Chef JP’s Tomato Pie

A while back I did a post on my favorite green beans. Yes, that’s what I called the post. It’s green beans with shallots, onions, tomatoes, Kalamata olives, and toasted pine nuts, and it’s an exquisite dish. There are so many different ways to prepare green beans, and I’ll try more, but I’ve concluded that this way is my favorite way.

The recipe came from cookbook Sunshine Cuisine, published in 1994, and authored by Chef Jean-Pierre Brehier, who moved from France to Florida and basically fused French and Floridian cuisine, served in his restaurant The Left Bank. I didn’t realize that Sunshine Cuisine had been a James Beard nominated book, and since then he’s written two more cookbooks.

The reason I bring all of this up, is that in my green bean post, I’d lamented the fact that the chef basically disappeared. And he had, temporarily, but thanks to a recent comment on that post, (July, 2020) I was able to find the chef on his YouTube channel, plus it appears he still has his cooking school and website! He’s pictured in the above right photo. Older, but still alive and kicking! You can read his bio on his website here.

And boy is he entertaining! Chef Jean-Pierre Brehier is definitely French, but he sounds like he’s from the Bronx, with a touch of Louisiana Patois! And he kind of yells, in a passionate way. “If you use crap ingredients, you gonna get crap food!”

The first YouTube video I watched was his most recent, making a tomato pie. The tomato slices were layered with breadcrumbs, Havarti, caramelized onions, and pie crust, cooked in a skillet, then turned upside down at the end, during which time he was making the sign of a cross multiple times. Funny guy.

These are photos from the YouTube video:

In the same video he spent about five minutes griping about how he went to 3 stores, and couldn’t find good fresh tomatoes! And his video was posted on July 16th, 2020. “New Jersey tomatoes are the best. But tomatoes in Florida? The worst.” Then he adds that New Jersey tomatoes are probably good because of all the mobsters in the ground, adding that Italian flavor to produce!!! You seriously should watch him.

Chef JP’s Tomato Pie

1 tablespoon sweet Butter
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
6 large Tomatoes cut into slice ¼ inch thick
1 ½ cup fresh Bread Crumbs, mixed with garlic, parsley and fresh thyme
8 slices Mozzarella or Havarti Cheese
1 ½ cup Caramelized Onions
1 prepared Dough
4 ounces Goat Cheese (Frozen for 2 hours)
2 tablespoons Pesto fairly liquid

Preheat Oven to 400°.

Melt butter and the oil in a 10 inch oven proof skillet; add the tomatoes slices evenly to cover the entire surface. Core the tomatoes first.

Top the tomatoes with the fresh bread crumbs.

Then cover with the sliced cheese.

Then top with the caramelized onion.

Finally cover the entire pan with the prepared dough, tucking dough edges against the side of the skillet.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the dough is golden brown.

Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Place a large plate over the pan and invert the tart onto the platter.

Grate the frozen goat cheese.

I didn’t do this part. I wanted to taste the Havarti more. He did also add finely chopped parsley to the top, and I should have done that to make it prettier.

Let the pie rest until warm and serve.

Chef JP did a drizzle of balsamic vinegar on the plate before slicing a piece of pie, and also added a drizzle of pesto mixed with olive oil.

The results were amazing. I also didn’t put a yellow tomato in the middle, I opted for red.

When you cut into the pie you can see the caramelized onions above the crust, the Havarti layer topped with the fresh breadcrumbs, and the tomatoes.

I will definitely be making this pie again next summer.

By Published On: September 14th, 202071 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

71 Comments

  1. Frank Fariello September 14, 2020 at 6:51 AM - Reply

    He’s hilarious! If he’s this lively now, I can just imagine him in his salad days…

    • chef mimi September 14, 2020 at 6:54 AM - Reply

      Exactly! Or maybe he has spent a lot of time in New Jersey. I have no idea, but I made my husband watch the video, and he was laughing! Great tomato pie. (Pronounced tuh may tuh.)

  2. Ron September 14, 2020 at 7:49 AM - Reply

    Nice job Mimi! Your tomato pie looks and I’m sure tasted wonderful.
    Chef Jean-Pierre is indeed hilarious. I love a chef that has fun in the kitchen and he does just that. I just finished watching his cherry Clafoutis video and it was a riot and a lovely tutorial. Thanks for introducing me to him…

    • chef mimi September 14, 2020 at 7:58 AM - Reply

      Oh really?! I need to watch that! I watched the tomato pie video 3 times! I’m just glad he’s still around. It’s a great pie.

