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.

71 thoughts on “Chef JP’s Tomato Pie

    • 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.)

  1. 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…

    • 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.

    • 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!

    • 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!

  2. 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!

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

  3. 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!

    • 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…

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

    • 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!

    • 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!

  6. 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.

    • 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!

  7. 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!

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    • 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!

  10. 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.

    • 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.

  11. 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!

    • 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.

  12. 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,

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