Secrets From Ciudad Chef Joanne Bondy

We sat down with Ciudad chef Joanne Bondy to learn her cooking secrets, where she likes to dine, and the foods she’s ashamed to love.

Joanne Bondy, Ciudad
We sat down with the renowned chef to learn her cooking secrets, where she likes to dine, and the foods she’s ashamed to love.

When I’m not at Ciudad:
I go to the French Room for special occasions. Nick and Sam’s for oysters Rockefeller and steak. York Street or Mercury for nights out with friends. Sushi Zushi, Angry Dog, or Fireside Pies for just hanging out.

Produce to buy now:
Fava beans, wild mushrooms, English peas (right), blood oranges, strawberries, and peaches.
Can’t cook without: 
Chicken stock, light or dark. A well-made stock adds great flavor to most dishes. It’s the most dependable product to have around. It brings out the best in me.

Must-have spice: 
Coriander seeds (left) toasted and fresh ground. They’re subtle and a little citrusy, unlike their growth, cilantro. Great in scrambled eggs.

I became a chef because: 
I loved the outfit! Once I put it on, I couldn’t take it off. That was the beginning of making every day exciting, and I still feel that same magic.
Signature dish: 
For friends, it’s chicken salad served with coriander-toasted cashews and club crackers. At Ciudad, it’s the Adobo beef tenderloin at dinner and sweet potato pancakes at brunch.

If you could only have one kitchen tool:   
Invest in a knife you love (right) and a big, beautiful cutting board to keep it happy. 
Indulgence food: 
Um…Is wine food?
Favorite cookbook: 
I collect cookbooks. My favorite, the one I give to very curious cooks, is Culinary Artistry. It’s hard to find but contains simple references to pairing flavors, technique, and creativity.
Best compliment to the chef you’ve ever received:
At my house, a smile and second helpings are always great!

Joanne Bondy’s Preparation Secrets
* Be organized, and clean as you go.

* If something doesn’t work out, don’t let it stop you from enjoying the art of cooking.
* For small, quick meals, shop for ingredients at the salad bar.

* Use a bent back paperclip to pit fresh cherries.

* Wet, marinated fish will stick to the pan. Blot it dry, then season before placing into a hot, lightly oiled pan. 

* Cooking with too much butter takes the fluffiness out of your scrambled eggs or omelet.

* Peel and blanch the leaves from Brussels sprouts, then cook them as you like. You will change someone’s mind about Brussels sprouts.

Chef Joanne Bondy’s restaurant, Ciudad (, exploded onto Dallas culinary scene in 2001, earning a spot on Esquire’s list of 20 Best New Restaurants in America. Bondy’s recipes have been published in numerous cookbooks, and she has appeared on the Food Network, the CBS Early Show, and several PBS documentaries.


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