Jill Giacomini-Basch, Liam and Chef Jennifer Luttrell

Jill Giacomini-Basch, Liam and Chef Jennifer Luttrell (Photo credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)

Foodie Chap Visits Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company

with Chef Chef Jennifer Luttrell & Jill Giacomini-Basch

Liam Mayclem
March 20, 2018 - 3:54 pm

(KCBS RADIO) - Meet Chef Jennifer Luttrell, the Executive Chef of The Fork at Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company since 2011. After completing her Chefs’ Training Certification at The Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City, Jennifer taught cooking classes and worked as a private chef and caterer, specializing in organic whole foods.

She later moved to Indiana, where, at Trader’s Point Creamery outside of Indianapolis, Chef Jen owned and operated the on-farm café.  It was there that she met her cheese-making husband, Kuba. 
In 2009 the two relocated to the West Coast for Kuba to lead the cheese making team at Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company.  The Fork, a Culinary and Educational Center on the Giacomini family dairy at Point Reyes Farmstead, opened in 2010 and it was quickly obvious that Jen was the perfect choice to manage the kitchen.  With a focus on farm fresh flavors and an extreme appreciation for hand-crafted and regionally-produced, all-natural ingredients, Jen’s culinary style has become synonymous with The Fork.   She loves to craft menus that are not only delicious but that pay respect to the farmers and the practices they employ. 
Jennifer serves as Lead Judge for Gloria Ferrer’s Glorious Bites Recipe Contest, traveling around the country to find the perfect bite to pair with Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut.  She also recently competed on Guys Grocery Games’ “Cheesiest” episode, that aired just a week ago on Food Network. 
Jennifer lives in Point Reyes with Kuba, and their son, Enzo.  Aside from her family, Jen’s interests include writing, photography, travel, and a deep love for Manhattans and lifting heavy weights.

Chef Jennifer Luttrell
(Photo credit: Foodie Chap/Liam Mayclem)

I met with Chef Jennifer and Jill Giacomini-Basch Co-owner of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company for a Foodie Chap chat. I played sous as Chef whipped up a super delish Creamy Toma Mac & Cheese recipe along with Fried Original Blue Stuffed Olives ....all to die for.

We cooked, we ate and we talked. Much of the talk about the happiest cows on the planet right there on their seven hundred plus acre farm in Point Reyes.  While enjoying some Mac & Cheese washed down with some Gloria Ferrer Sonoma Brut we also discussed the upcoming California Artisan Cheese Festival (Fri March 23rd - Sun 25th) in Santa Rosa at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

Enjoy the cheesy conversation and the recipe for the BEST MAC & CHEESE EVER below.


- Liam

Fried Original Blue-Stuffed Olives and Creamy Toma Mac & Cheese with Toasted Breadcrumbs

Fried Original Blue-Stuffed Olives
Makes 24

1 ounce Point Reyes Original Blue
24 large pitted green olives, patted dry
Oil for frying (Canola or Peanut work well)
1 cup flour
1 large egg, beaten
½ cup panko

Stuff olives with Original Blue.  (You can do this by rolling the cold cheese into small logs and stuffing into olives or by using a piping bag and tip.)  
Set up dredging station by putting flour, egg, and panko in three separate dishes.  Roll stuffed olives in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs to coat.  
Heat fry oil in heavy pot to 350 degrees.  Fry olives until golden brown, about 30 seconds.  Transfer to paper towels using a slotted spoon.  Serve warm.  
* Stuffed olives can be made a day ahead.  Cover and chill until ready to fry. 
   Fried olives can be reheated on a sheet pan in a hot oven for a few minutes before serving, if needed.  

Creamy Toma Mac & Cheese with Toasted Breadcrumbs
Serves 8 - 10

1 pound Macaroni, Penne or other tubular pasta
½ cup unsalted butter
1 shallot, minced
¼ cup dry white wine
¼ cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 bay leaf
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
16 oz. Point Reyes Toma, shredded
1 cup Panko, toasted

Prepare pasta according to package directions.
In the meantime, melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat.  Add shallot, sauté a few minutes until tender.  Add wine and cook another minute.
Whisk in flour until smooth, then cook, whisking constantly 2 minutes.  Slowly whisk in milk, cream, bay leaf, salt and cayenne.  Cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to bubble, about 12 – 14 minutes.  Remove pan from heat, and remove and discard bay leaf.  Add shredded Point Reyes Toma, stirring until melted and combined.
Stir in pasta until blended.  Pour prepared pasta into serving dish.  Top with toasted Panko.   Serve hot.

Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese
Company & The Fork

P.O. Box 9
Point Reyes Station, CA 94956
(800) 591-6878