The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

August 3, 2013

Cooking with Simon: Dreaming of Fiji in Palestine

Palestine Herald-Press

PALESTINE — This time of year it seems like everyone – except me – is on vacation. The restaurant business doesn’t seem to be very holiday friendly, because food never stops and holidays are when people want to eat out the most.

Fortunately, I have a job I love and I don’t mind the 24-7 effort that goes into running your own business. Although an occasional getaway is good for the soul and helps recharge your creative energies.

I remember many years ago I had a boss who made me go away on holiday. I had no idea what to do with myself or where to go. Keep in mind that I was living in New Zealand at the time Fiji was considered a quick getaway for Kiwis.

As it happened, I had friends and family in Fiji so that’s where I ended up going.

It was a nice week away and one of the little beachcomber islands I was on was so small you could walk all the way around it in 30 minutes.

Of course, being a chef, I did not get a break from cooking for friends so I took advantage of the abundance of avocados that could be found on the islands. A favorite way to prepare them for breakfast or early lunch was to lightly bake and then fill with a poached egg. Add some cheese and crisp bacon to the top and you can call it perfect.

Now when I see any type of stuffed avocado I am reminded of Fiji. Happy eating and happy vacation.

Eggs Benedict – Fiji Style

1 avocado, cut in half, with stone removed

1 cup Swiss cheese, grated

1/2 cup thinly cut crisp bacon

1/4 teaspoon mustard

2 eggs poached,  plus 1 yolk

2 sliced green onions

Poach eggs until soft and place an egg on top of each avocado half. In a small bowl, mix mustard, sliced green onions and cheese with the egg yolk. Spoon over top of poached eggs. Top with crisp bacon. Grill in oven until golden and melted. Serve with toast.

Simon Webster is the Executive Chef of Sabor a Pasion Country House & Bistro a multi-faceted dining destination just outside Palestine. For more information go to or call 903-729-9500.