Haute Cuisine Texas Style - Chilled Cantaloupe Soup with Grapefruit and Watermelon

Greetings Everyone:

This month’s newsletter features The Mansion on Turtle Creek – the winner of James Beard, Forbes Five-Star, and AAA Five-Diamond Awards – a luxury resort in Dallas, Texas that houses one of the finest restaurants in the country.

Featured Recipes Are:

For more than three decades, Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek has set the standard for luxury and Southern hospitality. And now with the release of The Mansion on Turtle Creek Cookbook: Haute Cuisine, Texas Style, it allows visitors and home cooks everywhere to learn how to re-create its signature dishes, from accessible favorites such as Tortilla Soup and Turtle Creek Pie to refined showstoppers like Grilled Gulf Snapper with Tomatillo-Serrano Vinaigrette and Steak Diane with Queso Fresco Potatoes.

Royalty, rock stars, presidents, athletes, and visitors from all over the world have been lured to this 1920s-era Italianate villa by a confident and intelligent menu that has never been traditional in concept or execution.

The restaurant gained renown in the 1980s when chef Dean Fearing took a regional cliché—Tex-Mex food—and transformed it into an appreciation of fresh, local ingredients. New Southwestern cuisine was born, and it went on to revolutionize American fine dining. This tradition of culinary excellence thrives today at the Mansion, with the current chef Bruno Davaillon whose past work earned a Michelin star. This book profiles how a regional cooking style has been refined to the highest art through a world-class resort restaurant.

Haute Cuisine Texas Style - Chef Bruno Davaillon

Chef Bruno joined the Mansion as executive chef in October 2009. A native of the Loire Valley in France, Davaillon was raised on a farm and learned to appreciate fresh, local ingredients – a commitment he continues at the Mansion.

In 1997, Chef Bruno brought his talent to the United States as chef du cuisine at the St. Regis Los Angeles. Before joining the Mansion, he was executive chef at Mix, owned by the famed chef Alain Ducasse at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Under his five-year leadership, Mix was awarded Michelin stars in 2008 and 2009.

Chilled Cantaloupe Soup with Grapefruit and Watermelon

serves 6

Haute Cuisine Texas Style - Chilled Cantaloupe Soup with Grapefruit and Watermelon

A wonderful, refreshing soup that is easy to prep and a perfect starter. This recipe would also be great for a brunch. Can also make a day ahead for maximum flavor!

  • 2 ripe cantaloupes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
  • 4 ounces fresh raspberries
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 ounce dry vermouth, vodka or gin
  • 1/2 ripe seedless watermelon, peeled and cut in 1/3-inch cubes
  • 1/2 ripe honeydew melon, peeled, seeded, and cut in 1/3-inch cubes
  • 1 ruby red grapefruit, segmented
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 fresh mint leaves, (break into pieces – not cut with knife)
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Combine the cantaloupe, half the raspberries, the lemon juice, and vermouth in a blender and process until smooth.

Pour the mixture into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Combine the watermelon, honeydew, grapefruit, salt, sugar, and mint in a large mixing bowl. Cover and macerate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

To serve, scoop the watermelon-honeydew mixture into the center of each very cold soup bowl and pour the chilled cantaloupe mixture around the melons. Top the soup with a pinch of lime zest, a drizzle of olive oil, and a few whole fresh raspberries. Serve immediately; the soup is best served very cold.

TIPS: 1. Dense and heavy is the key to a sweet melon. 2. Just break leaves of mint – do not chop or leaves will turn black. 3. Serve with Rose’ wine. 4. Small crumbles of goat cheese is good on this soup also.

Grilled Swordfish with Pineapple-Red Chile Salsa

serves 6

Haute Cuisine Texas Style- Grilled Swordfish with Pineapple-Red Chile Salsa

Swordfish is the perfect piece of fish to grill!

Pineapple-Red Chile Salsa

  • 1/2 very ripe pineapple, peeled, cored, and diced small
  • 1/2 mango or papaya, peeled, pitted (or seeded), and diced small
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, peeled and small chopped
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper, peeled and small chopped
  • 1/4 jicama, peeled and small chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • 2 dried cayenne chiles, seeded and minced (or 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper)
  • 2 teaspoons minced cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons minced basil
  • 2 teaspoons broken pieces mint
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sweet rice vinegar (green cap – no salt)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Salt
  • Juice of 1 lime

Grilled Swordfish

  • 6 (7-ounce) swordfish steaks, trimmed of fat, skin, and dark membrane
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • Salt

To make the salsa, process the pineapple, mango, ginger, garlic, and serrano and cayenne chiles in a food processor to make medium-sized chunks. Be careful to not puree the mixture. Fold in peppers and jicama.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the fruits and vegetables with their juices and the herbs, vinegars, soy sauce, oil, and salt and lime juice to taste. Let macerate for 2 hours before serving at room temperature.

