This week, we’re continuing our new series Wedding Talk by featuring the chefs and recipes of Chez Joly Catering. A family owned business who’s talented chefs prepare mouth-watering food using only the finest and freshest local ingredients.
Christian Joly founded Caper’s Cafe and Catering in 1992. He saw an opportunity to serve lunch to the new businesses opening around the Portland airport, there weren’t any other restaurants in the area and he took a risk based on his natural entrepreneurial instincts. The business model was simple and true to his French heritage- high quality and fresh cuisine, no ingredients from a box or a can. He was clearly on to something, Caper’s opened to a line out the door! It was the beginning of the farm-to-table movement in Portland and the café was a great success. Over twenty years later he and his wife Annette run five culinary-based businesses. With the help of their two sons, the family holds to the original standards- in fact, they still grow herbs in the garden at the original café.
Annette, a native to the Northwest and Christian, born in France, wanted to showcase their favorite recipes and combining the two genres. Chez Joly Catering and Event Space opened in 2008, offering a chef-driven kitchen and a sales team to assist in coordinating. The event space, an architectural beauty, has been restored tastefully and has a classic Parisian feel. It is available for up to 50 guests for a variety of events including cocktail parties, wine dinners, receptions and business meetings. Situated in the Pearl District, on NW Broadway, it is conveniently located and a unique space for private gatherings.
What does good service mean to you?
Annette: Anticipating the guests’ needs before they ask and keeping them informed. Basically, clean, courteous, knowledgeable, helpful assistance with a smile.
Christian: Service! Is what life is all about, you can have the best food but have poor service, customers will not come back. Service and Quality is the only way to succeed in the Restaurant business. Respect your customers, respect your employee’s you will thrive and succeed.
How long have you work in the restaurant industry?
Annette: In the Capers/Chez Joly era, it has been 21 years. Before that, four years of working with my parents in the Health Food/Bakery business, and even before that, as a child hanging out in my Grandmother’s restaurant where she was known for her wonderful pies!
Christian: 30, 40 years who’s counting?
Describe the perfect dinner party.
Annette: One where I don’t have to cook! No, actually, it would be one where I have all of the details planned out ahead of time; the guest list, the table setting, the menu, the wines, the flowers etc. I’m an organizer so I like to be able to start my list’s and work on them over the course of a few days, just to give myself breathing room the date of the event. The more I can get done ahead of time, the more I can enjoy and relax during the dinner party and focus on my friends. The dinner party would start with a glass of Champagne, and then specific wines picked out, paired & served with each course. Some light hors d’oeuvres served with the Champagne while guests arrive and start to mingle. Then sitting down at the beautifully set table, to make our way through each course as slowly as possible so that all of the flavors of both food & wine can be enjoyed. The meal would end with my signature dessert of a very decadent Chocolate Soufflé’ being pulled directly from the oven and served with a drizzle of freshly made caramel sauce.
Christian: The perfect dinner party would start with good friend and family then, Trout Caviar, then Fois Gras, Frog legs, Seared Duck Breast, Chilled Fresh White Asparagus with house made Mayo, Perfectly Grilled Lamb, Freshly harvested tiny peas and petite haricot verte sautéed with lardon and garlic, Wild Water Crest from Idaho lightly tossed in a Champagne Vinaigrette. Fromage, crisp baguette, and of course my wife’s Chocolate Soufflé’. Finished with a small glass of Eau de Vie. So Many choices so little time!
Greg Weadick, Chez Joly and Caper’s Executive Chef, graduated from Johnson & Wales University, with a degree in culinary arts. He served an apprenticeship with two master Swiss chefs working as a private chef for some of Colorado’s wealthiest residents. Greg’s approach to cooking starts with what is fresh and what is in season, followed by pairing innovative and delicious ingredients together as creative yet accessible dishes.
Q&A with Chef Greg Weadick
Why did you decide to become a chef?
I chose to become a chef because it was the only thing I could ever see myself enjoying for the rest of my life as a career and lifestyle. I can remember when I was a kid about 5 years old learning how to make
pasta with my mom, its that memory that always made me realize I’ve been interested in how food is made since I was pretty much a baby!
What did you do to stay educated about the trends?
I feel the only way to stay educated and stay on top of food trends is to experiment. Experiment, experiment, experiment! New things are discovered through finding out how stuff works, and mainly how food can taste it’s best. I will take a recipe that I have made before and ask if this is this the best way to create this dish? What can I do to improve the flavor, texture, dimensions, appearance, decadence, and overall perfection of the dish? I feel food trends are created through this process because once someone answers the question of what the dish is missing, something new is always created, and sometimes it becomes a trend.
From Greg’s Recipes:
Butternut Squash Soup with Honey Foam and Frizzled Leeks.
1 butternut squash cut in half seeds removed
2qt vegetable stock
3 leeks white part only
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp dried basil
½ cup butter
½ cup flour
¼ cup brown sugar
1½ cup heavy cream
1 cup skim milk
½ cup honey
1 cup vegetable oil
¼ cup cornstarch
Butternut squash soup:
Cut butternut squash in half, remove seeds. With a chef knife “score” the squash by making four 1/4-inch deep cuts on the skin side. this is to aid in roasting the squash evenly. Place squash on a parchment paper lined sheet pan and roast in the 350 degree convection oven for roughly 1 hour or until a knife can pierce the flesh with no resistance. Note: this will take longer with a conventional oven.
