Prep Your Dinner Menu For the Fall Season With These 5 Tips From Top Chef Finalist Stefan Richter!

Stefan Richter

Aug. 15 2013, Published 9:21 p.m. ET

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After your Labor Day picnics are over, an entrée consisting of hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon, and tons of those yummy popsicles from the ice cream truck won't look so enticing anymore. You'll need to switch back into the gear of fall cookin'! Even if you don't like the crisp air, you'll want to enjoy your homemade grub, right? Thanks to the harvest season, you have the opportunity to snack on something seriously good.

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We caught up with Stefan Richter, Top Chef finalist and the owner of the amazing Stefan’s at L.A. Farm in Santa Monicaand talked fresh culinary treats. He shared 5 fall food tips with us, and we're already shopping for our new aprons.


Check out his recipes below, and if you're ever in the Santa Monica area, stop by his restaurant for a snack!

Fire Engine

Serves 1



Domaine de Canton (Ginger Liqueur)

Orange Juice


1. 2 oz. Tequila

2. 1 oz. Domaine de Canton

3. 1 oz. Orange juice

4. Shake all ingredients together, serve on the rocks.

5. Garnish with Lime Wedge

Pumpkin Soup

Serves 8


1 Whole Pumpkin

1 Onion

2 Garlic Cloves

1 Teaspoon All Spice

1 Teaspoon Nutmeg

1 Teaspoon Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Sugar

4 Quarts Chicken Stock

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Quart of Cream

2 Bay Leaves

1 Cup of White Wine

Salt and Pepper to Taste


1. Peel and skin pumpkin- cut in half and remove the seeds.

2. Cut into small chunks

3. Cut onion and garlic into small pieces

4. Over medium heat in a large pan, sweat/sauté onion and garlic

5. Add pumpkin chunks to pan, roast for 5 minutes

6. Deglaze with white wine, scrapping the pan to release everything

7.  Add chicken stock, spices, sugar and bay leaves

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8. Bring to a simmer, cook until pumpkin chunks are tender

9. Add cream, bring to a boil

10.  Blend

11.  Season to taste, train through a fine strainer

12. Serve while hot


Pancetta & Mushroom Risotto

Serves 4



Risotto Rice

Fresh mixed mushrooms

Olive Oil

White Onion

Crushed Garlic

Chicken Broth

White Wine

Parmesan Cheese


Salt and Pepper


1. Saute ½ white onion, 3 oz. pancetta, 1 tablespoon crushed garlic, 2 cups of mushrooms in olive oil.

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2.  Add 6 oz. of rice, on low heat.

3. Add ½ cup of white wine and slowly add (20 oz.) of chicken broth, simmer until rice is cooked aldente. Continue to add chicken broth until completely absorbed.

4. Turn off heat, and add 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese and ½ cup of butter.

5. Serve family style.

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Pear & Blue Cheese Salad

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Serves 4


2 Ripe Pears, Peeled and Cut in Small Cubes

2 Medium Sized Golden Beets Roasted

3 Tablespoons Crumbled Blue Cheese

1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon White Wine or Champagne Vinegar

2 Teaspoons Clover Honey

Salt and Pepper to Taste

8 oz. of Arugula and Water Cress

1/2 Cup of Roasted Walnuts


1. Wrap the beets in foil with veggie oil, salt and pepper to taste and roast in a 425 degree oven, about 45 minutes.

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2. Put the cubbed pears in a medium sized bowl, and dress with the honey, olive oil, and vinegar, salt and pepper and let rest for 10 min

3. When the beets are cooked let them cool down for 15 min, peel and cut them into small even cubes and add to your mix.

4. Add the greens, mix/sprinkle the crumbled blue cheese and nuts atop the beet and pear salad.

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Mulled Cider

Serves 8


Large Bottle (1/2 gallon) of Unfiltered Apple Cider

2 Oranges, Cut Into Large Chunks

1 Tablespoon Cloves

1 Tablespoon Star Anise

¼ Cup Honey

4 Cinnamon Sticks

1 Teaspoon Nutmeg

You’re Favorite Dark Liquor, Bourbon, Spiced Rum, or Brandy

Crock pot


1.Combine all ingredients (except liquor) into a crock pot.

2. Slowly heat liquid on low.

3.  After at least an hour, use a strainer to remove all spices and fruit from cider.

4. Serve cider in heat proof glassware, add a shot of your choice of liquor and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

 Will you try any of these recipes? Tweet @OKMagazine and @topchefstefan and leave a comment below. 


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