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Chef Bernard Shares Recipes For Ideal Holiday Meal

 Chef Bernard Guillas preparing a holiday meal at The Marine Room restaurant on Dec. 19, 2018.
Ebone Monet
Chef Bernard Guillas preparing a holiday meal at The Marine Room restaurant on Dec. 19, 2018.

For many people, the holidays signal a time for family, festivities and food. There’s no need to worry about what to prepare for this year’s Christmas and New Year’s dinner.

San Diego Chef Bernard Guillas shared with Evening Edition on Thursday some holiday recipes with fresh ingredients for an approachable gourmet meal.

Guillas has served as executive chef of the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club's The Shores Restaurant and the landmark AAA four-diamond Marine Room restaurant since 1994. He's also the co-author of the cookbook "Two Chefs One Catch: A Culinary Exploration of Seafood."

Chef Bernard Shares Recipes For Ideal Holiday Meal

Below are Chef Bernard’s recipes for an ideal holiday meal.

Bleu D’Auvergne Grape Truffle

Rolled in Toasted Walnuts

Serves 12

36 large red or green seedless grapes


2/3 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup bleu d’Auvergne cheese or your favorite blue cheese

1 cup finely chopped toasted walnuts

Wash grapes well. Pat dry. Using wooden spoon, beat cream cheese and bleu d’Auvergne in mixing bowl until smooth. Spread walnuts in shallow dish. Generously coat each grape with cheese mixture. Roll in walnuts. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Transfer to serving bowl.

Caramelized Persimmon Cake

Clover Honey Fromage Blanc

Serves 8 family style


2/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup unsalted butter

1 tablespoon water

Add all ingredients to 10-inch oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until golden brown. Remove from heat. Cool 5 minutes or until caramel is hardened.


8 medium Fuyu persimmons, peeled, seeded, cut into 6 wedges

1 orange, zested

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 cup lemoncello

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Arrange persimmon wedges tightly onto caramel in skillet, cut side down. Reserve remaining lemoncello mixture for batter.


4 large eggs, separated

5 tablespoons granulated sugar

Red Walnut Crusted Rack of Lamb

Farmer’s Market Vegetables, Ouzo Herb Sauce

Serves 6 family style


1/2 cup red walnut pieces

2 teaspoons sea salt flakes

1/4 cup bread crumbs

2 tablespoons dried parsley flakes

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Add red walnuts to large skillet over low heat. Cook until toasted, stirring constantly. Transfer to food processer. Add remaining ingredients. Process to coarse meal. Transfer to small mixing bowl. Set aside.


1 cup pearl onions, peeled

16 young carrots, peeled

16 yellow baby beets, peeled

1 pound fingerling potatoes, cut in half

4 small Japanese eggplant, cut into 1” wheels

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced

8 cloves garlic, whole, peeled

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

4 sprigs thyme

to taste sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven 375◦F.

Toss all ingredients in mixing bowl with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to roasting pan. Cook 20 minutes. Rotate vegetables to cook evenly. Cook additional 20 minutes or until tender. Set aside. Keep warm.


2 tablespoons grapeseed oil

2 1-1/2 pounds lamb racks, 8 bones, frenched

1 cup diced vine ripened tomatoes

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup chopped shallots

1/2 cup white wine

1 ½ cups beef stock

1/4 cup oregano leaves

1 cup basil leaves

1/2 cup tarragon leaves

1/4 cup cognac

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

to taste sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Add oil to large roasting pan over medium high heat. Season lamb with salt and pepper on all sides. Place in roasting pan fat side down. Sear 2 minutes or until golden brown. Flip. Sear 1 minute. Transfer lamb to platter. Discard excess fat from pan. Return to medium high heat. Add tomatoes, garlic, shallots, wine and stock. Bring to boil. Return lamb to pan, fat side up. Sprinkle evenly with crust. Bake in oven 10 minutes for medium rare, or until desired doneness. Transfer racks to serving platter, interlocking bones. Place vegetables around lamb. Keep warm.

Transfer pan juices to blender. Add herbs, cognac and butter. Puree until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to sauce dish.