Not your regular oil and vinegar…

I recently held a cooking demonstration at Con’ Olio, a local olive oil and balsamic vinegar retail store. Most people, I found, see oil and vinegar as fixed in terms of use and versatility. However, true extra virgin olive oil and Italian balsamic vinegar (from Modena) are each unique in their own rights and can be extremely resourceful both in taste and in cooking applicability. There are many different types of extra virgin olive oils coming not only from different countries but also from different olives within the same country (examples include Portuguese Arbequina or Italy’s Nocellara). Additionally, there are infused olive oils that are fantastic to cook with! These are not the herb infused oil or vinegars you see at the big box stores that have a rosemary or tarragon leaf inside the bottle. These oils are infused during the olive pressing stage thus truly infusing the product. Some of my favorites include California garlic (drizzled on sautéed potatoes), Meyer Lemon (drizzled on steamed spinach), and Natural Butter (yes butter!) drizzled on grilled asparagus. As you can see the pairings between oil and food are endless and fun!

On average, North Americans are just not that familiar with the flavors of extra virgin olive oil and authentic balsamic vinegar. This lack of familiarity has nothing to do with a lack of interest here in the States. It is more so due to the very limited exposure of these products which can be very hard to find in US grocery stores. If you’re a food lover like me, you may be wondering where to get these oils. Just go to Con’ Olio, the local olive oil and balsamic vinegar retail store and tasting bar. They import only the finest and freshest oils and vinegars from artisans and small batch producers ranging from California, Chile, Australia, to Spain, Greece and Italy.

At Con’ Olio, you can sample a wide variety of high quality oils and vinegars straight from the taps of stainless steel Fusti containers. If you want to take some home they can then custom fill bottles of the oils and vinegars you just tasted, enabling a unique customer experience no other store in Austin can offer! As a coffee lover, one of my favorite new finds is Con’ Olio’s Espresso Balsamic vinegar. Below is a recipe I came up with using the vinegar to make a sauce with pork tenderloin. Try it out and email me your feedback!

Mustard and Espresso Balsamic pork medallions

The addition of coffee to the balsamic adds layers of authentic espresso flavor making it a fantastic glaze or barbecue base for pork, beef or chicken. I recently used this glaze with some tomato base and lacquered it onto my country style grilled ribs. Needless to say my friends and I devoured the food!


  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup Con’Olio Espresso balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons orange blossom honey
  • 4-6 tablespoons Marisol Estate evoo
  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin – sliced into ½” thick medallions


  1. Put garlic and rosemary in a small bowl. Add vinegar, honey, olive oil, mustard, and salt and pepper, to taste, and stir to combine. Taste and adjust if needed.
  2. Add oil to a very hot sauté pan. Season pork medallions with salt/pepper. Add the pork slices in 1 layer and sear for 1 minute on each side, until lightly browned.
  3. Transfer slices to a dish. Continue with the next batch until all are done.
  4. Add medallions back into a larger/deep pan and, over med-high heat, pour glaze over pork and turn to coat. Bring to a boil and then simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes until cooked through. The meat should be warm. If the sauce is not thick enough, take the pork out (tented) and continue reducing glaze on higher heat.
  5. Remove from the heat and keep warm, loosely covered with foil until ready to serve.
  6. To serve place pork medallions on a platter and spoon the glaze over them. Enjoy!

If any of you attempt to make the pork recipe and experience difficulty or success, please email me back with feedback. I would love to hear from you! If you would like more of my personal recipes or information regarding my chef services, please feel free to contact me at 512.970.2200 or at You can also visit my website at