Lunch with Chef Judi: Bijou Cafe

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An institution for Sarasota Dining for years, we chose Savor Sarasota at Bijou Cafe today for our focus.

Look for a trio of the chef's soups and grilled Caesar, and crisp roasted duck for dinner.

Savor Sarasota runs until June 14.

Bijou Cafe is located at 1287 1st Street in Downtown Sarasota.

Pork Tenderloin with Wild Mushrooms & Creamy Polenta

1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin -- Serves 4

Remove the silver skin. Rub the tenderloin with sea salt and freshly ground pepper over moderately high heat grill to 140 degrees or more if you want no pink inside. Remove from heat and cover loosely with foil.

Sauteed Mushrooms:

1 pound of 3-4 varieties ( button, shiitake, crimini, oyster)

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and add mushrooms, salt andpepper to taste, sautee for 5-10 minutes.


Mix 1 cup of cornmeal in 3 cups of chicken stock, add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper, cook slowly, stirring constantly until creamy. Add 1 cup of grated cheese of your choice.

Wilted spinach:

Gently sautee 2 crushed cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of olive oil until soft and aromatic. Do not let it brown.

Add 4 cups washed, fresh spinach leaves and a handful of cherry tomatoes, sautee for 2 minutes or until spinach is uniformly wilted.

Mediterranean Seafood Stew -- Serves 4

  • 1 cup of each, medium dice: Onion, celery, fennel, leeks
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pinch of saffron, soaked in 4 cups of white wine
  • 4 cups of clam juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes or cayenne
  • ½ teaspoon of ground fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon shrimp base

Simmer 1/2 hour, salt & pepper to taste

Seafood of choice (snapper or grouper work well): 1 pound of fish seared on both sides, add 1 pound of mussels & 1 pound of shrimp.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or stockpot, add the onions, celery, fennel, and leeks salt, and pepper, and saute over medium-low heat for 15 minutes, until the onions begin to brown. Add the wine and clam juice and scrape up the brown bits with a wooden spoon. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add the shrimp, fish, and mussels, bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the pot to sit covered for another 5 minutes. The fish and shrimp should be cooked and the mussels opened. Discard any mussels that don't open.

Judi at Bijou Cafe

Culinary Director

As the Culinary Director for ABC 7, I whip up cooking segments on ABC 7 News at Noon, along with recipes, cooking tips, reviews and great food finds on MySuncoast Dining at