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The Farmer and The Fox — And One Glorious Meal

Wednesday, 24. December 2014 5:26

Popovers to absolutely, positively die for -- at The Farmer and The Fox.

Popovers to absolutely, positively die for — at The Farmer and The Fox.

 

As I sit down to the most incredible popovers of my life, it’s hard to believe I once rifled around to score discounted clothing and purses in this very same spot.

Yes, the buildings that make up the long-closed St. Helena Outlet Mall, which once housed Escada, DKNY, Coach and Brooks Brothers, have been redeveloped into decidedly new enterprises that surprisingly look like they were there all along.

Cairdean Estate now owns the property,which is lighted by strings of white lights and a glowing circular, tiered fountain. The buildings have been repurposed to include a wine tasting room, a mercantile (to open in the next few months), Butterscots Bakery, and The Farmer and The Fox. It is the latter that has drawn me to visit. Opened in June, this elegant riff on an English pub is headed by Chef Joseph Humphrey, formerly of the Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena, Murray Circle in Sausalito and Dixie in San Francisco.

The redone property that used to be an outlet mall.

The redone property that used to be an outlet mall.

The English pub-vibe of the bar.

The English pub-vibe of the bar.

The focal-point wine cellar.

The focal-point wine cellar.

Humphrey, who earned two Michelin stars at Meadowood, was cooking at a special event off-site on the November evening I was invited as a guest to try the restaurant. But you wouldn’t have known, because the food was still exceptional.

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Category:Chefs, General, Restaurants | Comments (1) | Author:

The Cookie That Eats Like A Chip

Monday, 22. December 2014 5:26

Take a look at how thin these cookies are.

Take a look at how thin these cookies are.

 

Cookie Chips bills itself as the cookie that eats like a chip.

Indeed, the round, wafer-slim cookies are as crisp and thin as potato chips. They’re as addictive, too.

Founder and Pastry Chef Joanne Adirim got the idea for them after her kids inhaled some just-baked cookies like a bag of potato chips.

The Gardena, CA company, HannahMax is named for her two children. It makes five flavors: Original, Cinnamon Sugar, Chocolate Chip, Sea Salted Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip.

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Category:General, New Products | Comments (3) | Author:

Mixx Adds to the Mix of Downtown Mountain View

Friday, 19. December 2014 5:27

Pork belly buns arrive in their own little steamer at Mixx in Mountain View.

Pork belly buns arrive in their own little steamer at Mixx in Mountain View.

 

It was a shame when the short-lived Palo Alto Grill shuttered its doors earlier this year in downtown Palo Alto.

But the good news is that its Executive Chef Ryan Shelton has landed just a little farther south at the new Mixx in downtown Mountain View. The casual restaurant, which opened in September, is a much larger venue. So much so that Shelton is still amazed that he’s often doing 300 covers in one night now.

His signature seasonal New American cooking is much on display. His wife, Pastry Chef Yoomi Shelton, who worked alongside him at the Palo Alto Grill, is not in the kitchen here. But her presence is still felt, such as in the addictive homemade pretzels baked in the shape of a wheat stalk here that’s her recipe.

On a sunny afternoon, you can enjoy lunch outside.

On a sunny afternoon, you can enjoy lunch outside.

Over lunch and dinner with two different friends, I had a chance to try quite a few dishes. Each time, we paid our tab at the end of the meal. You can make a meal from the small plates alone. But there are plenty of larger plates worth investigating, too.

Maybe it’s my Chinese heritage, but I can never resist a pork belly bao. Here, they’re billed as sliders ($12) and come three to an order. The pillowy clamshell buns are filled with big pieces of pork belly that are nicely crispy on the edges. The meat isn’t as fatty as other pork belly I’ve had, which may be a boon to some who feel guilty enough indulging in such a decadent porcine cut.

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Category:Chefs, General, Restaurants | Comments (4) | Author:

A Passion for Pickled Persimmons

Wednesday, 17. December 2014 5:27

Just pickle it. Persimmons, that is.

Just pickle it. Persimmons, that is.

 

This is one of those home-made treats that makes people take notice.

It adds just a little something special to a charcuterie or cheese platter. And it makes for an eye-opening host/hostess gift.

Now’s the time to get acquainted with “Pickled Persimmons.”

I shamelessly admit I got the idea for making these from Chef Bradley Ogden when I recently dined at his new Bradley’s Fine Diner in Menlo Park. His pickled persimmons accompanied slabs of country pate. The duo together was so good I practically couldn’t stop eating it.

I learned from Ogden only that he used vinegar and Fuyu persimmons (the squat variety that can be enjoyed while still crunchy unlike the Haichiya type that must be eaten only when squishy ripe).

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Category:Fruit, General, Recipes (Savory), Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (7) | Author:

Anderson Seafoods French Sturgeon Caviar and A Food Gal Giveaway

Monday, 15. December 2014 5:27

Oh yah, this is how I like to celebrate.

Oh yah, this is how I like to celebrate.

 

If any food has celebration written all over it, it’s caviar, isn’t it?

First, it’s the anticipation that comes with the opening of the tiny jar or tin. Second, the delicate handling of it with a mother of pearl spoon so as not to impart any unwanted metallic taste. Third, the arranging of the accoutrements of minced onion, hard-boiled egg and sour cream on teeny, pillowy pancakes. And fourth — well, it’s the price. Let’s face it, if caviar cost the same as popcorn, we’d be eating it all the time. Instead, it’s a splurge, leaving it reserved for only the most special of occasions.

With Christmas and New Year’s Eve coming up, now’s the time to indulge if you can. I did just that when I a chance to try a sample 2-ounce jar of French Sturgeon Caviar from Southern California’s Anderson Seafoods.

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Category:Enticing Events, General, Seafood | Comments (10) | Author: