Growing up in the West Marin Coast inculcated a love of fresh farm produce in Petaluma native, Chef Austin Perkins. He now brings this love of fresh & natural to Nick’s Cove, Oyster Bar & Cottages. There, Perkins crafts seasonal, sustainable California cuisine with produce, seafood and meat mostly from Marin and Sonoma county farmers, fishermen and creameries.
Perkins has quite an impressive background. He honed his skills at the two-Michelin-starred Cyrus restaurant in Healdsburg, CA, under Executive Chef Douglas Keane. He also graduated from Tante Marie’s Cooking School in San Francisco in 2007.
We asked Chef Perkins to tell us what makes his area so great for food. He told us “I feel so lucky to be cooking in one of the most beautiful places on earth – surrounded by some of the best local farms, seafood, cheese and wine in the country. Using the local bounty of West Marin is first and foremost to my cooking philosophy, so much so that we just started our own on-site farm at Nick’s Cove called Frog Creek Farms. So far we have chickens and an extensive vegetable and herb garden that already supplies all of the leafy greens, herbs and eggs to the restaurant. I think this is the best way to give our guests a real taste Tomales Bay and West Marin, so they may see how flavorful and delicious home-grown food can be.”
Chef Perkins’ goat meatballs are a crowd favorite during the Summer because they are comforting and flavorful. This dish is perfect for autumn because it can be served alone as an appetizer, over pasta, or alongside roasted vegetables. You can even make an amazing meatball sandwich. Chef Perkins makes them using local Rosotti Ranch Goat meat, but if there is no access to goat meat, lamb, pork or beef work just as well. However, if you can get your hands on goat meat, it will be gamier, more flavorful, it just lends a different and and delicious spin on meatballs.
- 2 pounds ground goat meat or lamb
- 2-3 oz ground pork
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and minced
- 1 medium white onion, minced
- 2 stalks of celery, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup toasted breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup (2 oz) McEvoy extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and fresly cracked pepper to taste
- 7 medium leeks, white parts only, split lengthwise, rinsed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes in puree
- 1/2 cup veal stock or low sodium chicken stock
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp toasted and ground coriander
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit
- In large bowl, combine the meatball ingredients and vigorously work with hands until all ingredients are combined. Cook a small amount of mixture in a frying pan and taste for seasoning, adjust as needed. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Using an ice cream scoop to measure the size of the meatballs, begin scooping onto the sheet pan. Place in oven for about ten minutes to sear the outsides.
- In a large heavy pot, heat up one tablespoon of oil. Saute the leeks over low heat until well rendered, 15-20 minutes. Reduce the heat and deglaze with white wine, scraping the bottom of the pot. Add the tomato and vinegar and cook on medium heat to reduce by half. Add the stock and cook again until reduced by half. Add the coriander, chili flakes and salt and pepper to taste.
- In a large heat-proof dish with sides, arrange the meatballs and cover with the sauce. Cover with foil or lid and return to oven, braising for 15-20 minutes until meatballs are cooked through. Serve a la carte topped with olive oil, breadcrumbs and cheese, or serve with pasta.
Nick’s Cove Restaurant is located at 23240 California 1, Marshall, CA 94940
Hours of Operation
Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.
Monday through Friday 11 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Midday Menu 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Daily starting at 5 p.m.
Brunch Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.