  3. 2pots2cook September 14, 2020 at 8:04 AM - Reply

    This is definitely one of those “must do”. Love all the ingredients. I have never heard of this chef; must take time to look his channel. Thank you Mimi !

    • chef mimi September 14, 2020 at 8:17 AM - Reply

      You’re so welcome. I only knew him from his one cookbook, but seeing him “in person” is such a treat. Especially because he’s such a character!

  4. popsiclesociety September 14, 2020 at 8:48 AM - Reply

    I don’t know the chef but the pie looks great 😉😋 I like tomatoes in all ways 😉 🍅

    • chef mimi September 21, 2020 at 7:44 AM - Reply

      I do too! but my tomato pies are usually simpler – tomatoes, cheese, basil. This one is so unique and delicious!

  5. anitaliandish September 14, 2020 at 8:54 AM - Reply

    Wow! I cannot wait to try this! It looks so delicious and with all the tomatoes at the farmers markets now, it is perfect timing. Thanks, Chef Mimi!

    • chef mimi September 14, 2020 at 10:55 AM - Reply

      Yes, and the layers are really nice. I will be making this pie again!

  6. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen September 14, 2020 at 8:57 AM - Reply

    love tomato pies, and this is the time of year they are the best!

    • chef mimi September 14, 2020 at 10:55 AM - Reply

      No kidding. Although I’ve been relying on young shoppers, and these tomatoes barely cut it. I had hand surgery so I still can’t drive. My husband would be even worse! But I think he’d at least know how to pick the ripest t5omatoes!

  7. cookingwithshy September 14, 2020 at 9:40 AM - Reply

    Tomato pie sounds devine!! Lots os different tomatoes around now:))

    • chef mimi September 14, 2020 at 10:49 AM - Reply

      I like the layers in this tomato pie. I usually just do tomatoes, cheese, and basil. This one is really special.

  8. Gerlinde September 14, 2020 at 10:47 AM - Reply

    This looks really good Mimi. I enjoy watching YouTube cooking shows, especially these days where I can’t leave the house because of bad air.

    • chef mimi September 14, 2020 at 10:48 AM - Reply

      Oh goodness. I’m so sorry for what you’re dealing with. So scary. I’d never seen a YouTube show before, but this guy is hysterical!

  9. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats September 14, 2020 at 12:11 PM - Reply

    Never heard of this chef, but if you say he’s so entertaining, I’ll check his channel.
    The pie looks delicious, with all the tasty layers. :)

    • chef mimi September 21, 2020 at 7:45 AM - Reply

      He is seriously entertaining. I have since subscribed to his YouTube channel!

  10. Healthy World Cuisine September 14, 2020 at 12:32 PM - Reply

    Mimi, you are making our mouth water as usual! The caramelized onions, fresh tomatoes, cheese and crust. This sounds heavenly. So did you pair it with a red or white? For sure, we should toast to a pie this delicious!

    • chef mimi September 21, 2020 at 7:46 AM - Reply

      I paired this with a pinot Grigio. A rosé would have been good as well. It’s truly outstanding.

  11. Kelly | Foodtasia September 14, 2020 at 1:56 PM - Reply

    Mimi, this tomato pie is perfection! Such wonderful flavors. I especially love the havarti in it!

    • chef mimi September 14, 2020 at 2:44 PM - Reply

      I do too! It worked really well. And the fresh bread crumbs helped with the juice of the tomatoes, so that layer is brilliant!

  12. David @ Spiced September 15, 2020 at 6:27 AM - Reply

    Oh man, the comment about the mobsters in the ground in Jersey has me cracking up this morning, Mimi! This guy sounds like a real character. I’ll have to look up his YouTube channel. As far as the recipe, though, this sounds delicious! We are overloaded with tomatoes from the garden right now. Ours might not have extra mobster flavor, but I suspect they will be good in this pie!

    • chef mimi September 15, 2020 at 6:32 AM - Reply

      He is truly hysterical. His accent is hysterical. I just so glad someone told me that he’s still alive. And his recipes are all good. This one is definitely worth making.I’m glad your tomatoes are doing well – mine are just eeking by…

  13. Eva Taylor September 15, 2020 at 7:22 AM - Reply

    I’m always on the lookout for nice bunch recipes and this one certainly fits the bill, and it’s so pretty too. Better get on this before we run out of good summer tomatoes. That chef sounds fantastic, thanks for the tip, will check him out for sure.

