Executive Chef Greg Frey Jr. Shares an
Exclusive Selection
of Recipes from the Golden DooR

The first time you dine at the Golden Door, the staff will ask you to consider how many times your food is touched on its journey from the field to your plate.

You’ll learn that if it’s being prepared in Chef Greg Frey Jr.’s kitchen, often the answer is less than four. With hundreds of acres of lush California farmland, the Golden Door is a leader in bio-intensive farming and sources most of its ingredients from right there on the property.

Being the foodie that I am, one of the most delightful parts of my stay was touring the gorgeous gardens and sprawling citrus groves. The DLM team had the privilege of spending the afternoon with Chef Greg as he showed us the property. It was such a blast picking beautiful fresh fruits and veggies and collecting eggs from the happy hens that roam the hillside.

Recently DLM caught up with Chef Greg for an interview (some of which you’ll catch in this week’s story about beekeeping) and while we were at it, we managed to score the secrets to several of the Golden Door’s greatest culinary hits. To lighten up your spring meals in style, enjoy the Chef’s delicious and nutritious recipes with the best organic ingredients you can find—and don’t miss the Q&A below to find out more about the Golden Door’s food philosophy!

3 QUESTIONS for Chef Greg Frey Jr.

How have you approached the food program at the Golden Door and how does it compare to what people might think of as “spa cuisine”?
It was never a goal of mine to be a “spa chef,” nor do I consider myself to be one. The Golden Door is so much more than a world famous spa. To each guest we are something different, so the food needs to be just as greg-1 diverse. The common thread here is how special life is and that we should slow down and appreciate it. It’s too easy to get wrapped up in the constant rat race of—this diet is better that diet is better, don’t eat this, don’t eat that. I focus on making healthy, balanced, fresh and flavorful meals. They’re meant to keep our guests relaxed yet fueled for each day’s multitude of activities.

Talk to us about the farming on the property. How much are you able to source on-site?
The garden is a big part of our culinary program as is the total 200+ acres that we farm on the 600 acre property. The amount of ingredients our garden is able to supply us is in constant flux as we move through the seasons. At times it’s as much as 85%, but 65%-75% is a good average. I also work with many local farms who share similar values. My philosophy is always to diversify our menu and offer the best year round for our guests.

What are your go-to “super food”ingredients for making a healthy dish even more nutritious?
Spices! Not chilies but spices like nutmeg, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, etc. Many leave them out in their cooking, but they’re actually incredible sources of nutrients and minerals. They have so many health benefits— for example turmeric is finding its spotlight again for its incredible anti-inflammatory properties. If I had to pick a favorite super food though it would be raw honey. We are still learning about the many benefits of honey even today.


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Citrus Ricotta Pancakes

Yields 4 Cups of Batter
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 egg yolks
6 egg whites
1 cup milk
Orange zest
½ cup honey

Directions: Whip egg whites to soft peaks. Combine remaining wet ingredients.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, fold egg

whites into batter. Heat the griddle. Pour ¼ cup servings of batter onto the griddle. Cook until done on one side. Flip and cook until done.

Bloomsdale Spinach Salad

Serves 4-6
10-12 oz Bloomsdale spinach leaves, washed and de-stemmed
6 oz gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 cup pomegranate seeds
1-2 Asian pears or apples (or any crisp, sweet fruit)
½-2 cups flax crunch (see recipe below)
2 TBSP red wine vinegar
2 TBSP pomegranate molasses
¼ cup diced shallot
½ cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
Flax Crunch (4 cups)
1 cup flax seed, whole
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup rolled oats
6 oz raw honey or maple syrup
4 oz extra virgin coconut oil or butter
1½ tsp salt

Dressing: In a small skillet, heat 1 tsp of EVOO and sweat shallots over medium heat till caramelized. Remove from the heat add molasses, vinegar, and remaining EVOO. Let sit and cool to room temperature.

Salad: In a large bowl, toss all remaining ingredients with half the dressing. Season with salt and pepper and add more dressing if desired. Serve immediately.

