Category Archives: Chefs

Bar Crudo Celebrates 10 Years

Avocado toast -- and with uni -- at Bar Crudo.

Avocado toast — with uni — at Bar Crudo.

 

For folks like my husband, the antidote to too much fancy food is a good ol’ burger.

For folks like me, it’s fish.

Raw fish, to be exact.

So when I was invited in as a guest recently at Bar Crudo in San Francisco, I jumped at the chance.

After all, with the overload of cookies, rich appetizers and big hunks of meat at this time of year, what better way to give the body a rest than with raw fish — Italian-style.

Plus, the restaurant is proudly celebrating its 10th year.

The packed dining room.

The packed dining room.

You can sit at the bar, too -- if you can snag a seat.

You can sit at the bar, too — if you can snag a seat.

I still remember its teeny-tiny, original Bush Street location. Now ensconced on Divisadero Street, it’s still not huge. But the long, narrow quarters here definitely offer more breathing room.

On a recent Saturday night, it was packed inside, with even more folks outside, hoping to snag a table.

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Crazy For Cauliflower With Cumin, Turmeric and Lemon

Golden cauliflower with curry spices.

Golden cauliflower with curry spices.

 

You have to love a woman whose mantra is: “Be naturally suspicious of any food which is not home-cooked. Always take your own food with you wherever you go, even if you’re not going far.”

Given that, it’s not surprising that Meera Sodha has written an Indian cookbook that celebrates the best of Indian home-cooking.

She acknowledges at the start that cooking Indian food can be quite intimidating to make at home. So often it necessitates special trips to Indian markets or even ordering online to find the necessary ingredients.

Not so with her “Made In India: Recipes From an Indian Family Kitchen” (Flatiron Books), of which I received a review copy. A best-seller in the United Kingdom, her cookbook was published in the United States for the first time this year.

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Join the Food Gal and Chef Peter Rudolph of Madera Restaurant For A Macy’s Cooking Demo

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Restaurants with the best views don’t always boast the greatest food.

Not so with Menlo Park’s Madera restaurant,which has one of the prettiest dining rooms around, and a most talented chef in East Bay native, Peter Rudolph.

Get a taste of his elegant, farm-to-table cuisine when he joins me for a cooking demo, 6 p.m. Dec. 3 at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara.

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Joanne Weir’s Easy, Elegant and Festive Endive Salad

The salad you need to make this holiday season.

The salad you need to make this holiday season.

 

Holiday dishes don’t get better than this.

It’s festive, chic — and unbelievably effortless. In short, everything you want when you want to impress, but are loathe to break out in a sweat to do it.

Leave it to the Bay Area’s Joanne Weir to come up with this dazzling “Endive Salad with Lemon Creme Fraiche and Salmon Roe.”

It’s from her new cookbook, “Kitchen Gypsy: Recipes and Stories From A Lifelong Romance with Food” (Oxmoor House), of which I received a review copy.

The cookbook is filled with the dishes that most influenced the life of this long-time PBS cooking show host, who cooked for five years at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse, and now owns Copita in Sausalito.

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Honey Pie For the Holidays

Imagine this on the Thanksgiving table.

Imagine this on the Thanksgiving table.

 

Call this the antidote to pecan pie.

Or at the very least, a most worthy alternative.

“Olivia’s Honey Pie” is plenty sweet and nutty. But not as dense and heavy as pecan pie. It also the added bonus of tasting gloriously of buttery, caramelized honey.

The recipe is from the new “The Beetlebung Farm Cookbook” (Little, Brown and Company) by Chris Fischer, of which I received a review copy.

Spanning five acres on Martha’s Vineyard, Beetlebung Farm is run by Fischer, who took it over when his grandfather passed away.

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Fischer is both a farmer and a cook. And what a cook, indeed. He was a sous chef at Mario Batali’s Babbo in New York City, and previously had stints at Fergus Henderson’s St. John Bread & Wine, and at the River Cafe in London. Fischer hosted dinners cooked over an open-fire at the farm before becoming head chef at Beach Plum Inn & Restaurant.

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