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Recipe Thieves
Beware talented local chefs – your secrets are no longer safe!

By Marcia Banes
Photos by Emiliana Garcia

CHEF Debra Bishop
  This Month’s victim: Debra Bishop from Restaurant Vista Paraiso. Debra hails from the great state of Texas where she studied at a French Culinary Restaurant School before moving to France to continue her training at the Alain & Marie LaNotre Culinary Institute and an internship at a Hotel and Restaurant in France that held the 3 Star Michelin Rating.

Scene of the crime: Restaurant Vista Paraiso, perched 600 feet above sea level upon the “Las Huacas” mountain. Debra purchased the property in 2002, only 2 days after her arrival in Nosara, and began building Vista Paraiso Restaurant, Cabinas and her own family home. The restaurant has some spectacular views of Playa Guiones. Vista Paraiso’s gourmet menu changes daily and draws its inspiration from the foods of France, Thailand, the Carribbean, Southwestern United States and of course, Costa Rica. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Monday-Saturday from 11am-1opm. Reservations and Private Parties are also welcome.

  The Stolen Recipe: The top secret “Chocolate Chili Glazed Beef Tenderloin.” The cost of this dish is $25 dollars. Debra’s cooking technique uses different textures, colors, and flavors because she likes the variety in her dishes and she believes if food doesn’t look appetizing, it probably doesn’t taste good either.

Steps to prepare Chocolate Chili Glaze: This recipe begins with Debra’s top secret homemade Chili Paste which is the base for the chocolate glaze. We were unable to blackmail Debra for the exact recipe for the paste but she did give us a basic idea of how to make it. She uses as many different types of chilies that she has available such as dried, fresh, canned, hot and mild. She then cooks the chilies together with fresh and canned tomatoes, garlic and seasoning until it forms a thick paste. Once you have your paste, cook over low to medium heat and add gradually the chocolate. Add one half the amount of chocolate to the amount of chili paste you are using. We were able to poke around the kitchen to get this CHEF’S SECRET: Coffee can be substituted for chocolate or added in with the chocolate for a flavor variety.




Steps to Prepare the Tenderloin: Use only the center cut of the tenderloin and removes what is referred to as the silver skin – a silvery, tough “skin” on the tenderloin that has a bitter taste. Braise the pieces of tenderloin in oil and place them on the grill. CHEF’S TIP: When the temperature of the meat is hot enough, the seared outer layer won’t stick to the grill, meaning it is ready to turn to the other side. As the meat cooks, brush the tenderloin with the Chocolate Chili Glaze throughout the grilling process, re-coating every few minutes.

Steps to Prepare Potato Artichoke Puree:
Boil 6 potatoes (skin on) with 6 canned artichokes, drain the water off. Combine 1 small box of heavy whipping cream and 1 cup of butter in a saucepan and cook on low heat until warm. Combine all the ingredients In a blender. Season to your liking with salt and pepper. We caught Debra adding a hint of dried rosemary to the mixture as well. Blend the puree until you have reached your desired consistency. CHEF’S SECRET: The heavy cream and butter is heated because adding cold liquid to the warm potatoes can make the potatoes gooey and stringy.

  We peeped into Debra’s cabinets to discover what wine would best compliment for this meal and uncovered a nice bottle of Ducade Saragnano 2001 Chianti. This a great match for the dish because the tannins of this wine are very soft. This wine is a great choice to bring out the sweetness of the chocolate in the glaze but without leaving a bitter aftertaste with the spiciness of the chili.
The tenderloin was cooked to the perfect temperature, the chocolate flavor did not overpower the taste, and the chilis made the glaze slightly spicy but not too hot. The potato puree was a great side dish for the meat because it had a thick enough texture and a soft enough flavor to hold its own with the large cut of meat.

As we make our getaway on a quad racing down the mountain, we say goodbye to Debra and Vista Paraiso where we have made another successful recipe robbery. Be on the look out because you never know where we will strike next!



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