Chef Jesse Mallgren and Liam Mayclem

(Photo credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)

Foodie Chap Talks Dickens Christmas Dinner and More at Madrona Manor

With Executive Chef Jesse Mallgren

Liam Mayclem
December 04, 2018 - 3:57 pm

HEALDSBURG (KCBS RADIO) — It’s the season for giving...Michelin stars and Chef Jesse Mallgren maintained his one Michelin Star for the 11th year in a row.  “The call from Michelin always makes me a little nervous. But if you are getting a call it’s a good sign that you are getting a star.” Chef told me.

Great palates are a matter of nature versus nurture. But a bit of nature further enhanced by nurture is truly transcendental. Chef Jesse Mallgren brings a superb amount of each to the kitchen at Madrona Manor where he has created inspired cuisine since 1999.

The kitchen environment agrees with him. Youthful and dynamic, Jesse was born in San Francisco and raised in Sonoma County. He grew up listening to stories told by his mother a professional folkloric storyteller. As she learned each new story, she would immerse herself in the culture of its setting by preparing regional foods. As a result, Jesse was exposed to exotic flavors at an impressionable age. “She is an amazing cook,” Jesse beams, recalling the flavors that first influenced his palate. He took his first job in a kitchen washing dishes while still in high school. When a cook called in sick one night, the chef asked him to fill in. He was smitten and has been cooking ever since.

Jesse honed his culinary skills alongside some of the most esteemed names in the culinary world, including Jeremiah Tower and Gary Danko. He credits Danko, for whom he worked at Chateau Souverain, for guiding him with wine pairing. He gained confidence in innovation from Tower at Stars in San Francisco where Jesse served as Executive Sous Chef. Later, Jesse received accolades as Chef de Cuisine at Syzygy in Aspen, Colorado for three years before returning to Sonoma County. At Madrona Manor, he has made his own mark as one of Sonoma County wine country’s most respected chefs.

Jesse wants to cook the food he likes to eat. His cuisine is based on a classic French foundation of sauces and stock punctuated by global influences. Ultimately, a healthy dose of his inspiration comes from the garden itself. “We have an amazing organic garden right here on the estate. I love to stick my nose right into the box of fresh-picked quince that will later be accompanied by foie gras. It’s the aromas of a fresh succulent peach warm from the sun that drips down your arm when you take a bite…” Jesse uses tomatoes, greens, vegetables, herbs and fruit are grown in the Madrona Manor garden and prefers seasonal ingredients from Sonoma County and California.

Jesse feels at home cooking at Madrona Manor because owners Trudi and Bill Konrad have given him free rein to run the culinary program as his own. “I am allowed to grow here. I have an evolving menu where I can bring in new ingredients and try new techniques. I can be as creative as I want.”

His menus reflect that same freedom of expression. Teeming with fresh, wild-caught fish, garden fruit and vegetables, he conveys a flair for the unexpected.

Chef Jesse invites you to join him for a Dickens Christmas at Madrona Manor, a tradition for many years. The dinners are festive and fun and inspire the season of giving and sharing with those near and dear. More of Chef’s story and how you can book your dinner (Thurs - Sun through Christmas ) via the web link below.

Enjoy my STAR inspired conversation with a Michelin Star Chef in a good Michelin groove at Madrona Manor in Healdsburg, Sonoma County.

Happy Holidays, Liam!


Chef Jesse Mallgren's Crab Salad

Chef Jesse Mallgren's Crab Salad
Serves 8

Chef Jesse Mallgren's Crab Salad

1 pound of cleaned crab meat
½ cup orange segments
1 head Frisée
¼ cup toasted sliced almonds

Orange Vinaigrette Ingredients:

1 cup orange juice reduced to ¼ cup
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1/4 cup EVOO
salt to taste

Instructions: Whisk reduced orange juice, vinegar, and salt until salt is incorporated, slowly add EVOO.

Green Goddess Dressing Ingredients:

1 cup mayonnaise 
1 teaspoons chopped fresh chervil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives 
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar 
Mix together mayonnaise and herbs

Instructions: For the crab salad mix crab with dressing and divide into 8 plates. Toss the Frisée and the orange segments with the 2 tablespoons of the orange vinaigrette and place salad on top of the crab. Sprinkle toasted almonds on top of the salad.


Madrona Manor
1001 Westside Road
Healdsburg, California 95448
(707) 433-4231