Category Archives: Enticing Events

Scenes From “Taste of Yosemite” November 2018

A giant sequoia in Yosemite National Park that will have you in awe.

A giant sequoia in Yosemite National Park that will have you in awe.

 

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA — If you didn’t make it to the grand “Taste of Yosemite” event last week — actually held twice this year — you definitely missed out, because the next one won’t take place until January 2020.

The popular winter-time extravaganza that draws a host of celebrated chefs to host cooking demos and cook multi-course gala dinners at The Majestic Yosemite Hotel, normally takes place every January for nearly the entire month. But it will be on hiatus January 2019, as the hotel’s kitchen gets renovated.

So mark your calendar for January 2020 for its return.

Meantime, to rev your appetite and interest, I happily serve up morsels from last week’s event, in which I served as moderator for two sessions.

Thrilled to moderate this session that featured Cowgirl Creamery, Peter Armellino of the Plumed Horse, and Adam Mali of The Battery.

Thrilled to moderate this session that featured Cowgirl Creamery, Peter Armellino of the Plumed Horse, and Adam Mali of The Battery.

It was actually the second “Taste of Yosemite” of 2018, with the first one occurring in January of this year. Organizers decided to do another shortened bonus “Taste of Yosemite” this month.

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Dinner on the Farm — In Sunnyvale

A friendly scarecrow stands watch at the Santa Clara Unified School District Farm.

A friendly scarecrow stands watch at the Santa Clara Unified School District Farm.

 

With new condos and tech buildings going up at a dizzying pace in Silicon Valley, it’s hard to believe that in the midst all this concrete and glass, one can actually still enjoy the bucolic experience of a dinner on a farm here.

But you can — right here in Sunnyvale at 1055 Dunford Way. At an 11-acre organic oasis owned by the Santa Clara Unified School District.

After taking over the property last year from Full Circle Farm, the district hired farmer Dave Tuttle to over see it. And how fruitful the SCUSD Farm has become. This season, 1,500 pounds of tomatoes were harvested and turned into sauce for use in lunches at the district’s 28 schools. In fact, every day, there is something featured from the farm on school menus, most notably in the salad bars.

Pumpkins galore.

Pumpkins galore.

Persimmons ripening on the tree.

Persimmons ripening on the tree.

Twenty tons of pumpkins were grown, along with 3,000 pounds of watermelon. There are persimmon, avocado, pomegranate and lemon trees thriving. Rows of fava beans, Persian cucumbers, and kabocha squash were planted. There are nine laying hens, and beehives, too.

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The Countdown Begins — For My Next Cookbook

Photographer Eva Kolenko arranging potential images for my "East Bay Cooks'' cookbook.

Photographer Eva Kolenko arranging potential images for my “East Bay Cooks” cookbook.

 

For most of this year, I’ve immersed myself in writing a new cookbook, “East Bay Cooks” (Figure 1 Publishing), which spotlights the diverse, progressive and talented chefs of the East Bay Area.

Writing a cookbook is a major undertaking involving a multitude of interviews, fine-tuning a heap of recipes, and conducting scores of interviews.

For so long, it’s lived mostly as text in my manuscript. But last week, it all came to vivid life when the photography on the project began.

Chef Paul Canales of Oakland's Duende with a salmon dish ready to go before the cameras.

Chef Paul Canales of Oakland’s Duende with a salmon dish ready to go before the cameras.

Chefs from all around the East Bay descended upon the incredibly equipped Rule & Level Studio in Berkeley, where they and their dishes were photographed by the incomparable Eva Kolenko.

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It’s Not Too Soon For Pumpkin Spice, Is It? Plus Wine Time

Perfect with coffee or tea, Donsuemor Pumpkin Spice madeleines. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

Perfect with coffee or tea, Donsuemor Pumpkin Spice madeleines. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

Pumpkin Spice Madeleines

Tender, cake-like and full of autumnal spices, Donsuemor’s Pumpkin Spice Madeleines are a sweet treat hard to resist.

Yes, you might not be ready for pumpkin spice season yet. But it is upon us in full force already. So you might as well embrace it wholeheartedly. Especially when it means indulging in cookies like these.

Donsuemor has been baking French madeleines in the East Bay since 1976.

A package of six pumpkin spice ones are about $4. Find them at Raley’s, Mollie Stone’s and other retailers.

You Know You Want A Pumpkin Spice Latte

It is indeed that time already at Starbucks. The frenzy over pumpkin spice lattes has begun.

But why slog over to Starbucks, wait in line, and fork over bucks when you can get your fix by making your own pumpkin spice latte at home for a lot less money.

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#50 Best Talks Plus A Sneak Peak at the New Angler Restaurant

A sea urchin dish at Angler in San Francisco.

A sea urchin dish at Angler in San Francisco.

 

A who’s who of the chef world convened at Dogpatch Studios in San Francisco on Wednesday afternoon for “#50 Best Talks,” organized by — what else — “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.”

If you follow Michelin rankings and are an avid watcher of Netflix’s “Chef’s Table,” you will easily recognize the names on this panel that was all about “Voices for Change”:

  • Gaggan Anand of Gaggan in Bangkok, four-time #1 in “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.”
  • Virgilio Martinez of Central in Lima, voted “Best Restaurant in South America” four times in a row in “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.”
  • Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn in San Francisco, voted “The World’s Best Female Chef 2016” by “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.’
  • Enrique Olvera of Pujol in Mexico City, currently #13 on “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” list.
  • Daniela Soto-Innes of Cosme in New York City, currently #15 on “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” and winner of the James Beard Rising Star Award.
  • Lara Gilmore of Osteria Francescana, currently #1 on “The World’s Best 50 Restaurants” list.

50 Best Logo

(Left to Right): William Drew, Gaggan Anand, Dominique Crenn, Lara Gilmore, Daniela Soto-Innes, Enrique Olvera, and Virgilio Martinez.

(Left to Right): William Drew, Gaggan Anand, Dominique Crenn, Lara Gilmore, Daniela Soto-Innes, Enrique Olvera, and Virgilio Martinez.

Afterwards, chefs and attendees headed over to Angler, set to open Sept. 25 on The Embarcadero in San Francisco.

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