George has had a love of all things culinary from a very young age, and throughout his career, has worked with renowned chefs and food technologists. He discovered his passion for cooking at the age of five after spending time in his grandmother's restaurant. From then on, under his mother's guidance (who is a talented cook of her own accord) George recalls cooking anything his mother would let him, starting out with scrambled eggs and hamburgers and quickly moving on to fine Italian and French dishes.
After many years of honing and perfecting his culinary craft, George still enjoys what he humbly considers: "complimenting my family culinary experience," by taking courses in regional cuisines pertaining to the vegetable ingredient products his family specializes in, namely: Asian, French, Mediterranean, Mexican and Tex Mex.
Because of George's extensive knowledge and passion for food, he is a great resource to customers in helping them find the right ingredients for their recipe needs. "I need to understand what's happening in the kitchen," he explained. "If my client has an unfavorable flavor note, I need to be able to assess the situation to understand why." That extra level of service and care undoubtedly stems from his love of food and his work alike, which fortunately for George, go hand and hand.
For Polenta Triangles:
GC Farms' extra virgin olive oil
2 2/3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 tablespoon fresh butter
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup instant polenta
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 cup pasta sauce
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
For Walnut Pesto:
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves, rinsed and dried
1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/4 cup GC Farms' Roasted Garlic olive oil
1 large garlic clove
1-2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
For Slow Roasted Tomatoes:
3 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon GC Farms' olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
Sea salt & fresh ground pepper to taste
Prepare Polenta Triangles:
1 - Coat an 8-inch square glass baking dish with olive oil.
2 - Bring broth and butter to a boil in medium saucepan. Gradually add cornmeal, whisking constantly. Lower heat and whisk until mixture is very thick and starts pulling away from pan (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat. Stir in parsley and thyme. Immediately transfer polenta to baking dish, spreading evenly. Cool 5 minutes, then cut polenta into 8 triangles; leave in baking dish.
3 - Leave the triangles in the baking dish and spoon pasta sauce over the top. Sprinkle with parmesan and bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes.
Make Walnut Pesto:
1 - Pulse together basil and walnuts in a food processor. Add garlic and olive oil. Pulse again. Add cheese, lemon juice and salt and pepper. Pulse until just blended. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula and pulse a few more times.
Slow Roast Tomatoes:
1 - Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place tomatoes on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with thyme leaves, and season with salt and pepper.
2 - Roast until tomatoes begin to collapse, brushing occasionally with pan juices, about 90 minutes.
1 - Place a large dollop of pesto on the center of each plate and smooth evenly. Gently place a polenta triangle over the pesto. Top with button mushrooms and any left-over shredded parmesan. Serve alongside a slow roasted tomatoes.