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Cook & Tell

“I’m passionate about food and hedonism, and the pairing of this trio is the [ultimate] dish,” Balink says. “Bringing the fat and richness of all these parts with sweet orange and the salty crispness of Yukon chips is a marriage made in heaven. Not a dish to eat all the time, but when you get a chance, it’s one delight you can’t pass up!”

Napoleon of Big Eye Tuna, Foie Gras and Pork Belly With Yukon Gold Chips and Candied Orange —Recipe by Executive Chef Harold Balink, Crü, Fort Myers

Serves 4

For the pork:

1 whole pork belly, cured with salt and sugar for 24 hours

Wipe off and roast belly at 450 degrees for 45 minutes until golden brown. Reduce heat to 250 degrees and cook for an additional 1 hour and 15 minutes. When the pork is cool enough to handle, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and chill for 1 day. Pork can be portioned and frozen for up to 6 months.

For the dish:

4, 4-ounce portions of center cut loin Big Eye Tuna

4, 2-ounce portions of foie gras

4, 2-ounce portions of pork belly

Candied orange rind, chopped

6-ounce Yukon gold chips, sliced thin and fried crispy

Sea salt and fresh pepper to season all as you go

Orange-infused olive oil

In a flat pan over medium-high heat, sear seasoned foie gras and pork on one side, flip them both over, add seasoned tuna and cook rare. Remove tuna from the pan, place foie gras and pork in 425-degree oven for 4 minutes. To plate, remove foie gras and pork from pan and place on a paper towel. Place pork down, then tuna, and put foie gras on top. Drizzle with orange oil, sprinkle orange rind and top with Yukon gold chips. Splash plate lightly with sea salt and pepper, and serve.


“This is my variation on the classic tournedos dish,” Fevrier says. “It is a rich-tasting dish that’s not hard to make, and wonderful to savor with a good wine.”

Tournedos Lesdiguière —Recipe by Executive Chef Patrick Fevrier, Escargot 41, Naples

Serves 2

2, 6-ounce beef tenderloin, center cut

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon unsalted butter


2 handfuls fresh baby spinach

2 tablespoons shallot, diced

1 teaspoon unsalted butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 ounces grated Swiss cheese

White sauce

1/2-cup milk, heated 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Beets—Balsamic vinegar purée

1/2-pound fresh red beets

1/2-pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled

2 to 3 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar

2 to 3 tablespoons diced onions

Glazed baby carrots

1 bunch of baby carrots, peeled

1 teaspoon butter

1 teaspoon sugar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Marsala pan glaze

1 fluid ounce Marsala wine

1 to 2 ounces unsalted butter

Make white sauce (Béchamel)

Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, about 2 minutes. Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a boil. Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat to simmer, stirring for 2 minutes, reserve.

Beets purée

Simmer whole beets in lightly salted water, about 1 hour, drain and peel off skin and run through food processor, reserve.

Boil onions for 2 minutes, drain, reserve.

Cook potatoes in lightly salted water for 30 minutes or so, mash and mix with reserved beets, balsamic vinegar and onions. Season to taste.

Glazed carrots

Place carrots in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, just cover with water, add butter, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then simmer and stir, 15 minutes till tender and glazed.


Gently cook shallots in a fry pan over low heat for 5 minutes, add 2 to 3 tablespoons béchamel, mix well, add spinach, cook on medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes till wilted.


In a fry pan at medium-high heat with 1 teaspoon olive oil, place seasoned tournedos, butter and cook on both sides as desired. Transfer tournedos to oven baking dish, topping each with spinach, covering with cheese, and broiling long enough to give cheese a light browning.


Drain pan of any excess fat, deglaze with Marsala wine, off fire, add butter and swirl to form a sauce, seasoning to taste.


Attractively place purée and carrots on plate, pour sauce, and place tournedos in center.


Quinoa Risotto —Recipe by Executive Chef/owner Fabrizio Aielli, Sea Salt, Naples

“It is very healthy and delicious,” fabrizio aielli says. “As a risotto, it can be soft and creamy or have an al dente texture. The flavor profiles are simply amazing. Quinoa is a good source of nutrients and antioxidants. Pair with a couple slices of grass-fed wagyu beef for an exquisite experience.” 

Serves 6

All ingredients organic, if available

2 cups preferably red, or white, quinoa

4 ounces white wine

1 quart vegetable broth

5 each roasted tomatoes

3 ounces balsamic vinegar

4 ounces extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon jalapeño powder or crushed red pepper flakes (ground)

Grilled assortment of vegetables

2 cups roasted tomato puree

Salt and pepper to taste

Select a variety of fresh vegetables (local organic is the best); zucchini, yellow squash, red onion, Japanese eggplant, baby bok choy. Slice the vegetables, marinate with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Then grill, let cool and dice in large cuts. In one sauce pot, lightly toast the quinoa, then simmer with white wine and reduce to one third. Add roasted tomatoes. Stirring constantly, add the vegetable broth in batches. Each time, reduce until absorbed. After the last batch of broth, the quinoa will look like a sprouted seed. Mix the grilled vegetables, roasted tomato puree, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Plate with the quinoa in the center.

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