Joanne Weir has an extensive culinary background in history, theory and technique of Mediterranean cuisine, as well as the regional foods of the United States. These elements are brought to life in her creative classes, written articles and television series.
Pizza with Pizazz
Joanne welcomes her student Geoffto class with a quick and easy salmon and pickled onion pizza. Then together they explore the idea of contrasts of flavor, texture, and color, making lemon turkey cutlets and an arugula and orange salad. Recipes: Lavash Pizza with Herb Salad, Arugula and Orange Salad, and Lemon Turkey Cutlets. Student: Geoff Rubendall, Civil Engineer.
Joanne greets her student Sarina with a bruschetta salad and it is quickly apparent Sarina is the perfect student for dishes that are simple enough for a weeknight, yet elegant enough for Saturday night. They recreate the vinaigrette from the salad, discover how easy it is to cook clams, and finish with a warm blueberry maple compote melting over vanilla ice cream. Recipes: Bruschetta Salad with Prosciutto di San Daniele and Greens, Clams with Chorizo and Orange, and Vanilla Ice Cream with Blueberry Maple Syrup Compote. Student: Sarina Crivello, Apple Specialist.
It's a party when Joanne and her student Cheryl get together. Joanne adds a sweet crisp twist to classic guacamole, shows how to improve a store bought stock to elevate tortilla soup, and then the party really begins with muddled cherry margaritas Recipes: Sweet Pea Guacamole, Tortilla Soup with Pork Meatballs, Tortillas and Cheddar, and Fresh Cherry Margaritas. Student: Cheryl Kovelchik, Entertainment Marketing.
Most people, including Joanne, absolutely adore salmon. She begins by nestling salmon rillete in endive, and then, with her student Jerry, bakes salmon in the ultimate symbol of love, a paper heart. Recipes: Smoked Salmon Rillete/Endive, Salmon and Spring Vegetables Baked in Paper, and Lemon Tarragon Rice. Student: Jerry Feldman, International Business Development.
Italian Love Affair
Inspired by dishes made in her classes in Italy, Joanne introduces her student Reggie to bagnacauda, rigatoni with chicken in a tomato cream sauce, and a vegetable ribbon salad. Recipes: Bagna Cauda, Rigatoni with Chicken, Tomatoes and Cream, and Vegetable Ribbon Salad. Student: Reggie Wooden, Student.
Never Too Young
Joanne welcomes her youngest student Stella to class and they nestle in to create a menu of some of Joanne's favorite chilly weather dishes: roasted game hens with prosciutto and mushrooms and quinoa pilaf with dried blueberries and apricots. Recipes: Sweet and Hot Pepper Relish Crostini, Roasted Game Hens with Prosciutto di Parma and Mushrooms, and Quinoa Pilaf with Dried Blueberries and Apricots. Student: Stella Ginsberg, Student and Blogger.
Joanne confesses to her student Kyle that her favorite food is potato chips, but gives him a healthier oven "fried" version. They are so good, it's hard to save a few to go with their bruschetta blue cheese burgers and blueberry nectarine sangria. Recipes: Oven Fried Potato Chips with Marjoram Salt, Bruschetta Burger with Caramelized Onions and Blue Cheese, and Rose Sangria with Blueberry and Nectarines. Student: Kyle Khasigian, Financial Associate.
Dinner Dance Or Swept Off My Feet
Joanne starts her class with a challenge, presenting her French student Pascal three variations on the classic French sauce aioli. Then they are both swept off their feet by Joanne's twist on the classic combination of chicken and salad. Recipes: Aioli and Variations, "Oven-Fried" Chicken Legs, and Butter Lettuce and Avocado with Lime Vinaigrette. Student: Pascal Molat, Principal Dancer, San Francisco Ballet.
Ticket to Provence
Joanne and her student Sasha are transported to Provence using herbs, citrus, and garlic. Joanne begins with a bright fresh citrus salad and then working together they create a very classic country, yet refined, dish of braised cod with leeks and potato. Recipes: Citrus Salad with Mint and Red Onions, Cod Braised with Leeks, Potatoes and Thyme, and Roasted Garlic Slab. Student: Sasha Bernstein, Restaurant Consultant.
Eat Your Vegetables
Joanne eases the anxiety that can sometimes set in when a vegetarian is coming to dinner. Working with her fitness specialist student Randy she prepares a satisfying bulgur and feta salad and fried potato and spiced red pepper frittata that would satisfy vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Recipes: Bulgur, Feta and Oven-Dried Tomato Salad and Fried Potato and Spiced Red Pepper Frittata. Student: Randy Bramblett, Fitness Specialist.
