Delicious Dishes for Every Season: Spring
Bill Briwa (1957–2018) was a Professor of Culinary Arts at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) and worked in the hospitality industry as a professional chef and culinary instructor for more than 30 years. He was the resident chef for The Hess Collection Winery in California’s Napa Valley, the executive chef for The Wine Spectator Restaurant at the CIA at Greystone, and an officer on the board of the St. Helena Farmers’ Market. As a member of the Industry Services Group at the CIA, he worked closely with a range of corporate clients to help them realize their culinary goals. Chef Briwa was a speaker, presenter, and judge at numerous professional conferences, gatherings, and competitions in the culinary world. He presented at the annual conference of the International Association of Culinary Professionals and spoke at the National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago. His writing on food and wine, olive oil, and cooking was featured in Fine Cooking, Mise en Place, and Sunset, as well as in the trade publications Flavor & the Menu and Practical Winery & Vineyard Journal.
Chef Briwa participated in The Great Courses Professor Chat series. Read the chat to learn more about cooking.
01: Tortilla Española and Sherry
A tradition of Mediterranean small dishes exists all around the Mediterranean region, which is perfect for light dining fare during the spring. Among the most well-known are tapas from Spain, typically enjoyed as separate from a meal and with sherry. Join Chef Briwa as he demonstrates how to prepare three easy and delicious complementary tapas: a Spanish tortilla, stuffed olives, and Padron peppers.
02: Potato Leek Pizza
Try a tasty twist on a traditional favorite with a healthier version of pizza that incorporates a light spring vegetable that is often overlooked: the leek. Part of the allium family and related to onions, garlic, shallots, scallions, chives, and Chinese onions, leeks are used in numerous cuisines around the world. This delicious pizza is surprisingly easy and flexible, working well with a variety of cheeses and pairing deliciously with a number of other dishes.
03: Spatchcocked Chicken
Spring is not usually a season associated with heavy meat dishes, but Chef Briwa shows you an innovative way to prepare chicken in a fast, efficient, and exceptionally tasty manner, a dish which goes seamlessly with the warmer days this season brings. Spatchcockin (as it’s called in England) or crapaudine (as it’s called in France) allows you to roast a chicken perfectly in about 20 minutes. And wait until you see how he uses a brick!
04: Southeast Asian Spaghetti Squash Salad
With an abundance of produce springing in spring, salads are a staple of the season, but they don’t have to be limited to lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes. Chef Briwa introduces you to a Southeast Asian salad that incorporates chicken, fruit, a spicy dressing, and a special touch: spaghetti squash. If you've never used spaghetti squash before, this is a great introduction to what it can do in your kitchen and it makes for a delicious and refreshingly unique spring salad.
05: Panna Cotta
For a lovely, cool dessert to top off your perfect spring picnic, discover the deliciousness of panna cotta. Panna cotta, which literally means “cooked cream,” has the rich, luxurious quality of a custard, but in fact, it’s not a custard; it’s a cream-based dessert thickened with gelatin. Join Chef Durfee to discover how incredibly easy panna cotta is to make, and how the delicious dish allows for such variation and versatility.