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Voice of the Public - Chef Tom Drake


Chef Tom Drake, Culinary Arts Instructor at DACC's East Mesa Campus, shares some not-so-traditional holiday recipes and ideas. Click through to see the printed recipes!

Holiday Honeycrisp Salad


1/2 cup light vegetable oil such as sunflower or safflower OR extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice OR apple cider
2 to 3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 medium Honeycrisp apples (about 1 pound) thinly sliced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
12 ounces salad greens spring mix, baby spinach, arugula, baby romaine, OR a combo 
1 cup pecan halves toasted or candied
3/4 cup dried cranberries OR dried cherries
4 ounces crumbled blue cheese (Optional)


*To prepare Apple Cider Vinaigrette, measure oil, apple cider vinegar, apple juice/cider, honey, lemon juice, salt, and pepper into a mason jar. Tightly screw on lid and shake vigorously until everything is thoroughly combined. Alternatively, you may briskly whisk the ingredients together in a medium bowl or blend them in a blender or mini food processor.

*Place apple slices in a large plastic baggie and squeeze the fresh lemon juice (from the lemon half) over them.

*Close bag and shake to coat. In a large salad bowl, layer salad greens, apple
slices, pecans, dried cranberries, and blue cheese.

*Just before serving, dress with desired amount of Apple Cider Vinaigrette and toss until salad ingredients are evenly coated.

Chopped Brussels Sprout and Chard Salad with Pears and Blue Cheese

6 cups chopped brussels sprouts, swiss chard and kale
3 bosc pears, cored and diced
4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
More salt and pepper to taste


In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, mustard, maple syrup and salt. Slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl toss, brussels sprouts, kale, chard, gorgonzola, pears and pancetta. Season with salt and pepper.

Toss salad with dressing. Taste to make sure the seasoning is correct, if necessary, add more salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Red Chile Lamb Lollipops

One per person


Frenched Rack of Lamb, sliced carefully to ensure they are the same thickness.

Red Chile Crust Ingredients

1/2 cup   Red chile powder

1 T   Cayenne

2 T   Kosher salt

2 t   White pepper

1 T   Oregano, dry

1 T   Granulated Sugar


Dredge each lamb lollipop in the dry rub.

Sear each side on high heat until MR to MED.

Serve immediately.

5 Ingredient No Bake Bailey’s & Coffee Pots de Crème w/ Bailey’s Whipped Cream


12 oz. 1 bag high quality semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 eggs room temperature
2 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream separated
1 cup piping hot dark roast coffee
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream
chocolate shavings or cocoa powder for garnish

* Pour 1 tablespoon of Bailey's Irish cream into the coffee and stir. Set aside.
* Add chocolate chips and eggs to a blender and pulse, about 5-6 times, until the chocolate is broken up into small bits. 
* With the blender running, slowly stream in the Bailey's and hot coffee and continue blending until the chocolate melts and the mixture thickens.
* Pour the mixture into 6-8 small dessert glasses or brandy snifters and refrigerate for

2-3 hours or until set.
* Right before serving the pots de creme, add whipping cream to the bowl of a stand mixture and beat until soft peaks form. Beat in the remaining tablespoon of Bailey's until well mixed.
* Dollop the Bailey's whipped cream on top of the pots de creme and serve with chocolate shavings or a dusting of cocoa powder.