Category Archives: Chefs

Of Strawberries and Sweet Memories

Strawberries get blanketed by a super crisp topping.

Strawberries get blanketed by a super crisp topping.

 

Strawberries hold a trove of memories for me.

Of whipped cream-slathered, fresh strawberry layer cakes that my Dad toted home from Chinatown bakeries for a special treat.

Of bowls of berries hidden by a mountain of aerosol-spurted whipped cream my parents would sometimes indulge us with for dessert in summer.

Of aching quads after my girlfriends and I once spent an afternoon at a u-pick, plucking our own super ripe, juicy berries from rows of lush, low-lying plants.

And of the consternation my older brother felt when he tried to grow them in our own backyard, only to have the bugs gnaw away at most of them.

But in many ways, one of the most profound remembrances I have is not of the berries themselves, but of the small, green crisscross plastic baskets they come in.

Strawberries from the farmers market in their iconic basket.

Strawberries from the farmers market in their iconic basket.

Whenever I bring the berries home now from the farmers markets and empty them out of of their containers, I can’t help but think of those baskets.

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BITE Silicon Valley, New Howie’s Artisan Pizza, and More

BiteSV

BITE Silicon Valley

Doesn’t it always seem like the cool food extravaganzas always bypass the South Bay and take place in San Francisco, Napa or Pebble Beach instead?

Not anymore.

Get ready for BITE Silicon Valley, June 5-7 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

A brand-new event, it promises to showcase the intersection of food and tech in this booming, dynamic valley.

Of course, there will be a grand tasting, June 6 and June 7, with a plethora of the biggest-name chefs and wineries doling out gourmet tastes. Cooking, app and technology demos also will abound.

What’s more, on June 5, luminaries will gather at a conference to discuss such topics as: “What Are You Doing to Enable the Planet to Feed 9 Billion People”; “The Challenge of Food Waste”; “The Renewed Debate on GMOs”; and “The Story of Loco’l — Bringing Restaurants to Food Deserts.”

If you’re familiar with the latter, you know that’s the project by Coi’s Chef Daniel Patterson and Kogi Truck entrepreneur Roy Choi to revolutionize the fast-food burger industry by creating a model business that stresses good-for-you, affordable eats.

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Join the Food Gal and the Oaxacan Kitchen Mobile for A Macy’s Cooking Demo

MacysOaxacan

From the moment I tasted its lusty mole sauces and made-to-order, griddled corn tortillas, I fell in love with the Oaxacan Kitchen.

You will, too, when its founder Ron Kent joins me for a cooking demo at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara, 6 p.m. May 7.

You may think you know Mexican food. But Oaxacan Kitchen — which has its own food truck that makes the rounds of the Peninsula, as well as food stands at local farmers markets — sets itself apart from the run-of-the-mill with its richly authentic flavors.

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A Trio of Maui Restaurants

Executive Chef-Owner Jeff Scheer of Maui Executive Catering plates a course at his chef's table dinner.

Executive Chef-Owner Jeff Scheer of Maui Executive Catering plates a course at his chef’s table dinner.

MAUI, HAWAII – On a recent trip here, I had a chance to check out three restaurants: one that lets you get up close and personal with the chef; another that opened only two months ago; and a third spearheaded by a “Top Chef” fan favorite.

The visit and meals were all courtesy of the Maui Visitors Bureau.

The Chef’s Table at Maui Executive Catering

Heartthrob Chef Jeff Scheer may never live down his shirtless photo spread for a story on chefs with tattoos for Edible Hawaiian Islands magazine. (Wherever he goes now, fellow chefs playfully heckle him with “Take your shirt off! Take your shirt off!”)

But the owner and executive chef of Maui Executive Catering has serious cooking chops.

You can taste for yourself at one of his chef’s table dinners offered on Friday and Saturday nights at his catering company’s site that’s hidden amongst a warren of businesses in a low-slung building in Haiku.

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A Taste of Paradise on Maui

Molokai sweet potato pancakes at Cane & Canoe at the Montage Kapalua. What a way to greet the morning.

Molokai sweet potato pancakes at Cane & Canoe at the Montage Kapalua. What a way to greet the morning.

 

MAUI, HAWAII – In seven days on this tropical paradise, one can do major damage to the waistline. So much for that Speedo or bikini bod.

I can practically live on nothing but poke and papaya when I visit Hawaii. But of course, when you’re a guest invited by the Maui Visitors Bureau, with meals and accommodations provided, you end up eating a whole lot more. Happily, of course.

In fact, I miss the food already. Can you blame me? Just take a look.

Montage Kapualua Bay

One of the newer resorts in the area, the 24-acre, oceanfront Montage Kapualua Bay opened in June 2014. A former Ritz-Carlton time-share, the property still boasts a fair number of privately-owned luxury units. But 50 of them are operated by the hotel, comprising one-, two-, and three-bedroom residences with gourmet kitchens, living rooms and spacious lanais.

There’s also a large fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment, spa services, outdoor hot and cold plunge pools, and exercise classes. Yours truly even dragged herself to an early-morning cardio core class one day.

The view during breakfast.

The view during breakfast.

The living room in our suite.

The living room in our suite.

The full-service kitchen, which even has a washer-dryer off to the side.

The full-service kitchen, which even has a washer-dryer off to the side.

One of three bedrooms in this particular suite.

One of three bedrooms in this particular suite.

But first things first. After a very long flight that arrived late at night, my husband and I were so looking forward to breakfast the next morning at the resort’s restaurant, Cane & Canoe.

The open-air restaurant affords a perfect view of the pool and ocean as the sun comes up. Bask in that sight as complimentary mini kabocha muffins arrive to the table.

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