Chef's Blog

Solage Calistoga's Executive Chef Brandon Sharp shares his passion for cooking, life and all things Napa Valley.

May 17, 2012

In the time since I last posted, melting icebergs have caused eastern Canadian sea levels to rise 4.875 feet; my good old state of NC, former home of southern Democrats, has voted to invest its remaining budget surplus in paper drachmas (turns out I might not be as ironic as I thought . . . ) and Manny Pacquiao’s next fight; better just post the pictures, actually.


When I was 17, I worked at Chi-Chi's as a busboy. When the kitchen was too busy, the manager, Wally, made me fry the chips. Upon opening the grill kitchen at the Solage pool this week, there I was frying chips. I didn't feel 17 again.

The West Texas pizza with barbecue sauce, smoked brisket, grilled onions, and jack.

The buffalo-basted grilled chicken sandwich. Crispy buttermilk-fried onions in there somewhere . . . the roll we are using for this is actually the English muffin from Costeaux Bakery and it's perfect here. Closest thing I've seen to a roll called PIEGA or some such from an old Portuguese baker on Nantucket.

The cellar at Aruajo Estates, set for dinner. Zach and I cooked there the other night, absolutely gorgeous setting and wine.

The Dungeness crab salad for that dinner with chiogga beets, pickled orange, puffed rice and avocado was paired with the 2008 Altagracia Sauvignon Blanc.

For the CIA Flavor Summit, we prepared breakfast canapes that were served out at the pool, including these crab and avocado on toast.

shrimp and grits comin up, pawpaw

sausage, egg, and cheese torta ready to slice

On the left, buckwheat blini that we topped with rum-cured smoked salmon and creme fraiche. On the right, silver dollar lemon-ricotta pancakes with huckleberry syrup.

Maple and bacon custards baked in the eggshell. Nice one, Ryder.

SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS--Pineapple, grapefruit, strawberry, and smoothies.

Steaming pork buns on my stove. Yeah yeah, electric coils. The oven doesn't work either. And I still use my brother-in-law's college microwave (class of '73). So, we use the bamboo, the iron skillet, the slow-cooker, and the Weber. But my days of testing bread at home are over till GE sends the guy over to replace the thermocouple in the oven.

One Response to “food photo gallery”

  1. Halvy says:

    Diggin’ the pop culture references. Way to stay current ;)

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