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Chef's Corner: Chef Joe Hetman, Lynfred Winery

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Chef's Corner: Chef Joe Hetman, Lynfred Winery

Our regular profile of one of the outstanding chefs in the Fox Valley - including recipe!

Meet Chef Joe Hetman. Joe’s personal history with food has family ties that are rooted in traditional Polish and Italian heritage. His mother’s side of the family has been making homemade ravioli for Christmas and Easter ever since his great grandparents came to America from Italy. His father’s grandparents came to America from Poland and have passed down the traditions of homemade Polish sausages, pierogis and rhubarb pies. Joe grew up in the kitchen.

Knowing that food was his passion Joe started the Culinary Arts program at Robert Morris and graduated with honors. His internship was with the famed Le Titi de Paris in Arlington Heights, where he was asked by Chef Maddox to stay on staff as a chef apprentice.

After a year working at Le Titi de Paris, Joe heard of a position at Lynfred, to be sous chef to Chef Chris Smith. He couldn’t pass it up.

When I asked Chef Joe what the best part of his job was, he replied, ‘Fred told me, face-to-face, that I am allowed complete creative freedom with the Epicurean Experience. Even today, a year later, this is still both exciting and humbling. Fred trusts me to deliver a diverse and enticing menu each month. I focus in and do my best. The integrity of the winery, the food and my position are stable points in my life. I appreciate where I’m at in my career and am fortunate to have this job.’

Lynfred wine club members and their guests have the opportunity to sample his creative masterpieces on Saturday and Sunday afternoons with the Epicurean Experience. Epicurean Experience is $20 for members and $25 for their guests and is available every Saturday and Sunday afternoon from 1 pm to 5 pm. Reservations are recommended but not required. To sample Chef Joe’s creations call us at 630.529.9463.

Sweet Tomato Tapenade with Olive Vinaigrette
from the private kitchen of Lynfred Winery’s Chef Joe Hetman

8 Roma tomatoes, seeded and minced
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, minced
 salt and pepper, to taste
fresh baguette, sliced on bias and grilled
small bunch basil, oregano, thyme, chopped
1/4-1/3 cup Manchego cheese, grated

For Vinaigrette:
  1 cup black olives
  3-4 fillets of anchovy
  1 clove roasted garlic
  olive oil
  salt and pepper, to taste 
 
Preheat a grilling pan, to light whisps of smoke.  Lightly brush baguette slices with olive oil.  Grill both sides, and set aside.  For the tomato tapenade, seed and thinly slice tomatoes.  Turn 90 degrees and mince finely.  Gather 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes and mince finely.  Add chopped herbs, incorporate.  Season with salt and pepper; pull together with any additional olive oil if necessary.  For the vinaigrette, pulse olives in food processor.  Add anchovy fillets, garlic, and pulse together.  Slowly drizzle olive oil in, to liquid consistency.  Adjust with salt and pepper, as needed.  Top grilled baguettes with tomato tapenade, and finish with a generous drizzle of olive vinaigrette.  Garnish with Manchego and serve!

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