Category Archives: Chefs

Take A Taste of the Impossible and Beyond Meat Burgers

Sampling a slider-size of the Impossible Burger at Jardiniere before its public launch.

Sampling a slider-size of the Impossible Burger at Jardiniere before its public launch.

 

What is a burger without meat?

Diehard carnivores might answer, “A travesty.”

But even they might change their minds after a bite of the Impossible Burger and the Beyond Meat Burger. Both are entirely plant-based patties that closely mimic beef burgers. And both are now available in the Bay Area for vegetarians and the curious to enjoy.

Impossible Burger is the creation of Redwood City’s Impossible Foods. It is fashioned from wheat, coconut oil, potatoes, and heme, a compound in plants and meat, which gives meat its characteristic aroma and taste.

Compared to raising cows for burgers, the Impossible Burger uses 95 percent less land, 74 percent less water, and creates 87 percent less greenhouse gas emissions. It’s also free of hormones, antibiotics and artificial ingredients. And you don’t have to worry about slaughterhouse cross-contamination.

El Segundo’s Beyond Meat Burger is similarly environmentally-friendly, and is fashioned from pea protein, yeast extract, coconut oil, beet extract and annatto extract.

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First Day of Spring Means Asparagus

Weeknight dinners were never so easy and tasty as this.

Weeknight dinners were never so easy and tasty as this.

 

I get giddy for asparagus in spring.

There are many things I look forward to with each season, but there is something special about asparagus because its local season is so short. Because of that, I gorge myself on the spears until they disappear all too quickly from the markets. I always hunt down the really fat ones if possible, too, because I think they taste sweeter.

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Sidle Up To The Bar At Bistro Don Giovanni

Top Shelf Butterscotch Pudding -- good to the last spoonful -- at Bistro Don Giovanni.

Top Shelf Butterscotch Pudding — good to the last spoonful — at Bistro Don Giovanni.

 

You know the rare restaurant that always makes you feel warm, welcome and satisfied time and time again — no matter if you’re dining solo, too?

That’s Bistro Don Giovanni in Napa to me. I’ve eaten there many times, and never ever had a bad meal.

When I find myself on assignment traveling solo to the Napa Valley, I will often plant myself on a bar stool at the end of the day at this long-time Italian favorite established in 1993 by Proprietor Giovanni Scala and his late-wife Chef Donna Scala.

The glowing strings of light at night in the courtyard can’t help but beckon, as does the on-point Italian food.

The entrance.

Th entrance.

The dining room.

The dining room.

I took a seat at the end of the bar last week (paying my full tab) to enjoy a glass of 2015 Whitehall Lane Sauvignon Blanc while I contemplated the menu.

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Can’t Get Enough of Lamb Meatloaf with Mushroom Pan Gravy

The meatloaf of your dreams.

The meatloaf of your dreams.

 

After making and eating plenty of meatloaf over the years, I can unequivocally declare that this is definitely one of the very best.

“Lamb Meatloaf with Mushroom Pan Gravy” is from the new cookbook, “Poole’s: Recipes and Stories From A Modern Diner” (Ten Speed Press), of which I received a review copy, by Chef Ashley Christensen.

Her Poole’s Diner in Raleigh, NC is all about comfort food — done with craft and skill. This is the kind of food you never tire of because it’s delicious and just makes you feel better — inside and out.

PoolesBook

Of course, being a James Beard Award-winning chef, Christensen’s dishes often redefine diner food, stretching the boundaries, but still in keeping with its inherent warm soulfulness. There’s everything from “Cornbread Crab Cakes” to “Grits with Roasted Pumpkin, Aged Maple Syrup and Crispy Peptias” to “Jacked Up Devil’s Food Trifle.”

What makes her meatloaf so spectacular?

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Culinary Courier & Market Opens, Plus A Food Gal Giveaway

Enchiladas Suizas from the new Culinary Courier & Market in Los Gatos.

Enchiladas Suizas from the new Culinary Courier & Market in Los Gatos.

 

Saratoga native Terri Piazza Shong has had a successful catering company in the South Bay for 13 years. Now, she’s expanded the business to include a new market that just opened in downtown Los Gatos.

Culinary Courier & Market offers her catering company’s most popular dishes — all packed up and refrigerated, so all you have to do is stop by to grab and go. It’s the perfect solution to those times when you don’t want to cook dinner, need a healthful lunch fast, or want to pick up some late-morning noshes for a small business meeting at work.

Selections include prawn lettuce wraps, kale salad with toasted almonds, meat lasagna, chicken Marsala, Yukon Gold potato hash, and French toast loaf with praline pecans and raspberry syrup.

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