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Garden Chef Recipes

Chef de Cuisine Chef Ramiro Velasquez has been working at Carlos, a fine dining restaurant in Highland Park for 17 years. A skilled chef in contemporary French cuisine, Ramiro participates in many charitable causes such as the James Beard Foundation, Share our Strength and Meals on Wheels. Ramiro received the top food rating for Chicago area restaurants in the 2006-07 Zagat Survey's Chicago edition. His salmon recipe below includes leek, fennel, shallots, and potatoes, all of which can be purchased locally

Norwegian Salmon with Leek and Fennel Confit,
Pommes Frites and Espresso-Port Beurre Rouge

Makes 6 servings


6 salmon filets

2 leeks, cleaned

2 fennel bulbs

1 cup white wine

1 cup chicken stock

1 bouquet garni

2 large potatoes, sliced

1 cup red wine

1 cup red port

½ cup sugar

2 shallots, sliced thin


salt and pepper to taste

Leek and Fennel Confit

Cut leek and fennel into roughly the same size. Cook in a little oil and add the white wine. Reduce by half and add the chicken stock. Cook until tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Espresso-Port Beurre Rouge

Cook shallots in a little butter until soft. Add the red wine, port, and sugar and reduce until almost dry. Add a little bit of butter until all incorporated.

Pommes Frites

Make sure potatoes are dry. Cook in oil at 325° for two minutes. Drain well. Fry in oil at 375° until brown.


Salt and pepper all sides of the fillet. In a hot pan add a little oil and cook fish skin side down until brown. Flip fish and cook until desired doneness.

Serve with pommes frites and confit on the side. Dress with shallot butter reduction.