chef-thomas-vinolusComing from the midwest, I was not prepared for the local abundance of vegetables, fruit, fish and seafood that I was to discover here. Before coming here, I could not have even imagined stepping outside my own restaurant and picking a plethora of fresh herbs. I would never have expected to find a farmer at my back doorstep with the freshest of produce. On a snowy day in Manhattan I could not have dreamed of a berry grower delivering a flat of sweet, brilliant red strawberries. Maybe in culinary school I daydreamed of cooking with freshly caught salmon, halibut, sand dab, spot prawns and crab.

Now these are not dreams. This happens year round in our little piece of the world called Aptos. At several local farmers’ markets you will find me smelling and tasting various produce to ensure that I obtain the very best. Later in the day you are able to sample many dishes prepared in my restaurant, knowing that the produce is farm fresh.

At the Bittersweet Bistro we serve organic, local, and seasonal produce, striving to serve it at its peak of ripeness. We cook a style of cuisine I call “American Bistro.” This means using high quality ingredients, prepared with classical cooking techniques with a minimum of manipulation, so that the flavors of the food are able to stand on their own.

With all the bounty land and sea have to offer, Aptos and its surrounding area is truly a jewel in the making.

Here are some of my favorite recipes I’d like to share with you. Enjoy!

– Thomas Vinolus