    • chef mimi September 15, 2020 at 7:23 AM - Reply

      Do check him out. He knows food, but his personality is endearing! The pie is excellent, and would be great for brunch.

  14. hasin September 15, 2020 at 12:11 PM - Reply

    Mimi,
    Loved visiting your blog and your about me page. Your blog is incredible! I don’t quite know about this chef,but going by the reviews and comments,it looks like he is the one with kitchen humour and a funny hat! your tomato pie looks just awesome as your post content. Loved reading the post. Thanks for amazing clicks!

    • chef mimi September 16, 2020 at 9:57 AM - Reply

      thank you! That is quite a compliment!

  15. dawnyucuiscooking September 15, 2020 at 7:58 PM - Reply

    This tomato pie sounds wonderful. I will have to check out the chef. I have never heard of him.

    • chef mimi September 16, 2020 at 9:57 AM - Reply

      I’d only heard of him from that old cookbook of his, and we don’t spend time in Florida, otherwise I would have tried to go to his restaurant. I like the idea of French and Floridian fusion!

  16. Katherine | Love In My Oven September 15, 2020 at 9:39 PM - Reply

    I’ve never had a tomato pie! I actually don’t love tomatoes myself, although I eat them all of the time in soups and salsas, etc. So maybe I really do love them? Either way I KNOW my husband would be all over this one!

    • chef mimi September 16, 2020 at 9:56 AM - Reply

      I know someone who won’t eat tomatoes but will enjoy tomato sauce. But these are baked, so not ripe. I think I have four different tomato pies on the blog, so I’m obviously enamored by them!

  17. kitchenriffs September 16, 2020 at 9:28 AM - Reply

    Chef Jean-Pierre Brehier sounds like a hoot! I haven’t seen him, but I will. And he’s largely right about Jersey vs. Florida tomatoes. Although, at least 15 years ago when I lived in Florida, they produced something called “ugly” tomatoes — not pretty (hence the name) but much more flavor than your typical tomato. Still not as good as Jersey tomatoes, though. Anyway, such a nice dish. Thanks.

    • chef mimi September 16, 2020 at 9:55 AM - Reply

      Fascinating!!! I just thought he was being funny! I’d take ugly tomatoes any day…

  18. jenniferguerrero1 September 16, 2020 at 10:34 AM - Reply

    Wow! That looks absolutely amazing! And he sounds like quite the character!

    • chef mimi September 16, 2020 at 11:20 AM - Reply

      He is hysterical! And he’s a great chef as well.

  19. Tandy | Lavender and Lime September 17, 2020 at 3:26 AM - Reply

    I am so disappointed in our tomatoes – they just don’t seem to have enough flavour! Clearly not enough mobsters down here haha :)

    • chef mimi September 17, 2020 at 8:03 AM - Reply

      Right! I’ve got the same problem here. It’s truly awful. My cherry tomatoes have done well, but you’re a bit limited with them. Can’t exactly make stuffed baked tomatoes!

  20. Our Growing Paynes September 17, 2020 at 10:52 AM - Reply

    He sounds hilarious! But he’s right, crap ingredients = crap food. I keep meaning to make something like this with tomatoes in our garden and I always forget. I’ll have to see what’s left in the garden.

    • chef mimi September 17, 2020 at 10:57 AM - Reply

      Just puff pastry, sliced tomatoes, cheeses and basil make a perfect pie!!! But i love this guy!

      • Our Growing Paynes September 17, 2020 at 10:58 AM

        But that is all you need for perfection!

  21. Raymund September 17, 2020 at 5:16 PM - Reply

    At first I thought it was just tomatoes, but as I scroll, that hidden cheese and caramelized onions will certainly make it amazing. Perfect!!!

    • chef mimi September 17, 2020 at 5:39 PM - Reply

      Yes, it really is amazing! such smart layers.

  22. Lauren - BasicGinger.com September 18, 2020 at 2:18 PM - Reply

    Definitely checking those youtube videos out, that chef sounds like a hoot! And I love this pie recipe, so yummy with all the different layers in there!

    • chef mimi September 18, 2020 at 4:17 PM - Reply

      He’s hysterical!!! And the pie is fabulous.

  23. Liz September 19, 2020 at 8:41 AM - Reply

    I love a good tomato pie, and yours fits the bill! Thanks for the intro to Chef JP—he sounds like a character!

    • chef mimi September 19, 2020 at 8:43 AM - Reply

      He really is a character, but he knows good food!

