Chef Spotlight

chef joseph cuccia

Chef Name: Joseph Cuccia
Title: Owner / Executive Chef
Restaurant Name: 17 Summer
Location: Lodi, NJ
Restaurant Website:

17 Summer in Lodi, NJ

"Fossil Farms is an outstanding company to work with. The products are always up to par and consistent. The Customer service and willingness of the sales team is amazing. They understand what we want in our products and work with us to support our philosophy. It is very rare that you find a vendor who is as dedicated to the quality and standards at all points in the process. They hold the integrity of the ingredients as we do and allow us to explore more unique options on our menus."

– Joseph Cuccia / Owner / Executive Chef / 17 Summer

Chef Joseph Cuccia Bio

17 Summer Restaurant is one with heart, a deep soul, and a story. At 17 Summer Restaurant Executive Chef and Owner Joseph Cuccia and Jenna Cuccia are dedicated to celebrating each ingredient. Their passion is immediately felt upon arriving at 17 Summer Restaurant. The open kitchen, ever changing menu, and Wednesday night Chef's Tables are just glimpses of the offerings at the quaint corner where Summer and Autumn meet. Joseph's commitment to the classic techniques and made-from-scratch cooking is how he shares his culinary journey. He lives deeply in his roots, every day, starting with opening 17 Summer Restaurant in the town where he was born and raised; continuing to cook the food he grew up eating and the food from classic cuisines that have a story and a soul. At the young age of 26 just months after opening 17 Summer Restaurant, Joseph honored to be a Semi Finalist for Rising Star Chef by the James Beard Foundation Awards. Joseph strongly believes in the simplicity of food and holds true to the philosophy that each ingredient should speak for itself. His view on food and this industry is one of quality, integrity and approachability.

Venison Wellington by Joseph Cuccia

Venison Wellington

Download printable .pdf file here.

1 ea. Fossil Farms Tenderloin
1⁄2 lb. wild mushrooms
4 oz. white wine
1 tbsp. finely chopped chives
2 ea. pieces Puff Pastry
Olive oil
2 oz. Fossil Farms Foie Gras
1 ea. shallot, sliced thin
1 tbsp. finely chopped parsley
1 ea. egg, beaten
Sea salt
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat a frying pan over high heat, sauteĢ wild mushrooms till lightly brown and tender. Season with salt and pepper, add shallots and continue to cook until translucent. Deglaze with white wine and reduce till dry. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place in food processor and pulse until smooth; add herbs and set aside.

Season the Foie Gras liberally and sear in a very hot dry pan until brown on one side. Remove from pan and save fat. Pour the fat into the Mushroom mixture and allow remaining Foie Gras to cool in refrigerator. Season Venison with salt and pepper. (you can leave whole or cut into 8oz individual portions.) Heat pan and add small amount of olive oil. Sear all sides of the venison until golden brown, without cooking inside above 110 degrees.

Assemble: lightly roll out 1 sheet of puff pastry, evenly spread mushroom mixture onto puff pastry leaving 1 inch around the perimeter. Cut foie grass into small pieces and place evenly on mushrooms. Place Venison loin in center and brush edges with egg. Roll to create a package, making sure all sides are sealed. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450 and place wellington on baking sheet. Cut small vent hole in top center to allow steam to escape. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle sea salt on top. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Slice and serve.


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