Chef Dominique Crenn and Joxe Mari Aizega talk about the importance of the Basque Culinary World Prize.
Most culinary awards pay tribute to what a chef does in the kitchen. The Basque Culinary Prize, on the other hand, honors the achievements of a chef beyond the kitchen.
Now in its second year, the international award is given to someone who has helped improve society in some way through gastronomy. The winner receives $100,000 Euros to devote to a social project of his/her choice.
Last year’s winner, Venezuelan Chef Maria Fernanda di Giacobbe was chosen for building an ecosystem of education, entrepreneurship, research and development in Venezuelan chocolate, including giving opportunities to women in economically precarious situations.
Kir Breton — a one bite marvel of Creme de Cassis on top of a white chocolate shell filled with apple cidre.
Slightly smoked caviar with koji cream.
Less is more: ruttabaga cooked in a salt crust and finished in butter, intensifying its root veg sweetness.
The kickoff for this year’s nominations was celebrated at a stellar media lunch last Friday at Atelier Crenn in San Francisco. The eight-course repast, complete with Spanish wines, showcased exactly why Chef-Proprietor Dominique Crenn was the first female chef in the United States to garner two Michelin stars.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?