Author Archives: foodgal

Nutty for Zena’s Sass Sauces

Shrimp with Zena's Sass Sassy Almond-Sesame Sauce.

Shrimp with Zena’s Sass Sassy Almond-Sesame Sauce.

 

These sauces definitely have sass.

So does their creator.

Zena’s Sass are nut-based artisan sauces made in Santa Cruz that are vegan, gluten-free and low-glycemic.

They’re made by Zena Krakowsky, who ran her own restaurant, C.B. White’s, and bakery, Zena’s Bakery-Cafe & Catering, both in Truckee.

Even after selling those businesses, fans of her almond-sesame and peanut-sesame sauces continued to clamor for them, even bringing their own empty salad dressing bottles to her door, hoping to get them filled.

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Chef Sachin Chopra Returns to His Repertoire with All Spice San Francisco

A stunning octopus dish at the new All Spice San Francisco.

A stunning octopus dish at the new All Spice San Francisco.

 

Having enjoyed quite a few wonderful meals at the Michelin-starred All Spice, tucked inside a charming Victorian house in San Mateo, I was intrigued to see what Chef-Owner Sachin Chopra and his wife, Shoshana Wolff, had in store when they took over the legendary Masa’s spot in San Francisco last year.

When I learned it would be called Game, and specialize in wild game, I admit I was surprised. Not because Chopra doesn’t have the talent to pull off such a radically different turn, but because I feared it would be a hard sell among Bay Area diners who worship at the altar of local and sustainable, rather than exotica flown in from all parts of the world.

Game was intended to be playful and energetic with its surreal paintings of animals in costumes. But having visited as a guest of the restaurant when it first opened, the vibe was actually quite formal feeling with a white-jacketed host and a hushed environment. When you have a menu featuring turtle, venison, boar and a load of other meat, the place almost cries out for a bodacious dose of bold and brash — kind of along the lines of what Chef Chris Cosentino created at Cockscomb in San Francisco.

Chopra and Wolff rolled the dice with Game, but didn’t end up with a winner. However, they were smart enough to re-evaluate after a few short months. The result is the transformation of Game into All Spice San Francisco.

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Scenes From the Inaugural BITE Silicon Valley

"Top Chef'' winner Brian Voltaggio hamming it up with his crew at BITE Silicon Valley. Gee, can you guess why his Los Angeles restaurants are called Ink and Ink.Sack?

“Top Chef” winner Michael Voltaggio hamming it up with his crew at BITE Silicon Valley. Gee, can you guess why his Los Angeles restaurants are called Ink and Ink.Sack?

 

If ever there was a place where food and technology intersect, it’s Silicon Valley.

So it was only apropos that the inaugural BITE Silicon Valley extravaganza be held this past weekend at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

The three-day affair brought together some of the country’s most famed chefs, cutting-edge food entrepreneurs, food scientists and food activists to not only talk about how technology has impacted food, but to offer delicious tastes of their work.

Food and technology -- not football -- were the focus of attention this past weekend.

Food and technology — not football — were the focus of attention this past weekend.

Event chair Jose Andres, renowned chef and founder of the ThinkFoodGroup, spoke passionately about how his humanitarian organization, World Central Kitchen, has worked in developing countries to bring about more efficient and safer cooking methods.

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Join the Food Gal and Chef Kha Lu of Hay Market Restaurant for A Macy’s Demo

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Welcome Chef Kha Lu of Hay Market restaurant in San Jose’s Willow Glen neighborhood to the culinary kitchen at Macy’s Valley Fair, 2 p.m. June 20.

Lu, who also operated the popular Kansui Ramen pop-up inside that restaurant, will join me to cook up one of his specialties. You’ll get to taste the dish, plus take home the recipe.

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Oatmeal Tête–À–Tête

Oatmeal for dinner -- a comfort dish even naysayers will love.

Oatmeal for dinner — a comfort dish even naysayers will love.

 

A typical day at my house:

(Rip, rustle, rustle, as I open a package that arrived in the mail, this one containing sample tins of Flahavan’s Irish Steel Cut Oatmeal.)

Me to my husband: “Oh, look, it’s oatmeal! You like oatmeal, right?”

My husband: (Snorts, shrugs.) “Eh, yeah.”

After all, he eats it for breakfast at least a couple times a week. But of course, I’m in the mood to do something different with it.

Me: “Guess what I’m going to do! I’m going to make savory oatmeal for dinner with it!”

My husband: “WHY?!?!?

Me: “You cook it like risotto. That sounds really good, doesn’t it?”

My husband: (Makes a face, shrugs, looks at me cross-eyed.) “If you must…”

Yup, that response is typical, too, whenever I want to cook up something a little different from the norm. But at least he’s a good sport about it, right? Well, sort of.

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