Author Archives: foodgal

Asian-American Food & Film, A Bake-Sale Not To Miss, & More

CAAMFeast17-Save-the-Date

Center for Asian American Media Feast and Fest 2017

Celebrating Asian-American achievements in food, film and music, the Center for Asian American Media presents its 35th annual CAAMFEST, March 9-19.

The film presentations, live music, and food events, which shines a light on new Asian-American talents, takes place in various venues around San Francisco and Oakland, including the Asian Art Museum and the Castro Theatre.

Among the films sure to whet your appetite are: “Sunday Dinner,” directed by Casey Beck, which follows one man’s journey through San Francisco’s Chinatown to pick the most exacting ingredients to cook for a family feast; and “Good Luck Soup,” directed by Matthew Hashiguchi, about what it’s like to grow up mixed-race in a predominantly white neighborhood in Cleveland. Tickets for regular screenings are $12 to $14 each.

CAAMFEST is preceded by CAAMFEAST, March 4 at 6 p.m., in the Green Room at the War Memorial & Performing Arts Center in San Francisco. The evening features tastings from top restaurants, and a multi-media tribute to culinary awards honorees, who this year include Los Angeles Chef Roy Choi of Kogi BBQ and Locol; and the People’s Kitchen Collective of Oakland, which hosts Diaspora Dinners, sliding-scale community meals, and workshops. Tickets are $200 each.

Wine Dinner and Bake-Sale at Zola in Palo Alto

Pastry chef extraordinaire John Shelsta, also known by his Twitter handle of @loveforbutter, will be hosting one of his not-to-be-missed bake sales at Zola in downtown Palo Alto, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 25.

Pineapple-filled kouign-amanns. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Pineapple-filled kouign-amanns. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Shelsta has trained with some of the best around, including William Werner of Craftsman and Wolves in San Francisco, and Belinda Leong of B. Patisserie in San Francisco. It’s from the latter that he learned to make his gossamer, crackling sugary kouign-amanns. The traditional Brittany pastry is like a croissant folded upon itself with layers of sugar in between.

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Sweet on Roasted Banana-Peanut Butter Cream Pie

A slice of heaven for Valentine's Day.

A slice of heaven for Valentine’s Day.

 

Chocolate and long-stemmed roses signify Valentine’s Day to many.

For me, though, it’s all about banana cream pie.

You see, when I was dating my husband, he actually took the time and effort to make a banana cream pie for the first time just to surprise me. To understand how out of character that is, just consider that his nickname is Meat Boy, not Pie Boy. Grilling and smoking mega hunks of meat is second nature to him. But making pastries and desserts? Honestly, most times he’d rather eat a second helping of meat than end a meal with a sweet. So, when I saw him turn on the oven and pull out the butter, sugar and flour to mix the dough, it was a shock.

A beaut of a pie.

A beaut of a pie.

What made it even more memorable? He made it and then took the cream pie proudly to my parents’ house to share with them.

Now, that’s love.

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Chocolate and Tequila For Valentine’s Day

It's like two treats in one.

It’s like two treats in one.

 

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, TCHO, Berkeley’s bean-to-bar chocolate maker, has injected a little boozy fun and deliciousness into its artisan bars.

It has teamed with Jose Cuervo to add that renowned spirits maker’s reserve tequila, Reserva de la Familia, into TCHO’s distinctive tile chocolates.

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“Taste of Yosemite” 2017

Pretty in white.

Pretty in white.

 

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA — After five years of drought, the snow was back and the waterfalls gushing like crazy this winter in this spectacular national park (click on the Instagram video below).

The Ahwahnee may now be known as the Majestic Yosemite (because its former concessionaire Delaware North claims it owns the park’s historic names after trademarking them); and the former “Chefs’ Holidays” event is now referred to as “Taste of Yosemite.” But no matter what you call it, a bevy of stellar chefs were more than happy to be back for this 32nd year, and yours truly was once again the moderator for the two closing sessions of this annual gourmet event.

Every year, I get a chance to meet newcomers who are not only attending their first gala dinner event here, but visiting the park for the very first time, too. That’s coupled with regulars, some of whom have been attending this glorious event for more than seven years.

Rhythm in motion @yosemitenps @yosemite

A video posted by Carolyn Jung (@food_gal_carolyn) on

Each sessions features three chefs or gourmet purveyors who each do a cooking demo. There’s a wine reception where you can mingle with the chefs. And every session ends with a gala five-course dinner prepared by one of the visiting chefs.

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Salad Days with Citrus, Honey, and Rosemary Vinaigrette

Fresh rosemary and a load of citrus make up this bright, zesty vinaigrette.

Fresh rosemary and a load of citrus make up this bright, zesty vinaigrette.

 

My husband jokes that I was never one of those girls — the kind that orders only a small salad on a date and barely pick at it.

Oh no, I always ordered heartily and lustily. I never made a secret of my boundless appetite.

That’s not to say I don’t eat salad or appreciate them. Because I surely do.

They are such a creative canvas for all manner of greens, grains, garnishes and dressings. And their emphasis on fresh veggies speaks to the California gal in me.

“Best Dressed” (Chronicle Books) is just the book for a salad lover like me. The new cookbook, of which I received a review copy, is by Adam Ried, the Boston Globe Magazine cooking columnist; and Dawn Yanagihara, a former test-kitchen director and senior director for Cook’s Illustrated.

BestDressedcookbook

Inside, you’ll find 35 recipes for dressings, 10 for toppings, and 10 for composed salads. The composed salad recipes will give you new ideas for combinations such as “Roasted Carrot, Broccolini, and Chicken Salad with Tahini, Lemon and Harissa Dressing” and “Grilled Steak and Radicchio Salad with Asian Pear and Pinot Noir Vinaigrette.”

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