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The Summer Culinary Collective


Gnocchi Caprese

(pictured pervious page)

David Voelz, Executive Chef at Highland Country Club

Set your table with country club class and place this charming, Italian dish as the centerpiece. Begin by making your own homemade gnocchi and finish by completing the Caprese salad. Cool off with the refreshing taste of the salad with origins from the Isle of Capri, while the heat of Italia encompasses the gnocchi. Delicioso!


3 baking potatoes

1 egg

1 tsp. of salt

¼ cup of shredded Parmesan cheese

2 cups of all-purpose flour

Start potatoes in cold water and bring to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are tender all the way through. Drain potatoes and peel skin away. As soon as the potatoes are cool enough to handle, grate the potatoes on the finest plate. Lay them out and let them completely cool. At this point, follow a procedure for making fresh pasta. Roll the dough into a “snake” and slice into ½ inch pieces. Using your thumb or a fork, make an indentation on the far side of the piece, then using a pulling motion, press down and pull toward you letting the piece turn over. Flour all pieces. Refrigerate until ready for use. Now, get ready to make the caprese.


2 large summer tomatoes, chopped

2 cups of fresh, diced mozzarella cheese

½ cup of extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp. of minced fresh garlic

¼ cup of fresh basil chiffonade (ribbon cut)

Bring a pot of well-salted water to a boil. Put gnocchi in, stirring constantly the first minute. Total cook time will be about 5 to 7 minutes. In a large preheated sauté pan, sauté garlic in 2 tbsp. of oil until it becomes aromatic. Add the balance of the olive oil. Add gnocchi and tomatoes, tossing to coat all ingredients and to disperse the garlic. Add the mozzarella cheese. Toss until it just starts to melt. Finally, add the basil and toss. You can finish with some kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to your taste. Divide into four bowls. There will be some oil pooled in the bottom of your bowl. This is your “sauce” for the dish. 

* Extra virgin olive oil is high in omega 3 fatty acid, so not only does this keep the dish light, but healthy as well!

Serves four

Mozambique Summer Salad

Cory Owens, Executive Chef at Embassy Suites

This is a light seasonal salad that Chef Owens created during his tenure at Jiko, the signature restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge featuring African and Indian inspired fresh cuisine. As one can expect, the flavorful concoction is pure magic. Bring some Disney to your table!


One bag of arugula or any other salad mix

1 sliced avocado

2 sliced heirloom tomatoes

½ thinly sliced red onion

1 sprig of fresh dill

Feta cheese marinated in olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Peach Vinaigrette

2 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced

3 tbsp. of fresh lemon juice

2 tbsp. of honey

1 tbsp. of olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

Process all vinaigrette ingredients in a blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides.

Add salad ingredients to a bowl. Be careful not to bruise any of the lettuce and peaches. Season with salt, pepper and a bit of the olive oil the feta cheese was marinating in. Add the Peach Vinaigrette dressing and toss gently. 

Serves two

Turkey & Pesto Pinwheels or
Turkey Cheddar & Bacon Pinwheels

Basil Hasapis, Owner and Chef at Fried Turkey
Sandwich Shop

Hasapis, whose family started the iconic Country Fish Fry, has founded his own culinary following at the Fried Turkey Sandwich Shop. Their Person Street location is a lunchtime staple among white and blue-collar workers alike. Bring their fried turkey flavor to your table.

Turkey & Pesto Pinwheels

3 oz. of sliced turkey

2 tbsp. of pesto cream cheese

1 spinach tortilla (10” in diameter)

Directions: Lay spinach tortilla on cutting board. Evenly spread the pesto cream cheese across the tortilla. Place the turkey on top of the pesto cream cheese. Tightly wrap the tortilla, folding in the edges. Cut evenly into six pinwheels.

Turkey, Cheddar & Bacon Pinwheels

3 oz. sliced turkey

2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

2 tbsp. of bacon bits

1 tbsp. of ranch dressing

1 flour tortilla (10” in diameter)

Directions: Lay flour tortilla on the cutting board. Evenly spread the shredded cheddar cheese, bacon bits and ranch (in that order) on the tortilla. Evenly spread the turkey on top of the ranch. Tightly wrap the tortilla, folding in the edges. Cut evenly into six pinwheels.

Serves two to four

Meatloaf Cupcakes

Greg Hinshaw, Owner and Chef at Morgan’s Chophouse

Add this savory cupcake to the menu for your next summer party. When asked why he chose this recipe, Chef Hinshaw replied, “Meatloaf is always in season!”


2 lbs. of ground beef

1 tsp. of minced garlic

1 small yellow onion

1 small green bell pepper

2 eggs

½ cup of Parmesan cheese

Shredded cheddar cheese
and crumbled bacon for

Salt and pepper to taste


8 to 10 boiled red potatoes

½ cup of milk or heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Blend ingredients together in a mixer and spoon into a piping bag

Clean and chop onion and bell pepper into large pieces. Pulse in food processor until minced. Combine with ground beef, garlic, Parmesan cheese and eggs. Add pinch of salt and black pepper. Spray muffin/cupcake pan with nonstick pan spray and fill with mixture. Bake at 350 F for 15 to 20 minutes or until the meatloaf is cooked through. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. 

Remove Meatloaf Cupcakes from pan and arrange on platter. Then, “frost” the cupcakes with mashed potatoes. Garnish with cheddar cheese and bacon.

Serves six

The Belmont Banana Pudding

Becky King, Owner of Belmont Village

Here’s Mrs. King’s version of the classic southern dessert. This thick and sweet pudding, topped with fluffy meringue is the perfect end to your lunch or dinner in July, August… or December.

3 beaten egg yolks 

¼ cup of sugar

3 tbsp. of flour

¼ tsp. of salt

2 cups of milk

1 tbsp. of butter

1 tbsp. of vanilla

Mix flour, sugar and salt thoroughly. Add rest of ingredients. Cook slowly in heavy saucepan until it thickens, beat if lumpy. Alternate layers of vanilla wafers and sliced bananas with pudding. Refrigerate while making meringue.


3 egg whites

½ tsp. of cream of tartar

1 tsp. of vanilla flavoring or extract

Beat the three egg whites with a mixer on high until stiff with ½ tsp. of cream of tartar. Gradually add the six tablespoons of sugar while beating egg white mixture. When stiff, add one tsp. of vanilla extract or flavoring. Blend well. Take pudding out of refrigerator and cover with meringue. Make sure to seal edges well. Bake in oven at 350 until brown. Savor the pudding while warm, or place in refrigerator for a cool treat later!

Serves eight 

High Dive

Kelcey Dudley, Bartender at Chris’s Steakhouse

Miss Dudley created this drink for you to sip poolside while enjoying the latest hot summer novel. Because of the balance of sweet and sour, she coined this libation, “refreshing, yet tricky.”

8 to 10 mint leaves

Muddle in bottom of glass

Fill with ice

Add 1 oz. of gin (Bombay Sapphire or Hendrick’s)

½ oz. of St. Germain

Add sliced cucumbers and club soda

Splash of lime juice

Serves one