Dig into Anthony Bourdain’s easy and classically wonderful wedge salad on Bourdain Day.
I am not normally one to pay much heed to National Fettuccine Alfredo Day, National Onion Rings Day, National Chop Suey Day or any other rather bogus food holiday of the like.
But when esteemed chefs Eric Ripert and Jose Andres declared June 25 to be “Anthony Bourdain Day,” I was all in.
Close friends of the author, chef, television host, cultural pundit, and larger-than-life icon, they wanted to honor Bourdain on what would have been his 63rd birthday. Tragically, the much-loved Bourdain too his own life last year.
“Bourdain Day” was thus ordained to honor a man who traveled the world to parts unknown, and in the process, introduced us intimately to people and places we never would have seen in quite the same fresh, nuanced way.
Sublime fish and chips at Tony’s Seafood.
Marshall, on the northeast shore of Tomales Bay, is not a quick hop, skip and a jump for most of us to get to. But if you make the trek, often along a narrow, twisty road, depending upon the route you take, you will be deliciously rewarded. Much like the end of a rainbow, what awaits is gold.
Or Tony’s Seafood to be exact.
The throwback seafood shack on Highway 1 founded in 1948 by a local fisherman. Last year, the venerable Hog Island Oyster Company, just up the road, took it over, embarking on a massive renovation that shored it up yet kept its seafaring spirit.
The old-school seafood shack has new owners.
How’s that for a view?
It reopened earlier this spring. I had a chance to check it out at a media luncheon held on a warm, sunny day — the kind this place was made for.
Tony’s Seafood sits on pilings, jutting out into the blue water. When you dine here, you feel like you’re floating in the sea.
Pork jowl in mole verde at La Calenda.
When Thomas Keller first let wind that he was going to open a Mexican restaurant in Yountville, the response was immediate: lots of eye rolling and sarcastic remarks.
But like Rick Bayless in Chicago, Keller soon proved this gringo knew exactly what he was doing. Keller may not have made exhaustive trips to Mexico to immerse himself in the intricacies of the cuisine. But he did the next best thing; he hired a chef de cuisine with impeccable credentials and know-how, Kaelin Ulrich Trilling, who was raised in Oaxaca by his mother, Susana Trilling, the noted culinary teacher who owns the cooking school, Seasons of My Heart in Mexico.
As a result, Keller’s La Calenda, which opened in January, is a triumph.
I finally had a chance to check it out a month ago, when I dined at lunch, paying my own tab at the end.
Housed in the former Hurley’s.
La Calenda is mere steps away on Washington Street from Keller’s other establishments: The French Laundry, Bouchon Bistro, Bouchon Bakery, Ad Hoc, Ad Hoc Addendum, and the group’s lush culinary garden.
The former Hurley’s has been transformed into an airy, colorful space reminiscent of a Mexican hacienda.
Everyday sausages turn special with a topping of Red Duck Curry Ketchup.
With summer weather comes prime condiment season.
Red Duck has got you covered, no matter what you’re grilling.
The Portland, OR-company makes a range of ketchups, barbecue sauces and taco sauces, all gluten-free and certified organic. The tomatoes used are all grown in California’s Central Valley, too, picked ripe in season from late-June through July.
The business is the brainchild of four MBA students who were studying at the University of Oregon when they came up with the idea for the condiments for a class project. The name “Red Duck” takes its name from the color of ketchup, their first product, plus the mascot of their college.
There are 11 products now, sold either separately or in trio samplers: “Quite Traditional” (Original Ketchup, Approachably Mild Taco Sauce, and Smoked Applewood Molasses BBQ Sauce); “So Unique” (Curry Ketchup, Uniquely Korean Taco Sauce, and Sweet Mustard Peppercorn BBQ Sauce); and “Fairly Spicy” (Spicy Ketchup, Actually Spicy Taco Sauce, and Hot Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce).
Garlicky and tangy chicken adobo — done on the grill.
Anyone of Filipino heritage will tell you that everyone has their own rendition of adobo, the classic home-style dish that gets its punchy flavor from copious amounts of garlic, soy sauce, and sharp vinegar.
Now comes Jamie Purviance’s version. And naturally, what makes this one special is that it’s grilled rather than simmered or braised like traditional adobo.
After all, as Weber’s master griller for 20 years, the Northern California-based Purviance can’t resist cooking most anything over gas or charcoal.
“Barbecued Chicken Adobo” is from his new cookbook, “Weber’s Ultimate Grilling: A Step-by-Step Guide to Barbecue Genius” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), of which I received a review copy.
This barbecue bible features more than 100 recipes. Best yet, each recipe is illustrated clearly with step-by-step instructional photos.