Joanne shows us just how easily and quickly a deliciously spiced lentil soup can be made when you have the right spices in the pantry. She continues to spice it up with her student John, building a warm Moroccan chicken and sweet potato salad, cooling it off with a cardamom and ginger cocktail she has aptly named the Marrakech 75. Recipes: Spiced Lentil Soup, Warm Moroccan Chicken and Sweet Potato Salad, and Marrakech 75 Cocktail. Student: John Cu, Trial Attorney.
Joanne embraces teaching traditional recipes and then showing new ways to use them. She and her student Reggie make mayonnaise and create an Asian inspired meal of tuna burgers with wasabi mayonnaise and Thai cabbage and grapefruit slaw, leaving Reggie wondering if he will ever buy mayonnaise again. Recipes: Grilled Yellowtail Tuna Burgers with Wasabi Mayonnaise and Thai Cabbage and Grapefruit Slaw. Student: Reggie Wooden, Student.
Inspired by the roasted chickens in the marketsof Italy Joanne teaches her student Joan her version of crispy chicken and potatoes with a side of hot pepper and white balsamic broccolini, topped off with a cherry Zinfandel zabaglione. Recipes: Broccolini with Hot Pepper and White Balsamic, Crispy Chicken and Potatoes with Mustard, Rosemary and Capers, and Fresh Cherries with Late Harvest Zinfandel Zabaglione. Student: Joan Boada, Principal Dancer, San Francisco Ballet.
Joanne introduces her student Ron to the versatility of the often overlooked gingerroot, greeting him with poached shrimp with a mango dipping sauce made with freshly grated ginger. It is then brought together with mussels steamed with mustard greens, lemon grass, and ginger with grilled bread and ginger aioli. Recipes: Shrimp with Mango Dipping Sauce, Mussels Steamed With Mustard Greens, Lemon Grass and Ginger, and Grilled Bread with Ginger Aioli. Student: Ron Martin, Fire Chief.
You Say Tomato
When it is tomato season, it is sometimes difficult to keep up with the bounty. Joanne prepares a chilled tomato and Greek yogurt soup, and then teaches her student Jack the versatility of roasted cherry tomatoes, showcasing them in a lamb sirloin salad. Recipes: Chilled Tomato and Greek Yogurt Soup, Roasted Cherry Tomatoes, and Lamb Sirloin Salad with Feta and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes. Student: Jack Cohen, Website Merchandising.
Joanne goes "nuts" and makes for us her five-spice, ginger, and cayenne packed Asian Toasted Nuts. Then she encourages her student Geoff to do the same making stir-fried chicken, pine-nut lettuce wraps, and cardamom-scented rice with toasted almonds. Recipes: Asian Toasted Nuts, Stir-Fried Chicken and Mushroom Lettuce Wraps, and Cardamom-Scented Rice with Toasted Almonds. Student: Geoff Rubendall, Civil Engineer.
Fast Forward to Dinner
With her student Bonnie, Joanne makes us quicker versions of the comfort foods she grew up with in New England, oven-roasted sausages, and a sauerkraut that is so fast she couldn't resist calling it lazy-girl sauerkraut. Recipes: Oven-Roasted Sausages with Riesling, Apples and Pears and Lazy-Girl Sauerkraut. Student: Bonnie Lin, Conference Interpreter.
Passport to Sardinia
The island of Sardinia is one of Joanne's favorite places. She created a menu to take her student Di there, fregola with clams and tomatoes and a yellow and green bean salad with cherry tomatoes and basil. Recipes: Roasted Olives with Orange, Bay and Fennel, Fregola, Clams and Tomatoes, and Yellow and Green Bean Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil. Student: Di Harris, Retired Nanny.
Journey to Italy
Joanne shares her memories of Italy with her student Barbra recreating some of the dishes form her travels. She starts with a simple salad of fig and prosciutto, then slowly adds just enough red wine for a faro risotto, and finally ends the meal with a dessert of strawberry, port, and black pepper. Recipes: Fig And Blueberry Salad With Creme Fraiche, Mint and Prosciutto di Parma, Farro Risotto with Red Wine and Grana Padano, Strawberry with Port and Black Pepper, and an Aperol Champagne Cocktail. Student: Barbra Bright, Kitchen Designer.
Rustic Yet Refined
Joanne makes us a classic Italian frico and then with her student Stephanie demonstrates how rustic and refined can work well together in the same meal, making a spiced lentil and herb salad and halibut wrapped in prosciutto. Recipes: Frico with Bacon and Potatoes, Prosciutto di San Daniele-Wrapped Halibut Fillet, and Spiced Lentils and Herb Salad. Student: Stephanie Gerbracht, Wine Sales.