  24. David Scott Allen September 19, 2020 at 2:23 PM - Reply

    You know, I bought his book at your recommendation and have made quite a few things from it. This pie – tomato tatin, really – looks superb. I am going to try this soon. The tomatoes here have been great – not Jersey great, but not Florida crap, either. And I can’t wait to watch him on YouTube! Something fun to look forward to.

    • chef mimi September 19, 2020 at 5:53 PM - Reply

      Oh good! I love his food. The tomatoes I used for this were crap also, but I gave up waiting! Do watch the video, and others!

  25. cookingontheweekends September 20, 2020 at 5:05 PM - Reply

    So happy you rediscovered (or found) this chef again. What a recipe! I mean seriously, this dish is beautiful and I can only imagine how incredibly delicious it is. each layer is brilliant. :-) ~Valentina

    • chef mimi September 20, 2020 at 5:44 PM - Reply

      You’re so right. All of the layers work so well together! To put it bluntly, I’m so glad Chef JP is still alive and kicking!

  26. Fran @ G'day Souffle' September 20, 2020 at 10:40 PM - Reply

    After he flipped the pie upside down, I could see that he was making a Tarte Ta tin? French, Bronx, and Florida accents all rolled into one? Sounds like a scream!

    • chef mimi September 21, 2020 at 7:14 AM - Reply

      I’m surprised he didn’t call it a tarte tatin. Maybe he’s just lived in the US for too long!

  27. Elena September 21, 2020 at 7:42 AM - Reply

    Wow! Interesting way to make a tomato pie.I have heard that NJ tomatoes are the best but never considered the reasons mentioned by this chef. I will definitely watch him on youtube.

    • chef mimi September 21, 2020 at 7:43 AM - Reply

      Ha! Who else would think of that?!!! The guy is hysterical. And the pie is fantastic.

  28. The Parmigiana Whisperer September 21, 2020 at 10:34 AM - Reply

    wooow!!!looks incredible!!

    • chef mimi September 21, 2020 at 11:36 AM - Reply

      It was pretty darn wonderful!

  29. Vinny Grette September 21, 2020 at 10:46 AM - Reply

    Just printed this out to try with a harvest from my covid tomato garden – yum!

    • chef mimi September 21, 2020 at 11:35 AM - Reply

      HA! A covid tomato garden! Sounds so funny! My tomatoes weren’t the best, but they worked in this pie with all of the other elements. It’s really good.

      • Vinny Grette October 30, 2020 at 7:46 PM

        The pie was a hit with my friends, We had an outdoors, physically distant lunch together a few weeks ago, well before the snow flew. We did our best and nobody caught anything unpleasant!

      • chef mimi October 31, 2020 at 7:16 AM

        Oh, good to hear! About the pie and the corona!

  30. Molly Pisula September 25, 2020 at 7:41 AM - Reply

    OMG, he sounds hilarious! I’m glad you tracked him down so that you could share him with us. Tomato pies are the absolute best, especially with perfectly ripe tomatoes. Love all the cheese in this one too!

    • chef mimi September 25, 2020 at 8:06 AM - Reply

      I’m just glad he’s still alive. Seems like many chefs die young, probably because of the stress of being a chef, especially if you own your own restaurant. But he’s a hoot. My tomatoes weren’t the best either, but as part of a whole pie, they still worked. It’s a great recipe.

  31. a little Swiss, a little Canadian September 27, 2020 at 6:47 PM - Reply

    I love savory pies! Looks delicious! I will have to check him out, sounds like a lot of fun!😁

    • chef mimi September 27, 2020 at 8:35 PM - Reply

      He is a hoot! But he’s also a great chef.

    • chef mimi September 28, 2020 at 6:47 AM - Reply

      Oh, he’s a hoot! And he definitely knows good food!

  32. Roz October 5, 2020 at 4:56 PM - Reply

    oh gosh, I love tomato pie, especially when it is creative with delicious new ideas for ingredients. I’ll have to try this for sure when tomatoes are ripe again next summer. I’ve not heard of this chef/cook so thanks for teaching me something new and I’ll take a look at his recipes and videos to learn more.
    Stay safe,
    Roz

    • chef mimi October 5, 2020 at 6:30 PM - Reply

      There is something so special about tomatoes in pie form! This one was unique and really good.

  33. Drizzling Delicacies December 6, 2020 at 5:46 AM - Reply

    This looks so good.

    • chef mimi December 6, 2020 at 7:41 AM - Reply

      It was really good!

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