About Me

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Boston, MA, United States
Free lance Chef. A Middlebury, Vermont native, Chef Jon Sargent worked his way up through the ranks of kitchens starting as a dishwasher. His career in the kitchen has taken him across the country and back. Sargent moved to Boston first in 2005 where he helped open OM Restaurant | Lounge in Harvard Square, working under chef Rachel Klein. He then headed west to Wisconsin, taking a Sous Chef position at Stout's Island Lodge. Next he headed south, travelling to Naples Florida to work for the D'Amico Corporation with chef Andrew Wicklander. Back in Boston chef Jon worked as chef d' cuisine for Chef William Kovel at 28 degrees in the south end of Boston where he worked diligently on the restaurant's seasonal, globally-influenced menu. After taking up the ranks as sous chef at Catalyst restaurant in cambridge massachusetts, Jon has been on a journey of developing his style of cooking, and focusing on the development of his own restaurant.

Friday, May 17, 2013

So it has been a while since I have made a significant post on here. I recently gave myself the task of coming up with a quick reference guide of things that should be expected out of cooks in the kitchen, these also pertain directly to how one needs to live there life to be successful and organized. LEt me know what you think. Are these a little over the top or just a reiteration of common sense?

Quick Reference guide


If we take care of everything we get to use here as if it were our own we will ultimately have more respect and ownership for our restaurant.

BE ON TIME Punctuation is very important in everything you do in life. This doesn’t just pertain to work. Being late shows everyone that this job is not important to you.

When you wash your hands, and you use the last of the paper towels, don’t just leave it. No soap at the sink, its an empty bottle, change it out.  These are some examples. This pertains to your line set up as well. You run out of something in your mise en place, butter, salt, shallots, herbs whatever, don’t leave it empty, fill it up.

This is probably the top responsibility of everyone in their life. If you see someone boiling cream over, shut it off, they are about to over reduce a gastrique, shut it off. They put toast in the salamander and its about to burn help them. They are weeded and your not, give them a hand.

There is nothing worse for a chef to see or a manager to see than their employees doing nothing. When we are at work we are to be occupied with something. There is always something to learn or do just ask, or look around. Consolidate containers, organize walk-ins, wipe out the coolers, and clean the seals on the reach in doors.

If you are uncertain of anything, or have questions about anything at all, go to your chef, if he is unavailable go to the sous chef, if neither are there go to the general manager. follow the chain of command.

This is common sense I hope. This is so dangerous, if anyone lost a finger or cut their arm, I would make it the responsibility of the person who put that knife in the dish area responsible for paying for the stitches!!!

Standard operating procedure for a meat stock,  in a stock pot full of water bring bones up to a boil, add the mierpoix  (stock Veg) reduce temp to a simmer. Always a simmer.
Vegetable stock: Place mierpoix in large stock pot, just cover the veg by an inch of water, bring to a boil and hold at a simmer for 1 hour. Strain and cool reserve veg.

We are on stage all of the time act appropriate, be respectful of each other and stay clean.

This is an easy thing to take fore granted, consistency tells all, watch for the separation of oil, this will tell you to slow down the oil, or add water, its all by feel for the most part. If you are uncomfortable making aioli’s and emulsifications, talk to me we will get you on the right track.

Everyone is expected to do their part, no one is exempt from having to do dishes, scrub floors, clean hoods, plunge toilets or take out the trash. If it is needed to be done then take initiative. Keep your area organized! How you think in your life is a direct reflection of your work ethic, keep an organized thought process and ambition and you will be successful. Keep your aprons and jackets clean, we will be seen. Keep the floors swept and dirty dishes cleared trashes not over flowing, these are all responsibilities in our stations.

Be aware of the dates of product you are using, label everything you touch! When you rotate proteins, this is the chefs method, on a piece of deli paper write the date the product originated on, the name and quantity of the product and your initials.
When consolidating containers, copy the label from the original container.

When you care about what you do and love everything about it, you can taste that in the product you finish with. Putting care and respect towards all your products and processes will make you great.

When you punch in you are  ready to start working, this means you are changed into your brigade and ready to step on station. When you leave the kitchen to go home you punch out before changing when your work is done. Always check with the chef before leaving work!




Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chile Olive Oil and Boston Bakes For Breast Cancer.
Last night was the debut of my freelance chef company! We will be specializing in catering and private parties. I was asked to do an event for Boston Bakes for Breast Cancer, in support of an up and coming olive oil company named Chile Olive Oil. The competition was to create a dessert using the olive oil and making it so you can taste it in all the ingredients. The winner would have the chance to donate $1000 dollars to Boston Bakes for Breast cancer in his or her name; they would also get a write up from Chili Olive Oil. When proposed this idea I didn’t hesitate and said “absolutely” obviously.

I set out to make a dessert that would rival the rest apparently. On a side note, a little info about my self, I have never been confident in my pastry department skills nor have I done a lot of work in the pastry field. I am mostly a hot line kinda guy. So what I did for my desert was I made a sweetened marscarpone, crème fraiche spread with orange zest, with a rosemary olive oil cake also hinted with orange zest, I had a cranberry compote steeped in olive oil with orange segments, and blue berries, I topped all of this with an almond crumble and micro basil.

The process for this was quite easy. I first thought rosemary olive oil cake, then I was drawn to orange, I think rosemary and orange are great together, and then I thought cranberries! So good with rosemary! But also very tart, lets bring it down with fresh blue berries. All in season at this point. Then I needed a crunch element, I had originally thought of popping kernels of quinoa and folding them into caramel, then I said no I’ll make caramel glass and crumble it on top, I wasn’t satisfied with this either. I then was thinking maybe a tuile, then it came to me, something easy and still complete, an almond crumble.
Then the time for the event started to sneak up. I gathered all of my supplies and headed to the Deuxave kitchen, where I was able to expedite my project.
I opened 3# of fresh cranberries and put them in a pot with about 1 pint of sugar, 3 cups orange juice and ½ cup Chile Olive oil, I brought this to a boil and let it come down to a very low simmer for about 10 minutes so the cranberries would cook down.

I then laid them out on a hotel pan to cool rapidly

Once they cooled to about room temperature I folded in blue berries and orange segments.

Then I started making the batter for my cake this is the recipe I used.
1# All purpose Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp Sa;t
6 eggs
1 ½ # sugar
zest of 1 orange
12 oz Bold Chile Olive Oil
 1# 4 oz milk
1 Tbl Chopped Rosemary

I added the eggs to a mixer with the sugar and orange zest, I whipped them until the became Smooth and fluffy, then I started to add ½ of the olive oil in a steady stream and half of the milk at the same time, as to not over load the eggs with fat and make them fall.

After combining all of the dry ingredients left, I a brought it over to the mixer and changed the attachment on it for the paddle and started using it to stir in the dry mix. Remember to sift your flour into the wet mix. Once it started to incorporate I alternated the remaining liquids in with the dry till all was finished. Do not over mix your batter; work it as little as possible. Pour into molds and bake at 325 in a convection 375 in an induction for 7 to 10 minutes depending on your oven.

The crumble went like this

1# butter
1# sugar
1# Almond Flour
1# All purpose flour
1 tsp Sea salt

Mix till it has become mealy and crumble onto a sheet tray, bake this at 325 for about 10 minutes, using a wooden spoon or off set spatula break up the crumbles and bake another 5 minutes doing the same thing. Repeat this process another time and cool it till room temp. Give it one last chop with the spoon or spatula.

Now the marscarpone
1# Marscarpone
½ # Crème Fraiche
3 Tbl Honey
¼ cup confectioners sugar
zest of 3 oranges
anout 1/3 cup Chile Olive Oil.

Place all ingredients in a food processor and spin until incorporated, this will be thin and flat looking, adjust the flavor, and spin some more until it becomes thick.

