Author Archives: foodgal

A Fondness For Farro Torta

A most versatile torta filled with eggs, veggies, fresh herbs and nutty farro.

A most versatile torta filled with eggs, veggies, fresh herbs and nutty farro.

 

Is it a frittata? Or a quiche?

It’s a hybrid that is definitely authentic.

After all, “Farro Torta” comes from the new cookbook, “Autentico: Cooking Italian, the Authentic Way” (St. Martin’s), of which I received a review copy.

It’s by Rolando Beramendi, founder of Italian fine food importer Manicaretti, who splits his time between San Francisco, New York and Florence. His expertise on all things Italian has been lauded by the likes of Ina Garten, Alice Waters, Thomas Keller, and Nancy Silverton.

autentico-cover-web

As he writes in the intro of the book: “I cook food in its most authentic form. I cook to break preconceived notions of what food should be — no overcrowded plates, no recipes with too many disparate ingredients, no out-of-season ingredients, no need for a lot of equipment. I make no-fuss food for my guests and myself that nourishes both hearts and our stomachs.”

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Move Over Ramen; Make Way For Marugame Udon

Feast on Sanuki-style noodles at the first Marugame Udon in Northern California.

Feast on Sanuki-style noodles at the first Marugame Udon in Northern California.

 

You might expect crowd control ropes outside a swank night club, a rock concert venue or even an Apple store poised for a new iPhone release.

But for an udon cafeteria-style restaurant?

Yet that’s just what you’ll find outside the Marukame Udon on Waikiki in Honolulu, with throngs of people lined up to get inside, no matter what day or night.

Now, Bay Area folks can get a taste of this noodle sensation, with the opening last week of the first branch of this worldwide Japanese noodle chain in San Francisco at the Stonestown Galleria. It’s only the second one on the mainland, with the other being in Los Angeles.

The entrance is on the outside of the mall.

The entrance is on the outside of the mall.

Gotta love the T-shirts that workers wear.

Gotta love the T-shirts that workers wear.

Time will tell if the San Francisco outpost surpasses the Waikiki one, which is the highest grossing location for the company.

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Brunch Time At The Incomparable Clove and Hoof

Now, that's a burger -- at Clove and Hoof.

Now, that’s a burger — at Clove and Hoof.

 

What’s better than a neighborhood artisan butcher shop that takes care to sell sustainably raised beef, pork, lamb, chicken, rabbit, and duck?

One that also spotlights its prime products in delicious dishes for brunch, lunch and dinner.

Clove and Hoof in Oakland is such a place. The light-filled, hip butcher shop and restaurant is owned by John Blevins and Analiesa Gosnell. It’s the kind of place you wish every neighborhood could be so lucky to have.

The casual spot gets crowded at brunch, so be warned that you may have to wait in line. My husband and I lucked out when we arrived on a Sunday morning, right before the crowds. You order at the counter, find a seat, and wait for the food to be brought out to you.

Place your brunch order at the counter -- or pick up provisions to cook at home.

Place your brunch order at the counter — or pick up provisions to cook at home.

The C&H signature burger ($14) is a whopper, weighing in with two four-ounce patties, caramelized onion jam, pimento cheese, chopped romaine, bread and butter pickles, and pickle mayo — all wedged inside a soft potato pepper bun.

Be sure to get plenty of napkins because this is a dripper — loaded with deeply beefy juices.

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The 34th Annual “Taste of Yosemite” — Plus A Change to the Next Scheduled One

The Majestic Yosemite Hotel in all its majesty.

The Majestic Yosemite Hotel in all its majesty.

 

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA — There may not have been snow here last week, but there was plenty else to ignite the senses.

A bevy of celebrated chefs took to the stage and kitchen in the 34th annual “Taste of Yosemite” at the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (ahem, yes, the Ahwahnee to sentimental folks like myself).

I was thrilled to be the guest moderator/host at the first two sessions of this winter-time bonanza that features cooking demos and grand gala dinners.

Chef David Bazirgan of Bambara in Cambridge, making a return to California, where he cooked for 13 years.

Chef David Bazirgan of Bambara in Cambridge, making a return to California, where he cooked for 13 years.

Chef David Bazirgan's tasting of hummus, eggplant puree, and cashew romesco.

Chef David Bazirgan’s tasting of hummus, eggplant puree, and cashew romesco.

For 34 years, the event has taken place throughout January. But look for the 35th one to break tradition.

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Join the Food Gal and the Team From Menlo Grill & Bar For A Cooking Demo

MacysSalRomero

 

Come hungry, thirsty and inquisitive to Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara, 2 p.m Jan. 20, when the team from Menlo Grill & Bar joins me for a cooking demo.

Executive Chef Saul Romero, who heads the restaurant at the Stanford Park Hotel in Menlo Park, previously cooked at the tech cafes at Google, eBay, and PayPal. He’ll be showing how to jazz up wild King salmon with walnut chimichurri and roasted butternut squash.

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