Preheat the grill. Make sure the grates are clean, and rub them with vegetable oil before placing the fish on the grill. Brush the fish steaks with 3 tablespoons sesame oil and season to taste with salt.

Place the steaks on the preheated grill and cook for 2 minutes, or just long enough to create grill marks on one side. Turn the fish and cook for 2 minutes more, or until the fish is firm. Allow no more than 5 minutes of total cooking time for each 1/2 inch of thickness at the thickest part of the fish. Do not overcook. The fish should be moist.

To serve, ladle the salsa over the bottom of each of six warm dinner plates. Place the swordfish steaks in the center and serve immediately.

TIPS: – 1. Can make salsa 1 day ahead without herbs for maximum flavor. Add herbs just before serving. 2. To grill fish ahead and hold before serving, grill fish and get grill marks then put them on a sheet pan at room temperature. Put them in an oven 4 to 5 minutes to reheat before serving. Do not put fish in the refrigerator after grilling or before reheating.

Grilled Spiced Bandera Quails with Risotto-Style Farro and Roasted Texas Peaches

serves 4

Haute Cuisine Texas Style - Grilled Spiced Bandera Quails

Quail Marinade

  • 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon grated nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 whole, semi-boneless quails


  • 4 ripe peaches, pitted and halved
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • Juice of 2 limes


  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup farro
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 carrot, peeled and cubed
  • 1 stalk celery, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon sliced scallions
  • Salt and black pepper


  • 2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup wild arugula

In a mixing bowl, combine the ancho chile powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne, brown sugar, lime juice, garlic, and oil. Mix well, and add the salt. In a baking dish, rub the quails generously with the spice mixture. Let the quails rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour.

In a mixing bowl, combine the peaches with the ancho chile powder and lime juice. Set aside. Heat the chicken stock in a saucepot over medium heat. In a saute pan over medium heat, roast the farro grains with 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 6 minutes, stirring often. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter and the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic. Cook for minutes and add the white wine. Cook for another 3 minutes, or until the wine has evaporated.

Add one small ladle of chicken stock at a time to the saute pan, cooking until almost all of the stock has evaporated before adding the next ladle. Repeat five or six times, or until the grains are cooked but still firm. Add another 2 tablespoons of butter, the Parmesan cheese, and the scallions. The grains should be the consistency of risotto. Season with salt and pepper and reserve warm.

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Place the peaches on a baking dish and bake them for 8 minutes.

Grill the quails for 3 minutes on each side, transfer them to a baking dish, and bake them in the oven for 5 minutes.

Spoon the farro over four large plates and place the roasted peaches and the quail on top. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and garnish with arugula to serve.

TIP: This risotto can be used next day in salads and will not stick. It is easier to make than the traditional risotto!

WINE: 2010 Domaine Arnoux Bourgogne Pinot Noir – Beautiful intensity, tinged with purple when young, then becoming orange-red rubies and a few years in bottle. It offers an impressive range of flavors, essential quality of Pinot Noir. The structure has moderate tannin, can be enjoyed fairly young. 100% Pinot Noir.

Chef Bruno also shared two other delicious recipes from his book – Red Snapper Ceviche and Texas Grits Rounds with Chipotle Ailoi – DELICIOUS!!!

Haute Cuisine Texas Style - Red Snapper CevicheHaute Cuisine Texas Style- Texas Grits Rounds with Chipotlel Ailoi

Haute Cuisine (OHT kwih-ZEEN) is French for high cooking style and used to describe fine foods professionally and elegantly prepared in an appropriate manner.

Chef Bruno Davaillon is French and the tradition of culinary excellence thrives today at the Mansion with Michelin-starred chef Bruno at the helm.

If you are ever in Dallas, Texas stop in at the Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek for some Southern hospitality or purchase their new cookbook and make these wonderful dishes at home!

If you like this e-zine, please do a friend and me a big favor and “pay it forward”. If a friend DID forward this to you and if you like what you read, please subscribe by visiting…free newsletter.