Archive for October, 2012


Friday, October 26th, 2012


Hi Chef Sylvia,

I am a big fan of your pizzeria, Pizza by Certe. I am impressed that you make your own sauce from real tomatoes and would like to know (if you will!) the process itself from peeling the tomatoes to the finished product.

I know you probably won’t give up the recipe, but if you could tell me how you begin the process.

Thanks–great job there!!




Thank you for your question!

The beauty of Pizza by Certe’s Tomato Sauce lies in its simplicity. A few ingredients come together to create phenomenal flavor.

You will need to start, quite obviously, with fresh, ripe Plum Tomatoes.

• With a paring knife, x-mark an incision in the bottom of a Plum Tomato.

• Remove the stem on top.


• Place in boiling water for 30 seconds and then immediately place in ice   water.

• Remove the skin and cut in half horizontally.
• Squeeze the seeds and water out. (We make our Tomato Seed Vinaigrette with ours)


Run through a grinder.




• Use the meat of the tomato as you would any Tomato Sauce recipe you enjoy.

• Add the water to adjust consistency.

This is the secret to our Sauce—FRESH TOMATOES—NOT CANNED.

Keeping it fresh!

Chef Edward Sylvia


Thursday, October 4th, 2012


Hi Chef Sylvia,

I attended a corporate event last year that Certe’ catered for a Thanksgiving theme intended for around 200 people. I noticed you were serving the turkeys room temperature. The turkeys were so juicy, I wondered how you were able to do this, especially for that many people??




The best way to get a flavorful Turkey, regardless of how it is prepared, is to start with a brine. Brining adds moisture and flavor to poultry and helps to keep it from drying out.

To properly brine a turkey you need to start the night before you plan to cook. You will need at least 10 to 12 hours (plan on 1 hour per pound), a container large enough to hold your turkey and enough brine to cover it. A fresh, “natural” turkey works best, but a completely thawed, previously frozen turkey will work just as well.

Brine Ingredients: To make the brine, mix 1 cup of table salt in 1 gallon of water. You will need more than 1 gallon of water but that’s the ratio to aim for. Then add any other spices as you like.

Place the turkey in a container and pour in enough brine to completely cover the turkey with an inch or two to spare. Now place the whole thing in the refrigerator. When you are ready to begin cooking the turkey, remove it from the brine and rinse it off thoroughly with cold water. Cook the turkey as normal.

Keeping It Fresh,

Chef Edward Sylvia