Now all the components are ready for assembly. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Starting to think about the Chile Olive oil event for Boston Bakes For Breast Cancer. I will be offering a Olive oil Bundt Cake, with marinated local berries, Olive oil marscarpone frosting and a cherry coulis. All of these ingredients will have olive oil in them somewhere, you will definitely taste the wonderful flavors of the southern hemisphere olive oil.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cavatelli, morel mushrooms & Escargot
4 oz fresh cavatelli (process below)
9 ea cleaned and blanched fava beans not split (Next page)
12 pieces of ¼ in diced carrots. (Next Page)
1.5 each roasted cippolini onions in ¼’s  (Next page)
1/3 cups seared morel mushrooms (two page)
¼ cup 70% reduced veal stock(pg # coming)
7 each cooked snails (Next Page)
2 each nubs of butter (equivalent shown in two pages)
2 tbls chopped flat leaf parsley
A few squirts of madeira and sherry vinegar
 salt and pepper for taste.
Zest of lemon
2 tbls parmesan cheese and chopped parsley
pinch of brunoise shallots and garlic.

For Cavatelli Dough
16 oz. Ricotta Cheese

2 Eggs
1 Pinch of Salt

3 Cups (1 pound) All Purpose Flour
1 each nutmeg microplained into flour

1.Pour 2 1/2 cups of the flour and nutmeg into a bowl and make a well in the middle.

2. Drop the 2 eggs and the ricotta cheese into the well.
3. Using a circular motion, slowly incorporate the flour into the eggs and cheese.

4. Once all of the flour has been combined with the eggs and cheese, knead the dough together until a soft, but not sticky dough is formed.  It can depend on the day, but if the dough still remains sticky add more flour.
5. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest for at least a half an hour.

1. Take your ball of dough and divide it into quarters.

2. Working with one quarter at a time, lay the dough out on a lightly floured surface and divide it into quarters again.

3. Take a piece of the divided dough about a 16th of the recipe and roll it into a long tube about 1/4 inch in diameter.
4. Divide the tube into pieces 1 inch long with either a pastry cutter or a knife.
5. Using the edge of a butter knife or bench knife, holding your desired utensil at a 45 degree angle, press on each piece of dough and pull across the length of it.  You’ll find that the motion causes the dough to roll up the edge of the blade.
6. When you are done with each cavatelli, have a lightly floured pan near by so you can toss them in and repeat the process.

For Escargot
Get fresh snails if possible if not use a can.
Start a court bouillon  (Fennel, onion, carrot, celery, leeks, parsley, bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, water, lemon) and bring to a boil, then reducing to a simmer.
While waiting for the boil wash off about 36 to 40 snails by soaking them in ice water for about 5 min agitating frequently , pull the snails out of the water and transfer into another pot of ice water and repeating until water baths are clear and snails are clean. Court bouillon should be at a simmer by now, placing a large metal bowl with your snails, in a larger bowl with an ice bath in it, pour simmering court bouillon over the snails, give them a stir once covered in liquid, let cool completely and remove snails, strain the liquid and reserve. Now using the back side of a small pairing knife pull gently of the heads of the snail till you can grab with your fingers, twisting it out as they curl inside of the shell. Place in a small container and cover with reserved liquid.

For carrots
Using bunched carrots wash thoroughly,  cut into workable sizes approximately 3 inch logs cut into ¼’s lengthwise depending on thickness of carrot. Your main goal is to make sure the carrots are all about the same size, reason being they will all cook about the same amount of time.
After cutting your carrots, toss them in a bowl, add some salt and some fresh ground black pepper, 1 tsp chopped thyme, coat the veggies in olive oil and lay out on a sheet tray in an even layer and roast in the oven at about 375 degrees Fahrenheit 12 to 15 minutes, stir and continue to roast until some color has been achieved on the carrot.

For Cippolini onions.
In a pan add 2 tbl canola oil, bring to a light smoke, add enough onions to make an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Cook  in the pan until the first side has developed some caramelization, rotate each onion onto the uncooked side, wait for the same caramelizeation now add a few tablespoons of sherry wine and deglaze with veal stock cooking until the onions are soft, pull out of the liquid and let cool on a plate. Reduce the rest of the veal stock and sherry until almost set and reserve for later use.

