Chef Peter Rudolph at Madera, Menlo Park

MADERA
2825 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park
650.561.1540; www.maderasandhill.com

Executive chef Peter Rudolph

Age: 39

Hometown: Martinez, but now lives in San Francisco.

Experience: Worked in pizza parlors as a teenager but later decided to become a photographer. Lost interest in photography yet still enjoyed cooking so attended California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, graduating in 1994 and taking an externship at Brasserie Savoy in San Francisco. Joined the Ritz Carlton, where he worked as a chef in Atlanta, Marina Del Rey and Half Moon Bay (Navio). Left to travel through Southeast Asia with his family. Came back to the Bay Area and joined Rosewood Sand Hill to open Madera.

Early inspiration: "My grandmother.

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She made comfort food: cakes, stews, pot roasts, very American-centric, very Betty Crocker."

Mentors: Joel Antunes, Gunter Seegers, Troy Thompson and Xavier Salomon

Your culinary philosophy: "Stay fresh, stay excited. Use the best products in an interesting way."

Your favorite foods: Sweetbreads and artichokes

Leisure time: "Biking (mountain bikes) and spending time with my family, either camping and hiking or cooking together.
Loch Duarte salmon, shrimp tortellini, black trumpet mushrooms
Loch Duarte salmon, shrimp tortellini, black trumpet mushrooms
My son (5 year-old Logan) is into food and loves fresh sardines. I wrote a kid's menu and he changed four dishes and they're No. 1 sellers."

What is the biggest challenge? Balancing the business aspect and the creative aspect of being a chef.

If you weren't a chef, what would you be doing: Running a bike shop, or a professional bike rider.

Most proud of: "Madera and the team that is here, and the product."

Loch Duarte salmon, shrimp tortellini, black trumpet mushrooms

Serves 3

Ingredients:
4 each 5-ounce skinned and filleted loche duarte salmon
1 teaspoon shallot brunoise
4 teaspoons each picked nettles and black trumpets
4 each shrimp tortellini
Nettle puree
8 teaspoons marinated beets
2 teaspoons chopped chives

Directions:
- Season salmon with salt and pepper. In a stainless steel pan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil and sear salmon flesh side down until golden brown. Flip fish and ladle 2 teaspoons fish glaze on top coating generously and continue cooking salmon in a 375 degree oven for about 5 minutes for medium rare. Sauté black trumpets, shallots and nettles in olive oil and use as a base on the plate for your tortellini.
- Fill a 2-quart pot with water and season liberally with sea salt; bring to a boil. Drop in tortellini and cook for about a minute until the filling is set. Strain and toss with butter. Place tortellini on top of sautéed mushrooms and nettles.

To plate:
Drop 1 tablespoon of nettle puree on the plate and form a teardrop by dragging the spoon across the puree. Carefully drop 2 tablespoons of marinated beets around the plate. Place the tortellini on top of nettles and black trumpets and place the salmon beside it.

Fish glaze
1 cup chicken stock
4 ounces butter
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cold water
Salt and pepper

Nettle puree
Yield : 1 cup

1/4 cup blanched packed stinging Nettles
1/4 cup blanched packed Cavolo Nero
2 teaspoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup chicken stock
Salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients except for olive oil in a blender and puree till smooth. Slowly add the olive oil and emulsify the mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

Marinated beets
1/2 cup roasted red beets brunoise
1 tablespoon shallots brunoised
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 tablespoon orange juice
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour.

Shrimp tortellini
1/4 pound each salmon and shrimp (cut up in small pieces)
1/4 cup brunoised apples
1 teaspoon sweated brunoise shallots
1 egg white
1/4 cup cream
2 teaspoons chives
1 teaspoon tarragon
Salt and pepper

Combine salmon and shrimp in a food processor and puree until smooth. Emulsify slowly with the egg white and cream and once incorporated, fold in shallots, apples, chives and tarragon. Season with salt and pepper. To form the tortellini, place 1 teaspoon of shrimp filling in the center of a 3x3-piece of pasta dough or wonton wrapper, fold both ends to form a triangle then connect the two bottom ends of the triangle to form the tortellini.

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