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!
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 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.
Citrus Ricotta Pancakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 egg yolks
1 cup milk
½ cup honey
Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, fold egg
Bloomsdale Spinach Salad
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
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
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.
Lemon Crab Cake
½ cup panko bread crumbs
2 TBSP chopped parsley
2 tsp Dijon mustard
Juice of one lemon (approximately 2 TBSP)
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
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
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
2 shallots peeled and sliced
2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup small diced carrot
2 thyme sprigs
2 quarts of vegetable stock
1tsp sherry vinegar
1 cup 2% low-fat milk
½ cup coconut milk
¼ cup honey
4 tsp ginger root, grated
2 TBSP water
4 whole eggs
1 egg white
4 tsp candied ginger root, diced small
1/4 cup turbinado sugar, for caramelizing
Fresh mint, for garnish
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
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.