Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 17, 2022 - 27

FOOD
" Cooking at Jordan made me
become a real chef because
of the standards of excellence
that were expected of me. "
FRANCO DUNN
Executive Chef (1983 to 1989)
Jordan's dinner party menus often featured
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT
Then and now dining room design;
Executive Chef Todd Knoll's rack
of lamb; Knoll and Sous Chef
Jonathan Musto use modernist
cooking techniques in the Jordan
kitchen; former Jordan chefs
experiment with local Sonoma
County ingredients in the 1980s;
contrasting plate settings.
classic French cuisine, and Mrs. Jordan was an early
champion of ingredients from Sonoma County farms
and purveyors. Roasted and pressed duck flambéed
in Cognac was a favorite dish, along with mild cheese
soufflés and fruit desserts.
" We tried to provide a real food and wine experience
for our guests, " she says, " because we were always
mindful that whenever they tasted Jordan wines it
would be evocative of a happy or delicious memory. "
FORMER JORDAN CHEFS LOOK BACK
Planning dinner menus challenged the winery's
executive chefs to uphold Mrs. Jordan's high standards
and obtain the best ingredients from near and far.
" Back then it wasn't easy to find specialty items
in Sonoma County, " recalls Franco Dunn, Jordan's
executive chef from 1983 to 1989. " I had to order food
from companies in San Francisco and have it sent
up on a Greyhound bus. It was a lot of driving around
to get fresh produce. "
The first main course Dunn cooked for a Jordan
dinner party was tea-smoked squab with candied lime.
Menus were frequently French-influenced, and dishes
varied for each event.
" Cooking at Jordan made me become a real chef
because of the standards of excellence that were expected
of me, " Dunn says. " It helped me, in a good way. "
John Caputo, who succeeded Dunn as the winery's
executive chef from 1989 to 1993, also recalls the
winery's devotion to quality.
" I inherited a coffee mug from Franco that said,
'Budgets are for wimps,' " Caputo says, laughing.
" Coming from the world of trying to make money
selling food in restaurants, this mentality was quite
a novelty. At Jordan, I was able to access the finest
ingredients from around the world, like white truffles
from Italy at $2,000 a pound. "
WINECOUNTRYTABLE.COM 27
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Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 17, 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Jordan Wine Country Table - Vol. 17, 2022

Table of Contents
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