5 Questions for Jeff Cerciello


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Jeff Cerciello is chef-owner of Farmshop in Santa Monica, the restaurant, market and bakery he opened in December. Cerciello is readying Farmshop -- which serves breakfast and lunch -- for its dinner debut next month.

What’s coming up next on your menu? Our dinner menu, which we hope to begin serving in a few weeks! It will be four courses, served family style, and the dinner menu will change daily. Until then, we have some new spring dishes. The crispy artichokes has been updated with Moro blood orange, avocado, burrata, smokehouse almonds and mizuna greens. There’s also potted fresh and smoked salmon rillettes with toasted rye bread, caperberries, pickled vegetables and butter lettuce.


Latest ingredient obsession? It was a tiny walnut that had been cooked in sugar and preserved in its liquid. I had these from an Eastern European woman at a food show recently. It would be great if someone in California was making something similar. They would make a lovely addition to game birds as well as our cheese course.

What restaurant do you find yourself going to again and again? Waterloo & City. The King’s Platter! Chef Brendan Collins produces some of the best charcuterie I’ve ever tasted. He’s certainly got a gift.

The one piece of kitchen equipment you can’t live without, other than your knives? Silver sauce spoons. I’ve got a great connection who brings them in from Paris twice a year.

What’s the last cookbook you read -- and what inspired you to pick it up? ‘Plenty’ by [Yotam] Ottolenghi. One visit to his shop in [London’s] Notting Hill last year was all it took. His culinary approach and shop’s aesthetic is straightforward, focused, and his prepared foods are like no other.

Farmshop, 225 26th St., Suite 25 (Brentwood Country Mart), Santa Monica; (310) 566-2400;

-- Betty Hallock