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by Chef Tara Thomas


PEACHY

Let's say it, peaches are sexy. Take a bite of a peach, just plucked from the tree, warm from the late summer sun. Its juices drizzling onto your chin, as your mouth processes the flavors and textures of the succulent flesh opposed with the delicate fuzzy skin—you know exactly what I'm talking about. The seductive shape of the fruit is reminiscent of feminine curves. Placed high on the aphrodisiac food chain, peaches are packed with potassium, phosphorous, iron and vitamins A and C—all valuable ingredients to get you moving, whether in the gym or between the sheets.

Peaches originated in China where they remain a symbol of regeneration and fertility. The seductive shape of the fruit in Renoir's painting has been compared to the plunge of a woman's cleavage. Hopefully this has you excited enough to run to your local farmers' market, get cooking and start cocktailing!


PEACH TARTS WITH HONEY AND BLACK PEPPER

Serves four.

INGREDIENTS:

1 Sheet Frozen Puff Pastry
1 Pound Peaches, Pitted and Cut into 1 inch Wedges
¼ Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Honey
To Taste Freshly Ground Black Pepper and Flaky Sea Salt


METHOD
:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cut pasty into six 4 inch squares, place on a parchment lined baking sheet
and prick all over with a fork.

Top with peaches leaving a 1/4 inch border.

Sprinkle with sugar and season with a few grinds from the peppermill.

Bake tarts, rotating the pan halfway through until edges of pastry are puffed and golden, 25-30 minutes.

Just before serving, drizzle with honey and sprinkle with salt.

Can be made 4 hours ahead and kept at room temperature.

THE COCKTAIL PAIRING: PEACH CHAMPAGNE PUNCH

Before dinner, titillate your taste buds with this lively champagne punch.

INGREDIENTS:

3-4 Each Peaches, sliced
1 Cup Strawberries, quartered
1/2 Bottle DeKuyper Peachtree Schnapps
2 Bottles Champagne or Sparkling Wine

METHOD:

Mix it all up and serve over ice

Note: If you're feeling particularly clever you can freeze the berries and use them as ice cubes

THE ART PAIRING: JOSIE MORWAY

Josie Morway is a self-taught painter whose works are oddly disturbing. Strange tableaux, both surreal and striking, demands the viewer explore the conflicts of how we revere yet demand so much from nature. This young American artist forces us to contemplate both the beauty and brutality of nature. Kind of like love, isn't it?


 

The Los Angeles based chef, Tara Thomas has an incredible resume of experience, education and talent. In 1992, she co-founded the restaurant 410 Boyd, which became the darling of the downtown LA art crowd. In 1997, Chef Thomas founded Traxx Restaurant in historic Union Station, which became a staple of Los Angeles life for over 20 years. A contestant on Chopped, she has received many accolades from publications such as Gourmet, Food and Wine, the Los Angeles Times and NBC's Travel Cafe.

 

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