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Chris Crary’s Biscuits & Gravy

The final product

Top Chef‘s hunkiest competitor, Chris Crary of Whist in Santa Monica, first worked as a breakfast cook in his Ohio hometown, and his favorite foods growing up came from the kitchen of his Tennessee grandmother. So when we asked him for his favorite recipe for the new year, it had to be his grandmother’s biscuits and gravy. We don’t think the beautiful people who fill Whist’s patio indulge in these often, but we’re sure planning to make them for our next Sunday brunch treat. As the photo at right suggests, split the biscuits in half and spoon some sausage gravy on top before serving.

Here's what the dough should look like.

8 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup shredded parmesan
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
4 sprigs thyme, chopped
1 tablespoon honey powder (optional)
3 cups buttermilk
12 ounces butter (3 sticks), cubed, extra cold
1 ounce butter, melted

In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, parmesan, salt, pepper, thyme and honey powder if you have it. Stir in buttermilk until combined. Gently mix in butter, but leave it in chunks in the flour mixture—this is very important, because it makes the biscuits flaky. Put mixture on the counter and lightly roll out, but do not overwork the dough or press it too much. It should be rather dry and separated. Gently pack it together and cut out circles with a cutter or coffee cup. Place onto a buttered pan, and make sure the biscuits are all touching. Brush a bit of melted butter atop each biscuit. Bake at 325 degrees until golden brown on top, 16 to 20 minutes.

Sausage Gravy
1 pound mildly seasoned pork or chicken sausage, crumbled
1 small white onion, diced
4 ounces butter (1 stick)
1 cup all-purpose flour
8 cups whole milk, cold
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
4 sprigs thyme, chopped

Brown sausage and onion together over medium heat. It is important to really cook down the sausage until it and the onions are caramelized. Add butter, and once it is melted, stir in flour and cook on low heat for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in cold milk. Add salt, pepper and thyme. Simmer on low heat for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring constantly so it doesn’t scorch.

Chris Crary



2 Responses for “Chris Crary’s Biscuits & Gravy”

  1. Brenda Harris says:

    Hey Chris. Is this your Grandma Dula’s recipe???? I ate her gravy and biscuits many many times. They were sooooo good. She also made some awesome beef and noodles. Actually when we all used to gather at the farm, she would cook up the best stuff. Maybe thats where you got some of your talent from. She was a great cook AND person.

  2. MyLastBite says:

    My death-bed meal… of course it would be awesome if Chris made it for me!


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