Heirloom tomato Gazpacho with corn creme fraishe
Serves: 8-12 people
- 4ea Black Russian toamtoes
- 4ea Brandywine tomatoes
- 2ea red bell pepper
- 1ea green bell pepper
- 1ea small red onion
- 2ea jalapenos
- 2ea red fresno peppers
- 1ea english cucumber (peeled)
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1/2c Spanish sherry vinegar
- 1/2c olive oil
- 1 ear of corn
- ½ cup creme fraishe (you can use sour cream if you want)
- 12 leaves fresh basil leaves
- Kosher salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste (preferably from a pepper grinder)
1. Take two of the tomatoes (one of each), one of the red bell peppers, the green bell peppers, the red onion, one of the jalapenos, one of the red fresno peppers and toss them with a dash of olive oil and a touch of sea salt. Place on the grill charring the tomatoes and peppers.
2. While that cools a bit, rough chop the remaining tomatoes, celery and cucumber.
3. While slightly warm remove any chared bits from the grilled vegtables and rough chop them.
4. Mix all the vegtables in a non reactive bowl with the sherry vinegar and olive oil, season with salt, and let macerate for eight hours.
5. Once the flavors have had time to mingle, puree them in a blender.
6. Strain the Gazpacho through a mesh strainer, taste and adjust with some of the sherry vinegar and salt. Chill on ice.
Method, Corn creme fraishe
1. Cut corn off kernals, and sweat in a little olive oil till tender.
2. Puree the corn with a little water till smooth and chill.
3. Mix with the creme fraishe or sour cream and pass through a fine mesh sieve
4. Pour some gazpacho into a bowl, garnish with some of the corn creme fraishe, and some fresh basil.
About Chef Alex Marsh:
Born and raised in California, Alex Marsh confirmed his passion for cooking when an intended short stay in Greece turned into a 2-year culinary sojurn. In Corfu, Greece, Marsh worked in a local hotel's kitchen as he explored the rich cuisine and cultural landscape of the region.
When he returned to the Bay Area, Alex enrolled as an anthropology major at University of California, Berkeley and soon realized he was unable to stay far from the kitchen. He dropped all his classes and enrolled in the California Culinary Academy – a program that enabled him to stage at Stars under Chris Fernandez.
After graduation, Marsh's externship at One Market Restaurant became a full time paid position within one year's time. He worked for two years with Adrian Hoffman whose teachings continue to shape Marsh's cooking style, "One Market was one of the best learning experiences of my life," says Marsh. "They had every piece of equipment imaginable; the momentum was addictive."
Next up was a position at Redwood Park, one of the city's most highly regarded French restaurants, where Marsh worked with George Morrone. When the restaurant closed in 2002, the young chef moved on to Campton Place. Here he had the good fortune to work with both Laurent Manrique and Daniel Humm, further refining his understanding of the intricacies and perfectionism that characterize a 4-star restaurant.
After two years at Campton, Marsh looked up Craig Stoll at Delfina and began to court one of San Francisco's most beloved chefs with the intention of working in one of the city's defining restaurants. In 2003, Stoll hired Marsh, and a little under a year later, Marsh was offered the position of Executive Chef at Solstice Restaurant & Lounge by Salud Management Group, which also owns Fly Bar and Brick Restaurant. Marsh jumped on the opportunity to run a kitchen; his managers watched as the young chef put his nose to the grindstone. Working 12-hour days for six solid months, Marsh revamped the program from the ground up. He turned the kitchen into an exciting, money-making operation and refreshed the menu with a seasonal section of weekly changing dishes which continue to excite the lounge's loyal clientele.
In October 2007, Salud tapped Alex Marsh to fill the spot of Executive Chef at Brick Restaurant. Since taking over, 29-year-old Marsh has infused the kitchen atmosphere and Brick's menu with a convivial energy. Brick's new offerings highlight San Francisco's abundance of organic foods in approachable dishes that appeal to the neighborhood crowd, yet resonate with a standard of excellence developed during years of classical training.