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Chef speak

By PAM PERCY

Jerry Garcia

Executive ChefHotel Metro

Before Jerry Garcia decided his calling was culinary, his love was sculpting and playing the sax. Now executive chef at Hotel Metro, Garcia’s food journey began in 1987 at the age of 15 as a line chef at the Marcus Big Boy in Waukesha. He eventually worked his way up to assistant manager.

It was later, at Eddie Martini’s as the sous chef of Joe Muench, that he realized food preparation was an art.

He credits much of his expertise to Heaven City’s Scott McGlinchey, who taught him about the intricacies of food and wine.

At Hotel Metro, Garcia has updated the menu, describing it as "American fusion with a Midwest touch," and focusing on organic, natural and locally grown food. Even the fish he imports are line-caught or organic.

In his limited spare time, Garcia — who was instrumental in opening Coast as the executive chef — is a TV personality, dishing up his tailgating recipes and cooking tips on Fox Sports Network during Brewers’ and Bucks’ games. He also spends as much time as he can with his children, Austin, 9, and Nia, 5. Austin helps with the cooking, already an expert on chopping and dicing. Like father, like son.

 

Diver Scallops
6 scallops
1/8 cup walnut oil
1 cup organic greens mix 
1/4 cup walnuts 
1 ounce Gorgonzola cheese 
1 orange, cut in segments 
Pinch of fresh dill 
1/4 cup walnut orange dressing 
1/4 cup blue potatoes

Toss all of the ingredients, except the scallops and walnut oil, in a large bowl and plate. Heat a sauté pan to high heat, then add the walnut oil. Add the scallops and sear them until brown on both sides. Serve warm. Note: The proportions can be increased or decreased according to taste. It serves one as a main course, or two as an appetizer.

Walnut Orange Dressing 
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup walnut oil
1 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper

Blend all the ingredients in a blender. This recipe will yield extra dressing, so save and enjoy the leftover dressing with your next salad.