Ever wonder who is creating those tasty recipes we keep adding using our all-natural line of olives, peppers, capers and sun-dried tomatoes? Meet our Recipe & Development Chef, Peter Kirkpatrick (known around here as PK).
PK is originally from Gainesville, FL where he cooked at various restaurants for a decade before heading to California to expand his knowledge of food and cuisines of the world at the Culinary Institute of America in St Helena, CA. where he earned an Associate degree in Culinary Arts.
After completing culinary school, PK took an internship in Napa Valley’s Hartwell Vineyards to learn about winemaking process. He soon landed a job at Del Dotto vineyards under the direction of Chef Joshua Schwartz. PK says that his cooking and winemaking experience in Napa Valley has influenced the type of products and dishes that he develops in our test kitchen.
We sat down with PK not long ago to learn more about him.
JN: What is your personal favorite Jeff’s Naturals product(s) and how do you serve them?
PK: “My favorite Jeff’s Naturals products are the sliced or whole pepperoncini. For the whole pepperoncini, I like to use them on a simple cheese and charcuterie board when having guests over. For the sliced, I like to use them in Mac N’ Cheese.”
JN: How long have you been cooking with the company? What did you do before this?
PK: “I’ve been with this company for about four years now in the R&D department. Before coming here, I was cooking for a winery in the Napa Valley. I still cook at the winery from time to time, especially during the busy tourist season. As much as I enjoy developing new products in the test kitchen, nothing beats the excitement of cooking in an actual restaurant kitchen.”
JN: What is your favorite dish you prepare for yourself at home?
PK: “I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I don’t do much cooking for myself at home. If I do prepare a meal, it has to be quick and easy. I find myself falling back on pizza or pasta, with a simple salad on most nights. Luckily for me, almost every Jeff’s Naturals product works perfectly for those type of quick and easy meals.”
JN: Of all the Jeff’s Naturals recipes, which one would you recommend to a beginner?
PK: “Hmm. I would probably say the Peperoncini & Sun-Dried Tomato Guacamole, or the Creamy Jalapeño Dip. Those are both super easy to prepare, and they’re great for summer BBQs!”
JN: Do you have a favorite recipe on our site?
PK: “I reeeeeally like the Castelvetrano Spring Farro Salad. I know, I know, its technically summer; but I promise that nobody will be complaining if you show up to the pool party with this killer salad. Just try it, it’s delicious.”