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Gourmet Shot: Breakfast with Charlie Palmer

Anyone who has ever seen the four-story Plexiglas wine tower in Las Vegas’ Aureole Restaurant knows that celebrity chef Charlie Palmer has a passion for wine. For the record, he also owns the wine store Next Vintage , makes wine and calls Sonoma County home. But what’s not commonly known about this self-proclaimed “big wine guy” is that he also likes an occasional tipple of something harder. Palmer’s drink of choice was a Vodka Gimlet for a while, and he now likes an occasional after-dinner glass of Woodford Reserve Bourbon. (In true gourmet fashion, he tastes a note of caramelized onions in the whiskey.)

On a nice spring Sunday morning you can often find him at home on his large terrace cooking up a shrimp, potato and chili pepper frittata in his outdoor, wood-burning oven and sipping a Bloody Mary. “It’s almost a meal in a glass,” he says of the brunch classic. Palmer’s recipe for the drink dates back 20 years to when he was cooking at New York City’s acclaimed River Café. Last month, his eponymous restaurant in Costa Mesa, California, introduced a do-it-yourself Bloody Mary bar on Sundays. “It’s my favorite cocktail with food,” he says. “Brunch with a Bloody Mary just makes sense.” Who are we to argue?


Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary

Contributed by: Charlie Palmer


  • 2 oz Vodka
  • .25 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 Dashes Worcestershire Sauce
  • Dollop horseradish (canned)
  • Eighth of a teaspoon Sriracha
  • .25 oz Cocktail onion brine
  • 2.5 oz Tomato juice
  • Salt and ground pepper to taste
  • Splash lemon juice
  • Splash lime juice
  • Garnish: Celery stalk or two cocktail onions
  • Glass: Pint


Add all the ingredients to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake vigorously and pour unstrained into a pint glass. Garnish the drink with a celery stalk or two cocktail onions.

Shrimp Frittata with Potatoes and Piquillo Chili Peppers

Shrimp Frittata with Potatoes and Piquillo Peppers

Contributed by: Charlie Palmer


  • 2 Large Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 6 Piquillo chili peppers
  • 2 tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 4 Canned artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons Chives, snipped
  • 10 Large eggs
  • Salt
  • White pepper


Place the potatoes in a medium saucepan and add cold water to cover by one inch. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for five minutes till the potatoes soften a bit. Drain the pan and set aside. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slit the chili peppers down one side and open them up. Scrape out and discard the seeds. Heat an ovenproof sauté pan over low heat and then add the olive oil. Lay the chili peppers in the bottom of the pan and arrange the potatoes, shrimp and artichokes over them. Season the ingredients with salt and white pepper and sprinkle with chives. Whisk together the eggs and season them with salt and pepper. Pour the eggs into the pan to cover the shrimp and vegetables. Put the pan in the oven and bake until the eggs are set (about 25 minutes). Remove the pan from the oven and let stand a moment. Then cover the pan with a cutting board and flip the frittata onto the board. Bring the frittata to the table on the cutting board and cut it into wedges. Serve with a salad of baby lettuce leaves lightly dressed with vinaigrette. Serves four.

The recipe is from Charlie Palmer’s Practical Guide to the New American Kitchen. (Frittata photo by Bill Milne.)

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