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To celebrate the season, we're posting a series of dispatches from Gstaad, the Swiss resort town where Mr. Valentino and Mr. Giammetti have wintered for decades. First off: A picture-perfect holiday dish served at the Gstaad chalet, as featured in the book VALENTINO: AT THE EMPEROR'S TABLE.


Goat Cheese Flan



7 egg yolks

½ cup cornstarch

2 ¼ cup goat milk

½ cup + 2 Tbsp heavy cream

10.6 oz fresh goat cheese (chèvre)

Salt, freshly ground pepper

Ground nutmeg

Tomato petals (recipe below)


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter an 8-inch soufflé mold.
  • Beat the egg yolks with an electric mixer for 10 minutes. Add the cornstarch and beat until incorporated.
  • Warm milk and cream in a saucepan, then slowly stir in the beaten egg mixure. Cook as you would pastry cream, beating by hand over medium-low heat until the consistency is creamy.
  • When the mixture begins bubbling, whisk in the fresh goat cheese and return to a boil. Season with salt, ground pepper and a pinch of nutmeg, then put through a fine strainer and transfer to the buttered soufflé mold.
  • Place the mold in a roasting pan and fill it with simmering water until it comes halfway up the side of the soufflé mold. Place in the oven and bake for an hour.
  • Transfer to a rack to cool slightly. (Approximately 15 minutes.) Run a knife around the edge of the mold to loosen; place a platter over the top of the mold and invert to unmold flan onto the platter.
  • Decorate with tomato petals and serve immediately.


Tomato Petals



4 tomatoes

Extra virgin olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut off the stem ends of the tomatoes and make a shallow incision at the bottom of each of the four tomatoes. Lower the tomatoes into boiling water; blanch for 10 seconds. Remove them to an ice-water bath to cool, and remove skins.
  • Cut each tomato vertically into four or six wedges. Use a sharp knife to cut out the seeds of each tomato, keeping the outer flesh only.
  • Place the tomato "petals" on the prepared baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and salt lightly.
  • Dry in the oven, about two hours.

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