Flax Crunch: Preheat oven to 225 degrees (do not use a convection oven). In a small pot, heat honey and coconut oil until warm to the touch. Put all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to distribute all evenly. Pour the warm honey-coconut mixture around the sides of the bowl and mix until clumpy and holds shape when squeezed together. On a baking pan lined with a Silpat, pour out the mixture and form into ½ inch level rectangle. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until golden brown, rotating if it begins to brown unevenly. Remove and let cool to room temperature. Once cool, crumble into ¾ inch pieces.

Lemon Crab Cake

Serves 4-6
1 pound picked Baja stone crab
1TBSP mayonnaise
½ cup panko bread crumbs
2 TBSP chopped parsley
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Juice of one lemon (approximately 2 TBSP)
Zest of one lemon, micro-planed or finely dice
1 ½ tsp old bay seasoning
¼ tsp minced garlic (1 clove)
1 TBSP minced shallot
Salt and pepper
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil

Directions: Heat your oven to 350 degrees. If you bought already picked crab I suggest rechecking for shells and cartilage pieces by rubbing small batches of the crab in your fingertips. Have a shallow bowl of water to dip your fingers in to rinse off the shells.

In a separate medium bowl mix the mayonnaise, lemon juice, zest, spices, salt and pepper, parsley, shallot, garlic and Dijon and mix thoroughly. Add the crab and ½ the panko

and mix until it forms together. Divide the mixture in equal parts (6-8 cakes). Form into cakes using your hands by gently pressing the mixture together. Sprinkle them with a little of the reserved panko.

Heat a nonstick skillet on medium heat, add the EVOO and sear the top of the cakes. Flip and then cook in the oven till hot in the center (approx. 12-15 min in a convection oven or 15-20 in a conventional oven.)


Porcini Mushroom Soup

1 pound porcini or similar mushroom
2 shallots peeled and sliced
2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup small diced carrot
1 clove of garlic smashed skin removed
2 thyme sprigs
2 quarts of vegetable stock
1tsp Dijon
1tsp sherry vinegar

Directions: Brush the porcini with a damp cloth to rid of any sand or leaves. Remove gills and dice into 1/2 inch cubes. Sweat the shallot and garlic and carrots on medium heat with the olive oil. Try to get a little color on the shallots but don’t caramelize them. Add porcini and thyme. Continue to cook and stir frequently.
Pan will seem dry but continue and stir until mushrooms begin to release liquid and are soft. Add stock and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently with a lid for 20 minutes. In a blender purée soup in batches and season with mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh thyme leaves.

Ginger-Scented Coconut


Serves 15
11 cup whole milk
1 cup 2% low-fat milk
½ cup coconut milk
¼ cup honey
4 tsp ginger root, grated
2 TBSP water
1 TBSP sugar
4 whole eggs
1 egg white
4 tsp candied ginger root, diced small
1/4 cup turbinado sugar, for caramelizing
Fresh mint, for garnish

Directions: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Set aside 15 oz (1/4 cup) ramekins in a shallow casserole pan.

In a saucepan, combine the lowfat and whole milks, and honey. Over medium-low heat, slowly bring the mixture to a near simmer. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the coconut milk.

In a shallow pan, place grated ginger, water and sugar, or fructose and simmer until reduced by half. Remove from heat and let steep 5 minutes.

In a stainless steel bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg white. In a thin stream, strain the ginger-milk mixture into the eggs slowly, whisking constantly so the eggs do

not scramble. Discard the ginger. Strain the custard again through a fine sieve to remove any milk or egg solids. Carefully remove any froth from the top.

Portion 1/2 teaspoon diced candied ginger into the bottom of each ramekin. Evenly pour the custard into ramekins and fill the pan one third with warm water, being careful not to get any water into the custard.

Bake for 40-60 minutes, or until firm. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Just before serving, sprinkle 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar on top of each and heat under broiler for 1-2 minutes, or until sugar begins to caramelize. Serve immediately, garnish with a mint sprig.



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