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Happenings on the Peninsula: New Bakeries and More

Monday, 29. September 2014 5:26

The "chocolate burger'' at Alexander's Patisserie. (Photo courtesy of the bakery)

The “chocolate burger” at Alexander’s Patisserie. (Photo courtesy of the bakery)

Alexander’s Patisserie to Open In Mountain View on Oct. 16

The folks behind Alexander’s Steakhouse in Cupertino and San Francisco, as well as The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse in Palo Alto, are expanding their mini empire by opening a patisserie in downtown Mountain View on Oct. 16.

Led by Executive Pastry Chef Dries Delanghe, the new Alexander’s Patisserie will offer breads, sandwiches, cakes, tarts, cookies, macarons, chocolates and other confections, as well as Equator Coffees.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, Chocolate, General, Restaurants | Comments (6) | Author:

Hult’s — A Fine Additition to Downtown Los Gatos

Friday, 26. September 2014 5:26

A gorgeous tuna tartare at Hult's in Los Gatos.

A gorgeous tuna tartare at Hult’s in Los Gatos.

 

Coffee cake and home fries have given way to octopus carpaccio and “A7 Wagyu beef” ribeye.

The venerable Hobee’s spot in downtown Los Gatos was transformed late last year into the fine-dining Hult’s restaurant.

It’s a family affair owned by Alexander Hult, a former pro hockey player who was drafted by the San Jose Sharks, but spent most of his career playing in Europe. During the hockey off-seasons, this native of Sweden would help his mother in the restaurants she managed there. His wife and co-owner of the restaurant, Sarah, a San Jose native, was crowned Miss Nevada 2011 and now works as a vice principal at a local private school.

The kitchen is overseen by Chef Jose Esparza, a veteran of Viognier in San Mateo, Madera in Menlo Park, LB Steak in San Jose’s Santana Row, and The Grill on the Alley in San Jose.

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

It’s All In the Sauce: Linguini, Red Snapper and Agliata

Wednesday, 24. September 2014 5:26

Crisp red snapper and a creamy, nutty Italian agliata sauce make this pasta something special.

Crisp red snapper and a creamy, nutty Italian agliata sauce make this pasta something special.

 

I think of sauce as jewelry.

It adds that extra bling to lift something from ordinary to extraordinary.

Like fastening a bold, statement necklace over the neckline of a plain black dress, adding a fabulous sauce to a mundane chicken breast or steamed broccoli turns it into something special and worthy of taking notice.

That’s what I love about “The Sauce Book” (Kyle) by Paul Gayler, former executive chef of the Lanesborough Hotel in London. The book, of which I received a review copy, includes 300 sauces from all over the globe. Find everything from the classic Bearnaise (for steak) and Porcini Cream Sauce (for veal or chicken or gnocchi) to Peruvian Aji Sauce (for shrimp), Wasabi and Ginger Dressing (for shellfish), and Toffee Sauce (for ice cream).

I was drawn to the Agliata, an Italian sauce that is sort of like pesto’s distant cousin.

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Category:Chefs, General, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (6) | Author:

Join the Food Gal and Chef Brendy Monsada For A Demo at Macy’s Valley Fair

Wednesday, 17. September 2014 5:25

MacysBrendyMonsada

You’re invited to enjoy a cooking demo with yours truly and Chef Brendy Monsada at 2 p.m. Sept. 27 at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara.

Monsada is the head chef of Left Bank Brasserie in Menlo Park, where he dazzles with Provencal dishes crafted with the Bay Area’s finest ingredients.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, More Food Gal -- In Person | Comments (2) | Author:

Six Chefs, Six Dishes of Foie Gras — Yes, In California

Friday, 12. September 2014 5:26

Miniature duck dogs with foie gras torchon on pretzel buns by Chef Victor Scargle.

Miniature duck dogs with foie gras torchon on pretzel buns by Chef Victor Scargle.

 

It was a veritable swoon fest when 50 hand-picked guests came together to salivate over course after course of foie gras.

Yes, in California — the only state in the nation that bans that specialty product made from the fattened liver of a goose or duck.

That was the scene on July 5 at La Toque restaurant in Napa, which famously held a “State of American Foie Gras” lunch to publicize the fact that it’s been two years now since it became illegal to produce or sell foie gras in the state. Which is why La Toque gave it away — charging guests nothing for the lunch. Instead, the restaurant held a contest, asking people to write in about why “California’s foie gras ban is foolish.” Twenty-five winners were chosen, each of whom were allowed to bring a guest.

Scargle preparing his dish.

Scargle preparing his dish.

The guest chefs in the kitchen (L to R): David Bazirgan, Patrick Mulvaney, Mark Dommen, Douglas Keane and Victor Scargle.

The guest chefs in the kitchen (L to R): David Bazirgan, Patrick Mulvaney, Mark Dommen, Douglas Keane and Victor Scargle.

Nearly  200 people entered. Kelvin Kwan, 40, of San Mateo was only too happy to attend after his wife, Diane Wong, 40, won the seats. “Whenever we travel out of state – whether it’s for work or pleasure – I guarantee that at least one meal will have foie gras,’’ says Kwan, a high-tech entrepreneur. “Now that we can’t get it in California, we always look for it on menus elsewhere.’’

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, More Food Gal -- In Other Publications, Restaurants | Comments (2) | Author: