Dinner & Drinks - Topanga Canyon, CA


4 (4-oz.) red snapper filets

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

16 sprigs thyme

8 sprigs rosemary

4 bay leaves

4 tbsp. unsalted butter

4 tbsp. olive oil

½ cup white wine

¼ cup finely chopped herbs, such as parsley, chives, tarragon, or chervil (any combination)

1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges


Heat oven to 450°. Cut out four 16" x 10" heart-shaped pieces parchment paper; fold hearts in half lengthwise to form a crease down the middle. Place a filet in the center of one half of one heart, placing it next to the crease; season with salt and pepper, and place 4 sprigs thyme, 2 sprigs rosemary, 1 bay leaf, 1 tbsp. butter, and 1 tbsp. oil on top. Fold other half of heart over filet, and starting at the narrow end, begin folding open edges up; move ½" down the fold and create another fold. Repeat folding until packet is almost closed at the wide end; pour 2 tbsp. wine in open hole, and then fold to close it tightly. Transfer packet to a baking sheet, and repeat with remaining parchment paper hearts, filets, herbs, butter, oil, and wine.

Bake until fish is cooked through, about 8 minutes. To serve, open packets and discard whole herbs; transfer filets to serving plates, sprinkle with finely chopped herbs, and serve with lemon wedges.

(Note: aluminum foil serves in place of the parchment paper in a pinch)


2 raw beetroot, peeled and finely grated

1/4 raw red cabbage with its core cut out, very finely sliced

1 very small red onion, peeled, cut in half from top to bottom and finely sliced (to mellow its bite, soak in cold water while you make the rest of the salad, then drain)

6 healthy dollops of crème fraîche

2 healthy bunches of chervil, picked


Healthy splashes of extra virgin olive oil

A little gesture of balsamic vinegar

A small handful of extra-fine capers

Sea salt and black pepper


Mix everything together for the dressing. Toss all your raw red vegetables in the dressing, taste and adjust seasoning, then on six plates place a bushel of this red mixture. Next to this, nustle your blob of crème fraîche as if the two ingredients were good friends, not on top of each other as if they were lovers. Finally a clump of the chervil rested next to the other ingredients in the friendly fashion. A very striking salad ready for the eater to mess up.




1 ounce gin (we like Hendrick's)

1 ounce sweet or dry vermouth

1 ounce Campari

Slice of orange

Pour gin, vermouth, and Campari into a chilled Old Fashioned glass over ice; garnish with a slice of orange