For Fava beans
Stating with the fresh beans, pop open the pod and clear the beans with a gentle finger trying not to break the bean.  Bring 1 quart water a bay leave, 3 sprigs of thyme, 1 sliced shallot up to a boil and add 3 tbls salt. Have 1 cup of fava beans already prepped for blanching. Add the 1 cup of fava beans to the boiling quart of salt water for about 1 min 30 seconds. The bean will still be in a pod so peel that away and try a bean. There should be a small bite in the middle but cooked almost all the way through. Once cooked, drop in an ice bath to shock the cooking process.

For Mushrooms
¼ cup shallots brunoise
2 tbls brunoise garlic
5 sprigs of Chopped thyme
¼ cups canola oil
1 Tbls madeira
5 nubs butter (about 3 tbl)
About 1 pound fresh mushrooms
Usually all mushrooms are dirty and need cleaning. How I process mushrooms is fill a deep container full of cold water and crushed ice if you have the availability, fill a second container full of cold water. Add the mushrooms to the ice water mix and agitate gently not to break up the mushroom, count to 15 while agitating. Once you have hit 15 let stand for another 30 seconds, so the dirt and sut will sink to the bottom of the container. After 30 seconds pulling from the bottom of the mush room float if you will, transfer the mushrooms to the second tub, agitate again gently. Dump out the first tub, clean out the sink and refill the tub with fresh clean cold water and repeat the process until water is clean and clear. Once water is clean and clear and mushrooms are clean, remove them from the water and lay them out on a towel to dry, 1 day is preferable.
In a large flat bottom pan add oil and heat till light smoke. Add shallots and garlic and sauté until translucent over medium high heat once cooked add mushrooms and continue to cook. There will be a release of a lot of water from the mushrooms, continue to cook until the water has evaporated and the mushrooms are starting to fry a little, at this point add the thyme and madeira cook until madeira is absorbed add the butter and cook until the butter is frothy and toasted add salt, pull the mushrooms and let drain on a towel. This process is good for any dark mushrooms, crimini, hen of the woods, morel, black trumpet etc.

To assemble the dish
all of these ingredients need to be completed as shown above for optimal flavor.

Set a pot of salted water for cooking pasta. Bring to a boil. Set a strainer in the water to catch the pasta when added to the water.
In a medium sized sauté pan bring up some oil to a light smoke, add the shallots and garlic cooking until soft, add the mushrooms, carrots, and cipollini onions, cook till hot deglaze with madeira, add veal stock and fava beans and snails, at this point drop pasta in the boiling water with the colander, cook till tender. Now the sauce should be reduced by about 70%. Add nubs of butter and mount in, toss in the pasta and parsley into the mixture and cook till glazed and coated, adjust flavor with sherry vinegar.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Lets talk fish

How about cod, you cant come to new England without getting a cod dish, even blue cod or pullock. These fish are generally found in the arctic Atlantic waters and are fished during their breeding season having a common weight between 10 and 25 pounds, some have been recorded at weighing upwards of 150 pounds. Another thing you might want to know before i continue is what a nage is, a nage is commonly a flavored poaching liquid seasoned with white wine and cream. So lets get started.

Making the nage
1 qt heavy cream
2 cups fish stock or fumet
1/4 cup white wine
2 cloves garlic
1/2 white onion small diced
1/2 bulb of fennel sliced
1/4# butter

In a medium sized sauce pot sweat down onions garlic and fennel in butter until soft, pour in white wine and cook until the wine has almost completely evaporated. Now add the heavy cream and reduce until you have reached 50% reduction, now add fish fumet and bring up to a simmer. Once you have achieved a simmer pass the liquid through a strainer and add back to the pot (discard the strained out veggies) and reduce again until you have reached a 50% liquid yeild. should be 3 cups, season with salt and fresh black pepper.

Now were gonna talk about a brondade, this is a classic french dish of salt cod and potatoes mixed with olive oil and salt and pepper. So lets get started on that 

3 yukon potatoes
2 cloves garlic
5 sprigs thyme
2 tbl black pepper corns
5 tbl Extra virgin olive oil 
1/3 cup creme fraiche
5oz salt cod soaked in water for at least 2 hours.
1 cup milk.

