Chef C.J. Jacobson will prepare a delicious recipe in front of a few lucky winners in the Culinary Kitchen. Get ready for this Avocado and Sweet Pea Spread with Vegetable Crudité.

Avocado and Sweet Pea Spread with Vegetable Crudité
Recipe Courtesy of C.J. Jacobson
Makes 1 quart


1 bag frozen peas, blanched for 5 minutes
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Avocado, halved, pitted and flesh removed from skin
1/2 Jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and rough chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon Juice
4 teaspoons salt
Assorted vegetable crudité, for serving


1. In a food processor, add the blanched peas, garlic, mint, sugar, parsley and a touch of olive oil and puree until rather smooth, but can be a little chunky at this point
2. Add Avocado and jalapeno and puree until smooth
3. Adjust seasoning with lemon, more olive oil and salt
4. Serve in bowl alongside vegetable crudité

Orange County-born, Chef C.J. Jacobson is best known for his ‘rustic-refined’ way of cooking. His craft revolves around hyper-seasonal, local California ingredients, where foraging plays a main part in the flavor profiles that he creates in his kitchen.

Jacobson has always been one for a good competition, even before starring on two seasons of Bravo’s Top Chef, and most recently, winning Top Chef Duels in 2014. After attending Pepperdine University in Malibu on a volleyball scholarship, Jacobson went on to make the U.S. National Volleyball Team. His professional volleyball career took him to Belgium, Israel, and the Netherlands, where he discovered food could be exciting and inspiring. Jacobson then returned to LA where he ultimately decided that restaurants would be his next career path. He enrolled at the Le Cordon Bleu-affiliated College of Culinary Arts in Pasadena, graduating in 2004 and his first professional job was cooking at Axe, a highly regarded restaurant with an ingredient-driven California menu. He went on to work throughout California at Campanile under Mark Peel and Nancy Silverton and as a private chef for VIPs such as Arianna Huffington and Guess clothing’s Marciano family.

After his first appearance on Top Chef in 2007, Jacobson accepted a position as executive chef at The Yard, a gastropub in Santa Monica, CA. The following year, Jacobson participated in the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour and in 2012, he staged at the world-renowned Copenhagen restaurant Noma, working closely with acclaimed Chef René Redzepi. In July 2013, he become the executive chef at Girasol restaurant in Studio City, CA, and a year later was brought in by Lettuce Entertain You Founder Rich Melman to open Intro, as the first chef-in-residence in Chicago, IL. During his tenure at Intro, CJ garnered three stars from the Chicago Tribune and earned the restaurant a spot on Chicago Magazine’s Best New Restaurants of 2015 list. He has also received high regards in the national press with cuisine featured on the cover of Food & Wine magazine in October 2015.

In summer 2016, Jacobson opened his first restaurant with Lettuce Entertain You, Ēma. The Mediterranean-style restaurant features small plates, and lighter, California-style cooking that uses unique spices and ingredients.

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