Chef Geno Sarmiento of Nick’s Fishmarket recently visited the gardens to give students a hands-on cooking demonstration. Together they prepared gnocchi with an herb tomato sauce and pan-seared shrimp. Garden Coordinator Jadda Miller, along with Chef Geno, take questions from the class.
Chef Geno holds up a cherry tomato, one of the ingredients in making the herb tomato sauce. He showed the students how to roll and then cut the dough used to make gnocchi, an Italian dumpling.
Students had fun!
“I like rolling the dough.” “I like cutting the dough.” “I like eating the gnocchi!”
Chef Geno and Tri-Star Restaurant Group
This garden cooking demonstration was put on by Chef Geno Sarmiento, Executive Chef, and the team at Tri-Star Restaurant Group, which manages Nick’s Fishmarket inside Fairmont Kea Lani, Sarento’s on the Beach on Keawakapu Beach, Manoli’s Pizza Company in Wailea, and Son’z Steakhouse inside Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa in Kaanapali. Mahalo to the entire team for supporting this fun cooking demonstration event for our students.
A Special Mahalo to our Photographer
Bjarne Salen, of Endless Flow Films, spent two days in the gardens with the students, Garden Coordinator Jadda Miller, and Chef Geno and his team, documenting the cooking demonstrations. Mahalo Bjarne, for donating your time and talent to create wonderful photos of this fun and memorable experience for our students.
How to Make Gnocchi?
Chef Geno generously shared his recipe with us:
Cheese gnocchi (dumplings): Mix 1 pound of goat cheese and 1 pound of ricotta cheese until evenly combined. Then mix-in 1 cup of flour until the dough is soft. On a floured surface, divide dough into 4 even pieces and roll into 1/2 inch-thick “ropes”. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Cook dumplings in salted boiling water until they float to the surface, about 1 to 2 minutes, blanch cooked gnocchi into ice water, then drain.
Tomato Pesto Sauce: In a food processor, puree garden tomatoes and a handful of garden basil with parmesan cheese (and toasted pine nuts if preferred). The amount of tomatoes, basil and cheese is up to your liking. If you prefer more tomatoes, add more tomatoes or vice versa. Put into a saucepan and bring to a simmer mixing often so as not to burn the sauce. Add gnocchi until heated thoroughly.
Adding protein: Feel free to add protein (shrimp, chicken, etc) or any other vegetables (mushrooms, asparagus, etc) in your dish. Simply sautée in a separate pan and once cooked, add to the sauce and serve with cheese gnocchi topped with grated parmesan cheese.