Archive for the ‘Recipe Requests’ Category


Friday, February 22nd, 2013

Hi Chef,

I  would like to know how to make foie gras butter. I have the  butter and the foie gras, but want to know if I just whip them together or have to cook the foie gras first? It’s to serve with venison.






Hi Guy,

There is definitely a technique to making this delicate butter. Because you are using this on Venison, I would recommend using 75% Foie Gras and 25% Butter to compliment the gaminess of the Venison. If you were using this with Poultry, I would recommend the opposite.

Mix the Foie Gras and Butter in a bowl. Place in a Double Boiler and allow the flavors to melt together and the fat molecules to combine. The Double Boiler is necessary because you do not want the milk solids to break from the butterfat. You want to render the fat of the Foie Gras into the butter, rather than separate.

Use a Hand Blender to whip periodically.

Place the mixture into the refrigerator to set. Before it hardens completely, give it one more whip by the Hand Blender.

You can then use it from a Pastry Bag to make rosettes, or roll it up and slice it to make rounds.

Good Luck to you, and feel free to send pictures of the finished product.

Keeping It Fresh,

Chef Sylvia


  Hi Chef,

I finally made the Foi Gras Butter!  I’ve attached a photo for you.  I decided to top a rare Rib Eye with it–it was delicious and everyone loved it!

Thanks for taking the time.  I couldnt have done it without you!




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




Wednesday, April 25th, 2012


Hi Chef,

I was in NYC with my husband and we stayed at The Peninsula, next door to Certé. Every morning I went down to grab some coffee and a bite at Certé for our breakfast and we ate in the room while he answered e-mails and had phone calls in the morning. That was the routine for one week. We tried your panna cotta in the first day and it was sooo good and that we had it everyday. Now that we are back in Brazil we miss it! So, I kindly ask you if it is possible for you to share this recipe.

Yours sincerely,

Jasmin Franchini
Sao Paulo, Brazil



Hi Jasmin,

Thank you so much for the nice compliment! Here is the very simple recipe:

1-1/2 tsp Gelatin Powder
2-tbsp Water
2-Cups Heavy Cream
1-Cup Half & Half
1/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
2-Pieces Vanilla Beans (split)

Dissolve Gelatin in cold water.

Heat up Heavy Cream, Half & Half, Sugar & Vanilla Beans to a boil (ensure you scrape Vanilla Beans into liquid).

Add Gelatin Mix and let cool to room temperature.

Pour into cups and let set in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.


Keeping it Fresh,

Chef Edward Sylvia


Thursday, April 19th, 2012


Hi Chef Sylvia,

I am attempting to eat healthy and I need some help with a quinoa dish that isnt’t wimpy (most of them are). I noticed that Certe’ seems to really do a good job with it. REally, does healthy food have to be meek? Any other suggestions would be appreciated too.




Hi Alexandra,

It is a great idea to introduce Quinoa to your diet on a regular basis.

At Pizza by Certe’, we usually sell out of our Pizzas featuring a Quinoa crust… so delicious!

Quinoa contains more protein than any other grain; an average of 16.2 percent, compared with 7.5 percent for rice, 9.9 percent for millet, and 14 percent for wheat. Some varieties of quinoa are more than 20 percent protein.

Quinoa: A Body Grain

Quinoa has several qualities that make it an ideal “grain”:

§ Quinoa acts as a prebiotic that feeds the microflora (good bacteria) in your intestines.
§ Quinoa is easily digested for optimal absorption of nutrients.
§ Quinoa is gluten-free and safe for those with gluten intolerance, or people on a celiac diet.

My advice is not to create dishes using Quinoa as the star; but to use it to supplement your favorite existing dishes. This way you get the taste and satisfaction while receiving the health benefits of Quinoa. I suggest one day a week you cook some plain Quinoa and leave it ready to use in the refrigerator. I have added it to Mashed Potatoes, Risotto, Oatmeal, Pastas, Vegetables, Tacos, Omelettes, Pancakes, etc. The whole idea is to utilize this grain throughout the day and enjoy the consistent energy it brings. Example, Taco meat (Chicken, Beef, Turkey or whatever), replace 1/3 with Quinoa and enjoy your full serving.

Health Benefits

In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Because Quinoa is a very good source of manganese as well as a good source of magnesium, folate, and phosphorus, this “super grain” may be especially valuable for persons with migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis, as it works to relax blood vessels. So I can certainly understand your obsession with this healthy grain.

Keeping It Fresh!

Chef Edward Sylvia


Friday, November 25th, 2011

EVOO to Cook With?

Friday, November 25th, 2011

 I have always heard that using extra virgin olive oil to cook with is not only a waste of money but also that regular olive oil reacts better to heat. In fact I have read that an olive oil mix is actually better than olive oil itself. I have noticed that chefs on TV say to use EVOO. Is it really better to cook with?


Thank you!



New York City


Love Your Gazpacho

Friday, July 29th, 2011

Dear Chef Sylvia,

I love love love your Gazpacho, and would love to make it. How do you make it and can I make it without the heat (my husband doesn’t like spicy).




Orange, NJ