recipes by Tate Darwin, Cellar Door Photos by Ryan Mayo


lentiful summer garden harvests and an abundance of tomatoes lend themselves to this month’s feature recipes provided by Tate Darwin, chef at The Cellar Door. Each season rolls in a new selection of flavors to experiment with. Enjoy these with your next garden harvest.

Tomato Bisque


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced medium
  • 3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 8 ripe beefsteak tomatoes, diced large
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh basil for garnish, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper


In a medium-sized soup pot, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pot. Put the pot on high heat and heat until the oil begins to smoke. Add the onion and garlic and cook on high heat until soft and aromatic (about 5 minutes). Stir in the tomatoes and continue to cook on high heat, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes begin to break down. This process takes 10 to 15 minutes. At this point, the mixture will be very watery.
Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add the thyme sprigs and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the soup from the heat and allow it to cool. When it has cooled, remove the thyme sprigs and pour the soup into a blender and blend until smooth.
Pour the soup into a strainer and strain into a new pot. Bring the soup to a boil and add salt and pepper to taste. Reduce to a simmer and add the heavy cream. Simmer for 5 minutes and remove from heat.
Serve boiling hot and garnish with thinly sliced basil.

Spicy Summer Squash


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced medium
  • 2 rings of jalapeño pepper
  • 4 rings of serrano pepper
  • 1/2 ripe beefsteak tomato, rough chop
  • 1 1/2 medium-sized yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 medium-sized green zucchini, thinly sliced
  • Salt and pepper


Coat a frying pan with a thick layer of olive oil and heat on high until the oil begins to smoke. Add the onion and peppers and sauté on high heat until soft and aromatic (about 3 minutes). Add the tomato and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients and stir, making sure that everything is evenly coated with oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook for another 6 minutes.
The dish is ready when the squash can be easily cut with a fork.

Chicken Breast With Potatoes and White Wine Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided use
  • 3/4 pounds baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup flour, for dredging
  • 1/2 shallot, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cold butter
  • Salt and pepper


Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
Season potatoes with salt, pepper and olive oil.
Place potatoes in a shallow roasting pan, add 3 tablespoons of butter and cover with two layers of aluminum foil, then put them in the oven and let them cook for 16 minutes, shaking the pan once halfway through. Test for doneness with a fork. The potatoes should be soft and have little resistance when piercing.
While the potatoes are roasting, wash the chicken breast and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper and dredge in flour. Coat the bottom of a medium-sized frying pan with olive oil and heat on high until the oil begins to smoke. Place the chicken into the pan, breast side down, and let it heat until it reaches a golden brown color (about 3 minutes). Turn the chicken breast over and do the same to the other side.
Transfer the chicken to a sheet pan and place in the oven. Cook until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
To check the temperature, stick a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the breast. When the chicken reaches 165 degrees, remove from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 minutes.
While the chicken breast is cooking, add the shallots and capers to the frying pan used to sear the chicken breast. Cook the shallots and capers on high heat until soft. Stir continuously to avoid burning. Once the shallots and capers are soft, deglaze the pan with the white wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape off any bits stuck to the pan. Add a pinch of salt and reduce the white wine until it is almost completely evaporated, then add the heavy cream and the juice of half a lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat until it is at a light simmer. Cook for 6 more minutes, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat. Flavor adding more salt if needed. Then stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons of cold butter until it is melted.
To plate, place the potatoes onto a plate. Slice the chicken against the grain into even slices and place on top of the potatoes. Pour the sauce evenly over the chicken.

A note from the chef:

The recipes at Cellar Door are ingredient-driven. Our goal is to take the freshest in-season ingredients and try to showcase their flavor. These recipes were created to show how amazing the seasonal produce is at the Visalia Farmers Market. I purchased the tomatoes from Vine Ripe Tomatoes and the squash from B. Vang Farms, local farms from which I buy quite a bit of produce.