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November wine dinner


Chef's Kitchen

Each month we bring a guest chef into our Chef's Kitchen column to give us tips that elevate their cooking (and hopefully ours). They also provide a recipe that showcases their tips. Our guest chef this month is Executive Chef Janine Doran of Cafe Flora. Started by three friends and long-time residents of the Madison Valley, Cafe Flora opened October 1, 1991. It was created to be a friendly, community-based vegetarian restaurant that introduced excellent, interesting vegetarian cuisine using local, organic and sustainable produce and herbs. Recipes come from worldwide culinary traditions and include vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes. Along with their main dining room, they offer atrium dining with exotic greenery, a fountain and natural light. Cafe Flora is a relaxing spot to enjoy a delicious meal.

Janine Doran was born and raised in Seattle, has traveled the world extensively and searched out new and interesting flavor combinations. Always curious, she is willing to try anything the locals eat themselves. She brings an international view to Cafe Flora, infusing interesting twists to Northwest vegetarian cuisine. Janine has been part of the Cafe Flora team since 1993 in a variety of roles and took over as executive chef in 2004. She brings her strong love of local produce and global flavors to the Cafe Flora menu. Encouraging creativity in each staff member, she believes success comes from the combined knowledge of many.

Adding flavor, By Executive Chef Janine Doran

When making grain dishes, balsamic reductions, and cooking with mushrooms, there are a few simple tips that will really make a difference.

  1. Cook any kind of grain in stock instead of water; it makes grains more flavorful.

  2. Use dried wild mushrooms like porcinis in making stock. They bring a really intense flavor that makes the stock a flavor asset to any grain dish.

  3. Make the stock yourself the day before it will be used. It's simple to do, yet adds so much to a dish, plus you'll have some on hand for different cooking projects.

  4. When making a balsamic reduction, use a cold plate to test doneness. When you think it's done, drizzle some on a cold plate. If it sticks in one spot, it's done. If it drips, keep on reducing.

  5. In our wild mushroom farro recipe, cook the mushrooms before adding the farro. This allows them to release their juices and make the farro more flavorful. You can tell when they are cooked as they will darken in color.

Cafe Flora
2901 E Madison St
Seattle, WA 98112

Click here to see Executive Chef Janine Doran's recipe

First published January 2014

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