Chef Derik Watson of Bistro 82 shares his classic Caesar Salad recipe using hearts of romaine lettuce, lightly tossed with a dressing of garlic, anchovy and citrus, garnished with shaved radish, freshly grated parmesan cheese and homemade herb croutons.

By Derik Watson

Featured photo by “Picture This City”

Derik Watson joined AFB Hospitality Group in 2013, at the onset of the company’s formation. As the corporate executive chef, Chef Derik developed the culinary vision for the group’s restaurant concepts, including Bistro 82, an award-winning modern European bistro, and The Morrie, a neighborhood, “from-scratch” kitchen, serving an eclectic roadhouse-style cuisine.

This delectable Caesar Salad recipe can be found on the menu at Bistro 82 and can be easily replicated in your own kitchen for a light spring meal or side dish.

"Picture This City"

For the Croutons:

Yields:  1 quart


1  quart small diced deli rye

2  sprigs rosemary

4 sprigs thyme

2 tablespoons  olive oil

Salt and black pepper to taste



  1. Pre-heat a conventional oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Chop the herbs fine and toss together with the bread, oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Allow the bread to fully soak up the oil for about 30 minutes.
  4. Arrange the bread on a lined sheet tray and bake, rotating every 5 minutes until the desired color is achieved


For the Caesar Dressing:


3   egg yolks

1.5  cup  canola oil

3  tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 ¾  cup  parmesan cheese

1 tablespoons Worcestershire

1 ½  teaspoons  Dijon

1 ½ teaspoons whole grain

1.5 limes, zested and juiced

1.5 lemons, zested and juiced

4 anchovies

3  cloves of roasted garlic

2 cloves of fresh garlic

1 ½  teaspoons  black pepper, fine


  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor, except the oil.
  2. Pulse a few times to chop the anchovy and garlic.
  3. Slowly drizzle the oil in while food processing, making sure to keep the mixture cool and emulsified.
  4. Season with salt to taste.
Chef Derik Watson Courtesy of Near Perfect Media



Chef Derik Watson spent much of his early career working with famed chef Takashi Yagihashi at many awarded Metro Detroit and Chicago-area restaurants, including Iridescence and Tribute. A natural talent in the kitchen, Chef Derik is making quite a name for himself among area “foodies” and restaurant critics, becoming one of metro Detroit’s most recognized chefs, winning numerous awards, including “Restaurant of the Year” and “Best Chef” from HOUR Detroit Magazine, along with many other accolades recognizing his culinary talent and leadership in the kitchen. Outside of the kitchen, Chef Derik has become incredibly health-conscious, and enjoys cooking lighter and vegetable-rich meals at home with his family and friends.

Eager to try more dishes from Bistro 82? Make a reservation today for Mother’s Day Brunch this Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. by calling 248-542-0082



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