New year’s greetings from Yountville. A new year brings new ambitions. This is the first of a monthly letter named Field Notes with thoughts and updates on Gentleman Farmer, Yountville, winemaking, musings, and a recipe or two. In the case of this inaugural letter, there are technically three recipes.
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Jérôme Chéry joined us this month as our consulting winemaker, working with me as I continue to learn, grow, and complete my Winemaker Certificate from UC Davis. He is a native of Châteauroux, France and studied Enology at l’Université de Bourgogne in Dijon. In addition to making some fine wine, he is an accomplished cook and baker (think croissants!). I am happy he agreed to join us and know he has much to contribute both in the cellar and in the kitchen. You can find him on Instagram @jeromechery.
At the beginning of 2020, we secured a 1929 California Craftsman Bungalow in Napa to convert to a Gentleman Farmer space for intimate winemaker lunches and dinners, private tastings, music (there will be a piano, a few accordions, and some bongos), and a pretty cool space to study wine, food, music, sketch drawing, languages… wherever our curiosity takes us.
We are removing walls, opening up the space, and putting a commercial kitchen in the middle to serve and share meals paired with our wines. The party always gravitates to the kitchen, so we’re going to own it and make the kitchen center stage. It will also serve as a test kitchen for recipes and for an upcoming cookbook-of-sorts as well as a production kitchen for some Gentleman Farmer specialty items.
There is a sunny, south-facing front porch where we can enjoy a glass of rosé, share some snacks, and enjoy the California sunshine. Architects, consultants, engineers, and designers are engaged and I am hoping to be open for entertaining this fall. I’ll keep you posted.
This tart has the soul-warming and comforting taste of French onion soup in a pastry shell.
This is a very versatile tart. It can be a hearty appetizer or a light meal itself with a green salad, it can be served warm from the oven or at room temperature the next day, and it pairs well with both Chardonnay and our red wines.
The melted onions and the pâte brisée will make two tarts. You can refrigerate or freeze half of the onions and one disk of pâte brisée for use another day if you only would like one tart.