Add soaked salt cod into a small pot and cover with milk, bring to a simmer and keep there for about 10 minutes. strain off milk and reserve cod. In a large sauce pot add potatoes garlic thyme and pepper corns, cover with water and bring up to a simmer and keep there until potatoes are cooked through. Do not peel. once potatoes are cook pull from water and put in a medium mixing bowl, smash the potatoes down with a fork until broken open, add cod, olive oil, and creme fraiche mix until all is incorporated, be sure to break up the potatoes. season with salt and pepper.

Now this alone is quite a good meal brandade and nage, lets take it up a little though. If followed these recipes will probably feed 6-8 people, so have 6-8 portions of cod, blue cod or pullock about 6 oz each skin on, also be sure to have a handful of fava beans, white pearl onions, baby carrots cut into small round cylinders and some pre cooked bacon lardones or cooked chorizo sausage small dice. Once the nage is about finished you can add the vegetables and let steep in the cream until cooked.

Now lets cook the fish. Most important make sure the scales are all off from the fish. Be sure your pan is very hot before adding your oil, and be sure your oven is preheated to 375. Get the oil to smoke lightly, not rolling smoke, now season the meat side of your fish and place skin side down in the oil once the fish is in the pan be sure to press and hold down the center of the fish for about 1 min as the skin tends to pull inward causing a pocket of un seared skin (do not use your hand to hold the fish down try a spatula). Once you have light browning around the edges put the fish into the oven. WATCH YOUR FISH!!!! When the exposed side of the fish turns white pull your fish from the oven and flip it. Now you can plate. How I like to plate this dish would be either in a bowl or on a square plate. I would put a pile of brondade down on the plate/bowl in the center, place fish on top of the brandade, now spoon sauce a veggies over a corner of the fish and onto the plate/bowl being sure to get some of each of the components.
Enjoy your meal most of all.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hey everyone

Sorry it has been a while, I have been super busy getting things together for Catalyst restaurant in Cambridge Ma, we have been working night and day to get this project into a working state, not just with the construction but with everything else, I cant wait to share more recipes with you and other fun things, In this hiatus from 28 degrees I have had the opportunity to do some work with the ex chef of Villa Matta Mike P. here in boston as well as working closely with the chef owner of duexave in boston chef Christopher Coombes. Now that all of the construction is complete and there are only a few days to really call this place complete Chef William Kovel has had more of a chance to step into the kitchen and help Anthony Mozzatta and my self develop the up and coming lunch menu, and share his talents with ours to make a great menu and put some of our talents to work. I will be setting a day soon to write new recipes and photos for my face book. I hope we are all still cooking at home and really striving to bring back and older fashioned way of life, like dinner at a kitchen table!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Buttermilk Panna Cotta and Rhubarb Strawberry Compote

To Make Panna Cotta

1 cup well shaken buttermilk
1/2 cup Heavy cream
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
3 Sheets of Gelatin or 1/2 pack of powder

First thing is to soak the gelatin in just enough water to cover. While you are soaking gelatin bring the heavy cream, vanilla, and sugar up in a small sauce pot until bubbles form around the edges once this has been achieved the gelatin is ready, strain out the water from the gelatin and add the gelatin to the cream and sugar mixture, whisking until completely incorporated. Once this is finished pour in the cool buttermilk and mix thoroughly let stand in a cylindrical container with paper covering the liquid, this will make sure there is no skin developing on the cream. Let stand for 15 minutes then evenly distribute into small serving containers or one small sized pie pan and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour

Strawberry, Rhubarb Compote

1# Rhubarb washed
1#Strawberry's washed
2 each oranges
2/3 cups sugar
2 tbl water
1 scant pinch of salt

Slice rhubarb on a bias and slice strawberry's from top to bottom in semi thick slices about 1/4 of an inch. Once this has been completed put in a large mixing bowl pour in sugar. Zest 1 orange and add to the mixture, Juice both oranges and pour into the mixture, add the water and scant pinch of salt. Let stand at room temperature for about 20 minutes and add to a large saute pan, over medium low heat cook for 12 minutes stirring constantly as to not allow the sugar to caramelize. Pour into a non reactive aluminum bowl over ice and cool rapidly.

Once all processes have been finished to the full explanation you can spoon the compote over the panna cotta's and serve. Don't put hot compote on cold panna cotta or they will turn back into liquid.