Maria Vieages, a private chef and culinary teacher in Sonoma County, will be featured on an episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters on Vacation,” airing at 8:30 p.m. June 8 on the HGTV network.

    On the show,  families are given the chance to stay in a vacation home of their dreams. In this episode, a young man and woman who want to take their relationship to the next level invite both of their mothers, who are meeting for the first time, to stay with them in a Sonoma villa.  The villa was arranged by Beautiful Places of Sonoma (  Vieages serves as the family’s private chef.   

   A fiery, New Orleans native of Sicilian and Portuguese descent, Vieages moved to Wine Country after Hurricane Katrina closed her restaurant and uprooted her life. Here is a global appetizer from the talented global chef, who teaches at the Ginger Grille at G& G Market in Santa Rosa. For more information, go to

Sea Scallop on Green Apple with Vanilla Oil

Serves 4 as appetizers

4 large scallops

2 medium-size Granny Smith apples, peeled and grated

1 tablespoon butter plus  1 teaspoon butter  

1 vanilla bean, scraped and infused in olive oil overnight

4 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of 1 lime

½ teaspoon honey

Szechuan pepper


Zest of 1 lime

Prepare the vanilla oil by scraping the beans and adding it along with the rest of the pod to the olive oil. Place in an airtight container and let it infuse overnight.

Grate the apple and remove extra juice. Add 1 teaspoon of lime juice to prevent the pulp from staining. Add honey and salt

Pat scallops dry. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in sauté pan on high heat. Sauté the scallops in butter  until both sides turn golden brown but are still moist in the center.

Melt 1 teaspoon butter in a small pan, then add apple for 30 seconds, just to warm it up.

Remove scallops, adjust seasoning with salt and Szechuan pepper. Place 2 tablespoons of apple mixture on each plate, add one scallop on top of each and drizzle with vanilla oil. Garnish with lime zests.

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