Jeff and Julie Bortolussi’s Kingsburg farm will be the setting for an upcoming episode of the television show “Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking.”
The show airs at noon Saturday on Valley PBS (Channel 18.1). The cooking show, hosted by award-winning chef and restaurateur Pete Evans, visits cities throughout the country and uses guest chefs to prepare a feast using locally produced foods. The show has been in New Orleans, Los Angeles, Chicago and most recently Kingsburg.
Evans and his crew came to Fresno County in May with chefs David Lentz, owner of The Hungry Cat in Los Angeles, and former Valley resident Anthony Lamas, winner of Food Network’s Extreme Chef and owner of Seviche A Latin Restaurant in Louisville.
Lamas, who lived in Lindsey during his teenage years, was excited to return to the Valley, where several of his family members still live.
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“It was during my time in the Valley that I fell in love with food,” Lamas said. “I owe so much to this area because it helped me appreciate the seasonality of food.”
Lamas said he has always been impressed with the quality of food produced in California.
“If you ask me, it isn’t chefs who are the rock stars; it is the farmers who are the rock stars,” Lamas said.
As part of the show, Lamas and Lentz toured a packinghouse and fished in Bass Lake. For the feast, the chefs prepared multiple courses using raisins, tree fruit and fish. The chefs borrowed the Bortolussi’s kitchen and outdoor grill to prepare the meal. The dishes included spicy grilled pork loin with peach salsa, pecan apricot rice, grated carrot and raisin salad and fennel-stuffed rainbow trout with brown butter dandelion greens.
Farmer Jeff Bortolussi gladly opened his home up to the show’s production crew and chefs. He hopes the nationwide exposure will help people get a better understanding of the Valley and its role in food production.
“Maybe people will learn a few things about how to use raisins or tree fruit in their everyday cooking,” Bortolussi said.