New Chef at the Inns

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Molly Prima says it feels like “Home” here.

Meet Molly. Or maybe you already have. If you haven’t, you’re missing out because Molly is cooking up some fabulous breakfasts!

Molly Prima joined us at the end of August, jumping right into the heat of a busy commercial kitchen on Labor Day weekend. Undaunted from her “christening by fire,” Molly has been introducing our breakfast guests to her favorites of comfort food classics with an upscale twist. When it comes to breakfast, Molly feels  “Sometimes it’s hard for people to branch out. I don’t want to scare people, but I want them to get just outside of their box so they can try something just a little new on vacation.” Her Pacific Northwest biscuits & gravy is a prime example: Fresh baked from scratch herbed biscuits, vegetarian gravy, topped with lox, still has that smoky flavor that pairs astoundingly well with cream gravy, but it just a tad different. There is a world of difference in her Breakfast Sandwich, where everything is made fresh from scratch; hash is made with a variety of root vegetables instead of just potatoes; a simple poached free range egg on top keeps the flavors clean and allows the natural flavors to shine through. “I want to be able to share wonderful tastes with other people, and bring brightness to their morning with wonderful food.”

To determine “wonderful flavors,” after graduating from Kitchen Academy in Lodi, Molly trained passionately to develop her palate in specific foods. She put in a stint at Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates in Sacramento, making cookies, ganaches, truffles, mousses and more. Cheese Central in Lodi, CA is where she honed her skills and knowledge of the fine art of cheese tasting, and pouring wine at the Heritage Oak Winery in Lodi, CA opened the world of wine to her. “I had the awful chore of taking home pieces of cheese or bottles of wine and tasting them,” Molly jokes. “You have to practice, practice, practice. Your food is a whole different experience when you actually stop and think about what’s in your mouth when you’re tasting; it brings eating to a whole different level.”

In addition to all these fun jobs, Molly managed a slew of Cold Stone Creameries and fast food chains, served as kitchen manager at Stonehouse Bistro in Rancho Murieta, CA, and breakfast cook at The Dancing Fox in Lodi, CA. From her varied experience, she’s discovered that her favorite things to make in the kitchen are custards, meringues, and technique-based dishes with a lot of room for creativity and applications as components of other desserts. She will be applying this to desserts for Coho Restaurant as well as at the Inns.

During Mollie’s first week here, she made this yummy birthday cake for a member of the San Juan Safaris crew.

Growing up in the heart of California’s Central Valley cornucopia, remote San Juan Island is a long way from home. Molly came up to visit in the summer, and as do so many visitors, she fell in love with the island. She spent time meeting as many local residents as she could, and got a very good feel from the community; she really liked the community – and the ORCAS!

Now that she’s established a home here (complete with her childhood kitchen table) and we’re moving into our quiet season, Molly’s goal is to learn as much as she can about sustainable agriculture on a small scale, and to develop our Chef’s Garden to produce more usable crops. She wants to make the best food and variety with what we can grow right here on site. That, and continue to work on the craft of cookery, developing technical proficiency and creativity.

Please join us in welcoming Molly to our family at the inns. To read more about Molly and the journey of her kitchen table in Molly’s own words, see our blog post.

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