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Macarons Galore Plus New Juice Bar and an Oyster Fest

Monday, 11. August 2014 5:25

Presenting the "Hedwig Schmidt'' macaron. (Photo courtesy of Tout Sweet Patisserie)

Presenting the “Hedwig Schmidt” macaron. (Photo courtesy of Tout Sweet Patisserie)

Glitzy New Macaron from Tout Sweet

Inspired by the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” Tout Sweet of San Francisco has created a limited-edition macaron covered in a riot of edible red glitter.

Pastry Chef-Proprietor Yigit Pura was inspired to make the “Hedwig Schmidt” macaron because the musical’s message of “love and discovering who you really are,” resonated with him.

Named for the title character in the musical, the macaron features a bourbon-orange marmalade ganache with a brandied cherry center. And of course, there’s the glitter, which will leave your lips sparkling.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, Enticing Events, General, New Products, Restaurants | Comments (3) | Author:

Famous Dave’s Wants You to Crank Up the Grill

Friday, 8. August 2014 5:25

My husband's glorious ribs dressed with Famous Dave's rib rub and barbecue sauce.

My husband’s glorious ribs dressed with Famous Dave’s rib rub and Georgia Mustard barbecue sauce.

 

You have to hand it to Dave Anderson.

By his own admission, he wasn’t the best of students. But one thing he did excel at was barbecuing in big fiery wood smokers.

So much so that he started his first barbecue joint in Wisconsin in 1994. Today, he has Famous Dave’s locations throughout more than 35 states. Plus a line of barbecue sauces and rubs, which is what I had a chance to try samples of recently.

With my husband, aka Meat Boy, hankering to cook up a slew of ribs, we gave the Rib Rub ($3.89 for a 5.5-ounce container) a shot. Anderson says his award-winning ribs just wouldn’t be the same without this blend of sugar, salt, habanero powder, smoke flavor and paprika, plus dehydrated onion, carrot, tomatoes, red pepper, and parsley.

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Category:General, New Products | Comments (1) | Author:

Getting Corny For Dinner

Wednesday, 6. August 2014 5:27

Summer on a plate.

Summer on a plate.

 

I have developed a serious corn dependence.

But I can’t be the only one buying fresh corn from the farmers market week in and week out.

Whenever I come within a few steps of the stand with its boxes of just-misted ears and kernels so fresh that they squeak, I succumb.

Typically, I tote them home to char on the grill while still in their husks. Sometimes, I take a knife down the length of them to dislodge the milky kernels to saute with garlic, butter and herbs for a side dish or the makings of a room-temperature salad.

Creamed corn is not something I grew up with. Nor ever craved. But one day, with a load of fresh ears staring up at me, I spied a recipe for “Grilled Lime Chicken with Creamed Corn” that nudged me to get to work in the kitchen.

CulinaryBirds

The recipe is from “Culinary Birds: The Ultimate Poultry Cookbook” (Running Press), of which I received a review copy. The book, by esteemed Chef John Ash, was the recipient of a James Beard Award this year. It includes 170 recipes for a wide range of poultry — from duck and goose to even partridge and dove.

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Category:Chefs, General, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (10) | Author:

Scenes from Eat Drink SF 2014

Monday, 4. August 2014 5:26

CnC Cocktail Company's made-to-order cocktail snow cones.

CnC Cocktail Company’s made-to-order cocktail snow cones.

 

Bourbon, honey, grilled peaches and bitters -- in snow cone form.

Bourbon, honey, grilled peaches and bitters — in snow cone form.

 

It’s got a new name along with new digs.

The annual SF Chefs event was re-dubbed Eat Drink SF for 2014 and moved to the more spacious Fort Mason in San Francisco from its tight quarters underneath a tent pitched on Union Square.

The result?

A three-day event that still showcases the Bay Area’s best chefs, wineries and mixologists — but is far easier to navigate.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, Restaurants | Comments (5) | Author:

Parallel 37 Comes Full Circle

Friday, 1. August 2014 5:26

Guinea hen terrine with eggplant -- on the new tasting menu at Parallel 37.

Guinea hen terrine with eggplant — on the new tasting menu at Parallel 37.

 

San Francisco’s Parallel 37 has done a 360.

Almost.

Two years ago, the once prim, proper and heavily brocaded Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco was jettisoned. So were the tasting menus.

In its place came a sleeker, more modern space, renamed Parallel 37 (after the geographic latitude running near the Bay Area). The tasting menus were eliminated in favor of la carte dining.

But something funny happened along the way. Chef Ron Siegel departed for Michael Mina Restaurant in San Francisco. His successor was Michael Rotondo, who brought back the tasting menus, slowly but surely, and something even more important. Rotondo, former executive chef of Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, convinced his former Windy City colleagues to jump into the fog with him. Besides Rotondo, Parallel 37 now boasts Trotter alums: Sous Chef Mitchell Nordby, Pastry Chef Andrea Correa, and the most recent hire, Restaurant Manager and Sommelier Ryan Stetins. Parallel 37 now boasts more Trotter veterans than any other restaurant in the country.

Rotondo added a tasting menu option early on, but left the a la carte menu, too. But starting in June, the restaurant went to a tasting menu-only format: three courses for $65, five courses for $95, and eight courses for $135. Wine pairings are an additional $40, $55 and $85, respectively.

The contemporary dining room.

The contemporary dining room.

In an homage to Trotter’s famed “kitchen table” dining experience, Rotondo also has added something similar. Guests start the evening inside the kitchen with cocktails and canapes to watch the cooks in action. Then, they are seated at a table next to the kitchen for an eight-course tasting menu with wine pairings. The “Kitchen Table” experience is $250 per person. A minimum of four people is required.

A couple weeks ago, I was invited in to dine as a guest in the main dining room. Parallel 37 is one of the 54 restaurants featured in my debut cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table” (Lyons Press) and it was a kick to see a stack of the books for sale behind the hostess stand.

Thrilled to have the recipe for "Pig 'N' Boots'' in my cookbook, "San Francisco Chef's Table.''

Thrilled to have the recipe for “Pig ‘N’ Boots” in my cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table.”

Of course, I had to start the evening off with a “Pig ‘N’ Boots” ($14), a cocktail created by mixologist Camber Lay and featured in my cookbook. Normally — and particularly when I have a wine pairing yet to come — I take a few sips of a cocktail, but leave the rest. Not this one. It’s amazing that a scotch-based cocktail can be this light and refreshing. Lillet Rose, lavender, yuzu and a fresh grating of cinnamon over the top give it balance, so that it’s not overly boozy tasting but rather floral and tangy instead.

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