While the squash is roasting prepare your leeks. You only be using the white part so cut the green top off and discard. Cut each leek in half, length wise, then run each half under water and clean all the dirt from within each of the several layers. You will be using 1 leek for the soup and 2 leeks for the garnish. With the first leek simply slice into ¼ inch half moon shapes. For the remaining leeks slice lengthwise into 1/16-inch julienne strips. It’s important to cut the leeks the same size, as they will burn very easily if some are smaller than others. Reserve the 2 leeks for frying separate from the leek you will use to make the soup.
Once the squash in finished roasting let it rest until you are able to handle it and remove the outer skin. Now it’s time to make the soup! Melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan or whatever pot you have big enough to hold 3 quarts of soup. Add the half moon shaped leeks and cook until they are translucent, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, this will take about 5 minutes. Next, mix in the flour. When it has incorporated with the butter add the butternut squash, basil, and veggie stock. Stir to break up the squash, using a whisk works best. Bring the soup to a simmer and stir frequently to prevent the bottom from burning. Simmer for 15 minutes then add the cinnamon, brown sugar, and heavy cream. To puree the soup use either a hand blender, or work in batches using a standing blender. Once the soup is pureed, strain through a fine mesh strainer to give it a smoother texture. The soup should be able to coat the back of a wooden spoon, if it is too thick add more heavy cream. Test for seasoning, add more salt and pepper if necessary. Note: the soup should be mildly sweet as the honey foam will make it sweeter.
Warm the vegetable oil in a saucepan until it reaches 350 degrees. Gently toss the leeks in a bowl with the cornstarch until they are all lightly coated. Working in small batches fry the leeks until they are just barley golden brown, this will happen within 1 minute so keep your eyes on the prize! Remove the leeks with a slotted spoon or tong to a paper towel lined plate and season with salt. Continue until all leeks are fried and seasoned. Hold in a warm place until ready to serve.
Mix the honey and the skim milk together until the honey has dissolved. Pour the milk into a metal pitcher with a handle and using an espresso steamer foam the milk until it is just hot to the touch. This is done just prior to serving.
Prepare 6 serving bowls and ladle in butternut squash soup, steam the honey milk until frothy and holds its shape when scooped with a spoon. Top each soup with a generous dollop of foam, some will melt away into the soup and some will stay on top. Finally top the foam with the reserved frizzled leeks and serve immediately.
I love this soup because it brings out all of the flavors I love with squash; sweet, salty, and savory! It makes for a beautiful first course on a cold day or can be done in shot glasses for an elegant hors d’oeuvre. The soup has a velvety texture while the fried leeks make for a wonderfully crispy garnish. The honey foam ties everything together with its subtle sweetness. Enjoy!
Jennifer Tyler, Chez Joly and Caper’s Pastry Chef, studied Classical French and International Cuisines with a Concentration in Baking and Pastry at the International Culinary School of the Art Institute of Atlanta American Culinary Federation. She studied and worked in kitchens in Italy, earning a Professional Certificate from the Regione dell’ Umbria for 1st Level Italian Cuisine.
Q&A with Chef Jennifer Tyler
What ingredient do you feel is underutilized? Ginger! I can’t get enough of it. Dried and ground, fresh and grated, infused in simple syrup…ginger really lends itself to so many applications and imparts such a rich flavor and spicy note that can play well as a complementary hint in the background or as a dominant profile.
What’s your pastry philosophy? Like some of the better things in life, I think pastries and desserts are best kept simple. I love desserts that are familiar enough to stir up fond memories, and fantastic enough to create new ones.
From Jennifer’s Recipes:
10 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped in small pieces (chocolate chips will work too)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup of your favorite toppings
1 cup of melted, tempered chocolate
Yields: about 35 truffles
Medium Stainless Steel Bowl
2 small bowls
Add the chopped chocolate to a medium sized bowl. Stainless steel would be best. Set aside. In a medium sauce pan, bring the heavy cream and corn syrup to a boil. Be careful not to let the cream boil over. Once the cream is at a boil, carefully pour over chocolate. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit for 2-3 min.
Uncover, and use a whisk to emulsify chocolate and cream mixture. Avoid incorporating too much air into the mixture by constantly stirring in a circular motion. Start in the center and work your way out to the sides to incorporate the ingredients. Too much air in the ganache can promote spoilage and takes away from the desired dense, creamy mouthfeel. When the mixture is smooth and the chocolate is completely melted, add the softened butter and extract. Stir to emulsify the final ingredients into the ganache.
Allow the ganache to cool, uncovered in the bowl. While the ganache is setting, prepare a parchment paper lined sheetpan. Either pipe rounds of the ganache using a pastry bag and plain tip, or use a teaspoon to portion out bite sized truffles. Use your hands to round out the ganache into spheres and place onto the parchment lined sheetpan. Allow to sit before dipping the spheres in tempered chocolate and your favorite toppings. Store in an airtight container.
The original truffle confections were rolled in cocoa powder and resembled the rough and bumpy texture of the rare and exquisite black truffles in Europe, so have fun with the appearance of these delicious bites. Use different flavored extracts and even fruit purees to flavor the ganache. Toast nuts or coconut to bring out the best flavor of the toppings.
With over 20 years of experience, Chez Joly Catering and Caper’s Café delivers the best in classic yet innovative cuisine. Whether entertaining friends at home, planning a wedding or serving lunch for a business meeting, their sales team will listen to your needs and lead you through every step. Please call their sales office for more information: (503) 408-8816.
Photographs courtesy of Jamie Bosworth Photographer.