Sondra Bernstein quietly opened her restaurant, the girl & the fig, in 1997. Slowly, people began to discover the rustic French food and her unique way of marketing and presenting it. Over the past 20 years the girl & the fig has made its mark in Sonoma, California wine country and has been a longtime favorite for both locals and visitors to the area.
Just like a plump ripe fig, the girl & the fig food is fresh, healthy, and bursting with flavor. With a seasonal menu featuring garden vegetables, herbs, and an abundance of creativity, the rustic Provencal-inspired cuisine allows earth’s true and natural flavors to shine.
Chef Sondra Bernstein, the girl & the fig
It’s a production
Her philosophy of dining follows an analogy to theatre. “First of all,” says Chef, “you need to start with the real thing (in theatre: raw talent; in dining: raw product). Then it takes a lot of practice before the curtain goes up. The passion, the intensity, the teamwork, and the integrity all drive the work to a climax of guest satisfaction and personal accomplishment.”
Catersource is fortunate to be able to present one of Chef Bernstein’s popular hors d’oeuvre recipes, just in time to factor into your holiday menus.
Photo courtesy of The Perfect Puree
Alsatian Onion & Bacon Tartlets
Chef Sondra Bernstein, The Girl & The Fig, Sonoma, CA
1 sheet puff pastry (10×15 inch)
Note: Make the tarts just before you plan to serve them so the pastry doesn’t get stale or soggy.
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. Line a sheet tray with parchment paper and set aside.
3. Place the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface. Using a 1½-inch ring mold or cookie cutter, cut out 30 dough rounds.
4. Place the puff pastry rounds on the sheet tray and place another sheet tray on top to keep the pastry flat.
5. Bake for 8 minutes and check the pastry; it should be golden brown (it may need a few additional minutes).
To serve: Place 1 teaspoon of the onion mixture (recipe below) on the puff pastry rounds, top with a piece of bacon, and garnish with the remaining chopped thyme. Set the tartlets on a platter and serve.
4 slices bacon (cut into 1/2 inch pieces)
2 medium yellow onion (thinly sliced)
1 dollop The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley Pear Purée, thawed
1 1/2 T chopped fresh thyme
1 tsp dijon mustard
3 T crème fraîche
salt and pepper
1. Place a medium sauté pan over medium heat and cook the bacon until crisp. Remove the bacon and place it on a paper towel to drain.
2. Discard half of the bacon fat from the pan and return the pan to medium heat. Add the onions and cook until caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and add Perfect Purée Pear, 1 tablespoon of thyme, the mustard, crème fraîche, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Want more recipes? Well, Catersource and The Art of Catering Food have them for you. Click here to link to our conference website!