Category Archives: Chefs

Planked Wild Salmon with Nectarines, Thyme, Honey, Almonds, and Ricotta — Plus A Food Gal Giveaway

Dinner is served -- right off the grill.

Dinner is served — right off the grill.

 

This might be the ultimate summer dish.

“Planked Wild Salmon with Nectarines, Thyme, Honey, Almonds, and Ricotta” combines summer’s prize of wild local King salmon with some of the season’s most luscious stone fruit — all co-mingled on a cedar plank that imparts a ravishing smokiness on the backyard grill.

Best yet? You can devour it all in good conscience because it’s all sustainable.

The recipe is from the new cookbook, “Lure: Sustainable Seafood Recipes From the West Coast” (Figure 1), of which I received an advance review copy, before it is released publicly in October.

LureCookbook

It was written by Ned Bell, who founded Chefs for Oceans to raise awareness for responsible seafood choices, and is a member of the Seafood Watch’s Blue Ribbon Task Force. He wrote it in conjunction with Valerie Howes, the food editor of Reader’s Digest Canada.

Doing the right thing when it comes to seafood can be daunting. Species that seemed plentiful often find themselves over-fished in no time flat. Do we have to give up eating what we love? Or is there another way?

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Downtown Los Gatos Welcomes the Catamount

Soft serve with a chocolate magic shell and caramel sauce at The Catamount.

Soft serve with a chocolate magic shell and caramel sauce at The Catamount.

 

Following in the footsteps of Pizzeria Delfina, Gott’s and Tacolicious — all San Francisco restaurants that have ventured southward — now comes The Catamount in downtown Los Gatos.

It’s the newest establishment by restaurateur Ray Tang of the Presidio Social Club in San Francisco.

The handsome, 10,000-square-foot restaurant opened earlier this summer in the old California Cafe building. The interior was completely redone. The once open kitchen was closed off with trendy barn doors. The bar and dining room have been given the air of a modern plantation with breezy ceiling fans, plenty of rattan, and loads of windows to let streams of natural light in.

The old California Cafe redone completely.

The old California Cafe redone completely.

The inviting bar.

The inviting bar.

Its name pays tribute to the town’s name (Spanish for “the cats”), as well as its surrounding mountainous landscape.

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Aebleskiver with Lemon Curd, Plus A Food Gal Giveaway

Danish doughnuts to dunk into thick, tangy lemon curd.

Danish doughnuts to dunk into thick, tangy lemon curd.

 

Keep Portland weird?

I say: “Keep Portland delish, too!”

This Pacific Northwest city is famous for embracing and celebrating the quirky, the off-beat, and the unconventional in everything.

Of course, the most fun way get to know any city is through its food. Whether you’re planning your first trip to Portland or wanting a keepsake that pays tribute to the city’s vast culinary treasures, “Portland Cooks: Recipes From the City’s Best Restaurants & Bars” (Figure 1), of which I received a review copy, is sure to rev the appetite.

The book is by James Beard Award-winning food writer Danielle Centoni, a former colleague of mine who was once the food editor of the Oakland Tribune, and now lives in Portland.

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Forty restaurants, bakeries and bars are spotlighted, with each showcasing their distinctiveness in two recipes apiece. Indulge in everything from Ataula’s “Salt Cod Croquetas” to DOC Yakuza’s ” Okonomiyaki with Wild Mushrooms” to Olympia Provisions’ “Pan-Roasted Halibut with Shrimp, Clam, and Andouille Stew” to Salt & Straw Wiz Bang Bar’s “Goat Cheese Ice Cream with Marionberry-Habanero Ribbons.”

“Aebleskiver with Lemon Curd” from Broder restaurant sounded so good that I had to dig out my aebleskiver pan just to make them. The restaurant is famous for its Scandinavian-inspired breakfasts and lunches. And these puffy, doughnut-hole-shaped pancakes are super popular.

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Sneak Peek of New Food Offerings at Levi’s Stadium

The Organic Coop, the country's first USDA-certified fast food, joins the list of vendors this year at Levi's Stadium.

The Organic Coop, the country’s first USDA-certified fast food, joins the list of vendors this year at Levi’s Stadium.

 

Are you ready for the first preseason home game for the San Francisco 49ers this Saturday (against the Denver Broncos no less)?

Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara sure is. This year, it’s added more food options. At a special media event yesterday, I had a chance to sample some of the new eats.

I also had the opportunity to tour the rooftop farm, the first of its kind in the NFL. Danielle York, wife of 49ers CEO Jed York, came up with the idea. It was such a success from the start that its original 4,000 square feet has swelled to 7,000 square feet. In the past year, the garden has provided nearly 2 tons of produce that was featured in dishes for private events crafted by stadium concessionaire Centerplate.

The greats on the wall at the BNY Melon Club West at Levi's Stadium.

The greats on the wall at the BNY Melon Club West at Levi’s Stadium.

What will fans have a chance to nosh on this season?

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Wine — And A Whole Lot More — At Wente Vineyards

Blue Jade corn growing in the Wente Vineyards produce garden.

Blue Jade corn growing in the Wente Vineyards produce garden.

 

That Livermore’s Wente Vineyards makes first-class wines is a given.

But the oldest, continuously operating family-owned winery in the United States makes so much more on its 2,000 acres in Livermore, as I found out when I was I was invited for a tour recently.

Extra virgin olive oil. Herbs, fruits and veggies galore grown in its own garden. And even beef.

Yes, The Restaurant at Wente gets 12 steer a year from its own herd that graze on the hillsides. Like Japan’s famed Wagyu, these Black Angus cows get some special treatment, too: two glasses of its Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon daily for the last 90 days of their life.

Chef Mike Ward.

Chef Mike Ward.

Master Gardener Diane Dovholuk.

Master Gardener Diane Dovholuk.

“We don’t get them drunk,” Wente Chef Mike Ward says with a chuckle. “It helps them metabolize food better so they can eat more.”

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