Brad Farmerie Of The Thomas Cooks New American | Napa

Chef Brad Farmerie's take on healthful California cuisine

Brad Farmerie has gone west, like many a young man before him.

The executive chef at New York City's Saxon + Parole and Public opened The Thomas in Napa, California, this past summer, along with his longtime business partners.

There, Farmerie cooks his signature style of globally accented new American cuisine, with the aid of a garden co-op at nearby Copia, where the restaurant grows its own herbs, carrots, artichokes, stone fruit and more.

His pan-seared trout (see the recipe) has been one of The Thomas' most popular dishes, which Farmerie attributes to its lightness and vibrancy: Topped with fennel-pollen-flecked lemon yogurt, the fish's flaky texture is balanced by the crunch of fennel and green-apple matchsticks. Chiles, golden raisins, fresh cilantro and chunks of creamy avocado add heat, sweetness and depth.

Farmerie recommends using rainbow trout, if possible, but you can substitute salmon or arctic char in a pinch. He also suggests you put your fishmonger to use by having him or her bone, butterfly and remove the fish's head to ensure stress-free cooking.

Spoken like a true Californian.