steak over the slices and finally spoon over the basting butter and serve.

 Bone Marrow Gremolata


  • 12 marrow bones, 3" long
  • 1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped tarragon
  • 6 bulbs garlic, finely chopped
  • Lemon zest
  • Ground black pepper to taste



  1. Place the Cabernet in a small sauce pan and reduce to 1/4 cup, about 8 minutes; set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Stand the marrow bones in an oven-proof pan and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the marrow begins to pull away from the bone. Remove it from the oven and let it cool to room temperature.
  4. When cool enough to handle, remove all the marrow and all the pan drippings to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse the marrow a few times then add all the other ingredients.
  5. Pulses a few more times until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
  6. Spoon a few tablespoons of gremolata over each cooked steak and spread to melt. Any remaining gremolata can be refrigerated for another time.


Recipe Credit: Larry Forgione, as presented at Flavor! Napa Valley. Published with permission of the author. All rights reserved.


Thomas Keller and Devin Knell, the executive sous chef of French Laundry, demonstrated how to prepare sunchoke soup with nicoise olive crumble and country bread croutons, while emphasizing the importance of fresh produce.

Photo: Andrew Olanoff/WFIU

Yield: 4 portions

Paired with etoile Rose


Purée of sunchoke soup

  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 3/4 cups sunchokes, peeled, sliced about 1/4 thick
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar


Nicoise olive crumble

  • 1 cup Nicoise olives, pitted


Country bread croutons

  • 1 1/2 cups of country bread, diced into 1/2" cubes
  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste



  1. For the purée of sunchoke soup: Heat a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onions and salt. Sweat the onions until they are soft and translucent but have not taken on any color.
  2. Add the sunchokes and stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until the sunchokes are very soft. Carefully transfer the contents of the pot to a bar blender and purée until very soft. You may have to do this in small batches.
  3. Strain the soup through a fine-mesh sieve and adjust the seasoning with salt and sugar. Serve immediately or the soup can be served chilled.
  4. For the nicoise olive crumble: Two days ahead of time, place the pitted nicoise olives in a pint-sized container; add cold water to cover.
  5. Allow the olives to soak overnight in the refrigerator. The soaking process removes the excess salt from the olives.
  6. The next day, heat an over to 350 degrees F.
  7. Drain the olives well and transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the olives in the oven and allow them to dry overnight.
  8. The olives are crisp and will crush between your fingers. Remove the dried olives from the oven and allow them to cool.
  9. Coarsely chop the olives and reserve in an airtight container.
  10. For the country bread croutons: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  11. In a mixing bowl, toss the diced country bread with the olive oil to coat evenly; season with salt.
  12. Spread the bread cubes evenly on a baking sheet; bake in the center rack of the oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.


Recipe credit: Thomas Keller and Devin Knell, as presented at Flavor! Napa Valley. Published with permission of the author. All rights reserved.


Chef Geoffrey Zakarian demonstrated his apple cider soup during the "Food Fight" event.

Geoffrey Zakarian's apple cider soup recipr

Yield: 4 portions

Paired with Chandon Blanc de Noirs


Apple cider soup

  • 1 butternut squash, medium
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 clove
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups onions, medium, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup turnips, chopped
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, sliced
  • 1 orange, zest of
  • 3 cups sweet apple cider
  • 1 cup hard apple cider
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4 cup lemon, juice of
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Rosemary cream (recipe follows)

Rosemary cream

  • 1/4 cup fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 cup mascapone cheese
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt to taste


Apple cider soup

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut the butternut squash in half, scrape out and discard the seeds and rub the flesh with brown sugar. Place the halves on a rack in the oven, cut-side up. Roast the squash, uncovered, until very soft, about 1 1/2 hours. Spoon the flesh and any juices into a bowl and reserve; discard the skin.
  3. In a clean spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind the clove, star anise, cinnamon and allspice. Melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the onions, stir in the ground spices, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are golden brown and soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the ginger and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the turnips, vanilla bean, apples, orange zest, the sweet and hard apple ciders, the reserved squash and 1 cup of water. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the flavors are combined and the apples and turnips are soft, about 20 minutes.
  5. Toast the pumpkin seeds, if using, either in a toaster oven or in a small skillet over medium heat until lightly browned, turning so they are evenly done on both sides.
  6. Purée the soup in a blender. If you like, pass it through a fine strainer.
  7. Add the lemon juice, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Garnish with rosemary cream and toasted pumpkin seeds, if desired, and serve.

Rosemary cream

  1. Set up a double boiler by placing a small saucepan over a larger pan of barely simmering water. Combine the rosemary leaves, mascarpone and cream in the top pan.
  2. Slowly melt the mascarpone, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to low and allow the rosemary to infuse the cream, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes.
  3. Pass the rosemary cream through a strainer into a chilled bowl set over an ice bath; discard the rosemary leaves.
  4. Stir the cream frequently as it cools to room temperature; season with salt to taste.
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