Joanne is often asked where her inspirations come from and begins by composing an inspired salad with roasted beets, and then gives her student Charlie some pointers for making honey glazed pork chops and a roasted squash puree. Recipes: Bibb Lettuce Salad with Roasted Beet, Grapefruit and Pecans, Honey Glazed Pork Chops with Orange and Cardamom, and a Roasted Squash and Ginger Puree. Student: Charlie Baldwin, City Gardener.
Kicking Up The Classics
Joanne and her student Lauren give comfort food a kick preparing a 30 minute lamb and black bean chili and hiding a red pepper jelly surprise inside corn muffins. Recipes: Thirty-Minute Lamb and Black Bean Chili and Spicy Red Pepper Jelly-Filled Corn Muffins. Student: Lauren Eastman, Public Relations Executive.
Market to Table
Joanne's day begins at the farmer's market and she shows us a fresh sugar snap pea soup. Then she works with her student Kyle to perfect his pasta techniques making a fresh fettuccine with asparagus, prosciutto, and lemon creme fraiche. Recipes: Sugar Snap Pea Soup with Mint and Meyer Lemon Oil and Fresh Fettuccine with Asparagus Ribbons and Lemon Creme Fraiche. Student: Kyle Khasigian, Financial Associate.
Joanne remembers her trips to Italy and with her student Di shows us a classic pizza strata and a dessert inspired by limoncello. Recipes: Green Salad with Garlic croutons and Balsamic Red Wine Dressing, Pizza Strata, and Lemon Sorbet and Vanilla Ice Cream with Limoncello. Student: Di Harris, Retired Nanny.
Summer is definitely the time Joanne gets excited about fruits and vegetables, greeting her student Leah with a little jem salad perfectly dressed with a buttermilk blue cheese dressing. They make a spicy spaghetti together and then cool things down with a blueberry frozen yogurt. Recipes: Little Gems with Almonds and Buttermilk Blue Dressing, Spicy Spaghetti with Sauteed Fennel and Mussels, and Blueberry Frozen Yogurt. Student: Leah Ballantyne, Teacher.
Italian Flavor Or Slow Food, Italian Style
Joanne loves Italian flavors. She prepares a Spinach and Fennel Salad enhanced with Prosciutto di San Daniele. Then, hungry for a little comfort food, she creates a hearty Tuscan Pot Roast with her student Cheryl and shows her the secret to the perfect creamy polenta. Recipes: Spinach and Fennel Salad with Prosciutto di San Daniele, Tuscan Pot Roast, Creamy Polenta with Grana Padano. Student: Cheryl Kovelchik.
Inspired by freshly picked vegetables, Joanne prepares a vegetarian feast. She begins by making a luscious butternut squash soup. And then for a twist with her student Sasha she cooks up some Gnocchi with Brown Butter using semolina instead of potatoes along with Kale with Garlic and White Balsamic. Recipes: Roasted Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup with Coriander Oil, Semolina Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Fried Sage (Parm-Reg), Kale with Garlic and White Balsamic. Student: Sasha Bernstein.
Middle-East Feast Or Spice It Up
Joanne shows us how preserved lemons add vibrancy and a bright taste to hummus. Then, Jerry is back and ready to spice it up using cardamom and coriander to transform a plain chicken breast into unforgettable Spice-Dusted Chicken Skewers with Harissa Yogurt Sauce, served with Pearl Couscous. Recipes: Spiced Humus with Preserved Lemons, Spice-Dusted Chicken Skewers with Harissa Yogurt Sauce, Pearl Couscous (and variations). Student: Jerry Feldman.
Dinner Time Sizzle
Joanne toasts up a tasty starter of Grilled Bread with Tomatoes and Prosciutto di Parma and then shows her student Sarina, how a splash of sherry gives shrimp some sizzle! Together they roast red peppers to perfection for a delicious basmati rice dish with green peas. Recipes: Grilled Bread with Tomatoes and Prosciutto di Parma, Sizzling Shrimp with Pimenton and Sherry, Basmati Rice with Roasted Red Peppers and Green Peas. Student: Sarina Crivello.
First, Joanne turns fresh plums into a cheese-worthy chutney with ginger and then Joan returns for an encore. They use a combination of Indian spices to prepare Roasted Chicken Thighs with Indian Rub with Pan Roasted Potatoes with Black and Yellow Mustard seeds. Recipes: Plum and Ginger Chutney with Italian Cheeses, Roasted Chicken Thighs with Indian Rub, Pan-Roasted Potatoes with Black and Yellow Mustard Seeds. Student: Joan Boada.