Scenes From the Food Gal’s Cooking Demo At Macy’s Union Square

Yours truly with Chef Earl Shaddix of All-Clad. (Photo courtesy of Barry and Eva Jan)

It was an unbelievable standing room-only crowd a couple of Saturday afternoons ago at Macy’s Union Square San Francisco, when I did my first cooking demo ever.

Chef Earl Shaddix of All-Clad was on hand to act as host and assistant, when I demonstrated how to make my late-Mom’s one and only tomato beef chow mein.

The event was crazy fun. It was a blast. And it was downright exhausting. I was so pooped that I joked to some of my cookbook-author friends afterward that I don’t know how they do these all the time without keeling over.

The day was a total whirlwind. The event started at 2 p.m., but I got there two hours earlier in order to make two batches of the dish ahead of time to ensure there was plenty for samples and to prep for the third batch, which I would make in front of the audience. From the second I got there, it was non-stop chopping, peeling, stirring and talking — until I finally left the store at 4 p.m. to go back home. Whew!

There were a few unexpected surprises: Macy’s had only olive oil in its otherwise well-stocked kitchen, rather than the vegetable, peanut or canola oil I normally use in this Chinese dish. And my requested can of stewed tomatoes was accidentally replaced by crushed tomatoes. No matter, we made it all work just fine.

The crowd on a Saturday afternoon at Macys SF. (Photo courtesy of Barry and Eva Jan)

Since my hands were otherwise occupied, I couldn’t take any photos. But Macy’s regulars, Barry and Eva Jan, who attend every demo and photograph each one just for fun, were kind enough to send me the images you see here. My husband, aka Meat Boy, also videotaped the demo. It’s the first time he’s ever taped anything, too. Look for video snippets to be posted  in the near future.

A huge thanks to everyone who made my inaugural demo so enjoyable and memorable.

After boiling and seasoning the fresh Chinese egg noodles, I start to crisp them.

The noodles are divided into two saute pans to crisp them up more efficiently.

Onions, bell pepper, fresh tomatoes and ginger go into the wok.

Next, the stewed tomatoes are added (or crushed tomatoes in this case) to help create a velvety sauce. The seared flank steak is also added.

After the noodles go in, serve immediately to enjoy their crisp texture before they soften too much in the thick sauce.

Samples are passed out to the crowd.

Looks tasty, doesn't it?

The glamour shot of tomato beef chow mein with some of the ingredients that went into the dish.

More: The Recipe for My Mom’s Tomato Beef Chow Mein

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Date: Wednesday, 29. June 2011 5:25
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Asian Recipes, Enticing Events, General, Ginger, More Food Gal -- In Person

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  1. 1

    Way to go, Carolyn – Sorry I couldn’t be there. The chow mein looks great!

  2. 2

    Bravo my dear. You did a fantastic job! I was so happy to see a packed audience. :)

  3. 3

    Brava, Carolyn The pix clearly show it was a successful demo (extra props for featurng your Mom’s fawn keh gnow yook chow mein!). Should you consider replicating that demo one day on the Peninsula—like Sonoma-Williams@Stanford Shopping Center. I’d camp out overnight to secure a good viewing spot! ;0)

  4. 4

    Nice job, chef Carolyn!

  5. 5

    Next time if you need a sous chef, just let me know! ;-)

  6. 6

    oh what a fun event!

  7. 7

    Great Job Carolyn! Sounds like a great fun event. The chow mein looks so appetizing and appealing from all those nice colors of the onions, bell peppers and tomatoes. I’m craving to make some…mmm

  8. 8

    Yay for a successful “first”, and here’s to many more!

    And those are some mighty generous-looking samples! Kudos to Macy’s for hosting your debut :-)

  9. 9

    Congrats, Carolyn! You look great.

    Kuching has its own version, called “tomato mee” but it doesn’t use real tomatoes – it’s a ketchup-based sauce. :-P I think I’d prefer yours with all the whole veggies.

  10. 10

    Wow! The food demo looks very exciting! Too bad I miss the event :( why not you do one around South Bay? ;p

  11. 11

    Tami: Thanks for coming out to the demo. Was so fun to see a couple of familiar faces in the crowd.

    Single Guy Ben: Do you do dishes, too? Just teasing. ;)

    TigerFish: Stay tuned. A South Bay one may very well be in the works, possibly in the fall.

  12. 12

    Wow, for a first demo that’s quite a venue! Congrats, that had to have been so much fun.

  13. 13

    Yum! That looks so delicious Carolyn! And you look so confident and natural up there too! Well done! :D

  14. 14

    Woot woot! You rock, Carolyn! Congrats on a successful demo. You may have felt tired, but you certainly didn’t look it!

  15. 15

    Aww man that looks so fun! If I lived in SF I would have totally gone to see it. :) Great job!

  16. 16

    Oh my, how fun! I attended a session at Macy’s last summer when I was in SF but it would have been so much better had you been there giving it!

  17. 17

    Congrats on the successful event!

  18. 18

    how exciting! i’ve seen some pretty terrible demos in my day (and given a few, actually), but i’ll bet yours was absolutely impressive.

  19. 19

    I’m sorry to have missed it, it sounds amazing and of course your mom’s recipe sounds special and delicious.

  20. 20

    Look at you with your microphone headset! You are a pro!! When’s your show on Food Network??? Congrats to you!

  21. Barry & Eva Jan
    Monday, 4. July 2011 20:16

    It was great fun taking pictures of your first
    cooking demo at Macy’s Cellar. May we do it again in the near future.

  22. 22

    Congratulations! Looks like you had a lot of fun and yes, these things are exhausting but exciting.

  23. 23

    oh how did I miss this? I’m glad you posted this and the delicious sounding recipe, but I’m so chagrined that I didn’t get to see this in person, and with single guy in tow… congrats tho, looks like an awesome time!

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