Here is this week's Dish, a conversation with Jonathan Sanchez.
Title: Culinary associate at Stonewood Grill &Tavern, 7935 Airport-Pulling Road, Naples, 593-0001
Experience: Six years at Stonewood and two years as the head chef.
What is your comfort food? Any kind of sandwich on any kind of bread. Sandwiches are a simple meal.
What one ingredient must you have? Actually there are two — garlic and butter.
What is your favorite snack? I love cookies.
What is your favorite thing to make? I like to prepare sauces. I am not picky on the protein, but like to mix and match flavors with the sauces.
What is the most popular item on Stonewood’s menu? Our filet with portobello mushroom ravioli.
What three items do you have in your refrigerator at home? Butter, garlic and milk.
Where do you go when you eat out? I like to try new places to give me insight on new dishes.
What inspires you? To consistently produce fresh and flavorful food for my guests.
Where did you have your most memorable meal? At Elway’s in Denver. It is owned by John Elway of the Denver Broncos and it was the most amazing experience I ever had. The wine, dinner and dessert were all a 10.
What is your drink of choice? A Barcardi Limon and Diet Coke.
What do you eat even though you know you shouldn’t? Sweets and fried food.
What is the best thing about your job? I get to work with great, talented people and fresh ingredients every day to be able to put out great plates for our guests.
What is your fantasy job? To be an executive chef at my own restaurant.
What was the best advice you ever got from your parents? A lazy man works twice, and that is the saying I live by. Do it right the first time, so you don’t have to do it again.
What would you eat if it was your last meal? A filet mignon with blue cheese crumbles melted on top, grilled asparagus and a banana split for dessert.
What do you do when you leave work? I go home and go to sleep and wake up the next day to start all over again.
What music plays in your kitchen? Music to keep everybody moving — from soft rock to hip-hop to country.
What is your biggest accomplishment so far? To be able to have achieved the position I have at the age of 22.
Do you have a favorite childhood meal? I was a good eater and never pushed anything to the side, so everything was my favorite.
Sanchez gave us this recipe:
3-4 fresh vine ripe tomatoes, diced
3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
Butter to spread on bread
Salt and pepper to taste
1 French baguette
* Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
* Slice the baguette in half the long ways.
* Mix the butter and garlic together and spread it on the bread.
* Place the bread on a cookie tray and bake in the oven for five minutes.
* Mix the oil, 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese, basil, tomatoes and salt and pepper together in a small bowl.
* Spread the mixture on the toasted bread and sprinkle the remaining tablespoon of Parmesan cheese on top.
* Cut into pieces and serve with a glass of white wine.
* Serves 4.
Connect with Sheila Mesulam at www.naplesnews.com/staff/sheila_mesulam