As the weather cools, we embrace autumn and the wonderfully warm and savory food that comes with it. The return of the season’s beloved colorful pumpkins and squash are celebrated by the masses, and we find comfort in rich soups, spices and hearty dishes. Our patriarch, Randall Selland, welcomes the season annually with his pumpkin bisque. The first course of our October Menu is a nod to autumn with a twist on Randall’s favorite fall meal.
There are two types of bisques in the world, one containing broth from crustaceans thickened with rice and the other containing cream and roasted pureed vegetables or fruit. Randall’s pumpkin bisque is a combination of the two. Rather than thickening pureed pumpkins with cream, rice is used – like in seafood bisque. Randall prefers to use Arborio rice due to its starchiness and thickness, which become more pronounced when slightly overcooked. Cinderella Pumpkins and Butternut Squash are roasted and then pureed with stock and the overcooked Arborio. The result is an extremely velvety and silky bisque, which Randall’s version is known for.
Executive Chef Kelly McCown, maintains the tradition of Randall’s recipe for our first course of the October menu, along with the addition of turmeric, local fall apples and a chicken confit, making the fall flavors of the bisque even more pronounced. Beautiful locally grown Cinderella pumpkins and butternut squash star in our bisque and come from our friends of family owned and operated farms at Passmore Ranch in Sloughouse and Perry & Sons in Manteca. Farmer Patrick Hoover in Camino provides us with his heirloom apples adding sweetness and brightness to the savory fall flavors of the dish. Chicken confit and crispy chicken skin “chicharrones” of locally raised chickens take a role as a garnish for texture and extra flavor. The dish is a true celebration of the fall season and perfect start to our October Menu.