View all posts filed under 'Enticing Events'

Join the Food Gal in Yosemite for “Chefs’ Holidays”

Friday, 26. December 2014 5:25

Chef Ariane Duarte of "Top Chef'' fame talks with attendees at a previous Chefs' Holidays cooking demo. (Photo courtesy of the Ahwahnee)

Chef Ariane Duarte of “Top Chef” fame talks with attendees at a previous Chefs’ Holidays cooking demo. (Photo courtesy of the Ahwahnee)

 

 

If Santa didn’t leave you exactly what you desired this holiday season, here’s a chance to treat yourself to a real four-star gift.

Imagine spending a few days and nights in majestic, snow-capped Yosemite during the winter, all the while mingling with celeb chefs, and enjoying their cooking demos and gourmet gala dinners.

You can do exactly that at the annual Yosemite Chefs’ Holidays extravaganza that runs from Jan. 11 through Feb. 6.

There are eight sessions to choose from, each featuring three top toques from around the country strutting their stuff in cooking demos before preparing a multi-course dinner in the spectacular Ahwahnee dining room.

The Ahwahnee all decked out for Chefs Holidays. (Photo courtesy of the hotel)

The Ahwahnee all decked out for Chefs Holidays. (Photo courtesy of the hotel)

Ahem, you might be partial to attending either the Feb. 1-4 Session 7 or the Feb. 4-6 Session 7 because I’ll be acting as the moderator at each. Hey, just sayin’.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, Food TV, General, More Food Gal -- In Person, Restaurants, Travel Adventures | Comments (1) | Author:

Anderson Seafoods French Sturgeon Caviar and A Food Gal Giveaway

Monday, 15. December 2014 5:27

Oh yah, this is how I like to celebrate.

Oh yah, this is how I like to celebrate.

 

If any food has celebration written all over it, it’s caviar, isn’t it?

First, it’s the anticipation that comes with the opening of the tiny jar or tin. Second, the delicate handling of it with a mother of pearl spoon so as not to impart any unwanted metallic taste. Third, the arranging of the accoutrements of minced onion, hard-boiled egg and sour cream on teeny, pillowy pancakes. And fourth — well, it’s the price. Let’s face it, if caviar cost the same as popcorn, we’d be eating it all the time. Instead, it’s a splurge, leaving it reserved for only the most special of occasions.

With Christmas and New Year’s Eve coming up, now’s the time to indulge if you can. I did just that when I a chance to try a sample 2-ounce jar of French Sturgeon Caviar from Southern California’s Anderson Seafoods.

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Category:Enticing Events, General, Seafood | Comments (10) | Author:

Snake River Farms Kobe Ribeye Roast and a Food Gal Giveaway

Monday, 8. December 2014 5:27

A prime rib to end all prime ribs. From Snake River Farms.

A prime rib to end all prime ribs. From Snake River Farms.

 

Consider this the Maserati of meat.

Luxurious, extravagant and a work of art in its own right.

This is the Snake River Farms American Kobe Gold Grade Eye of Ribeye Roast.

At nearly $400 for a 6 1/2- to 7-pounder, it’s meat that makes an entrance. Especially on an important holiday.

I actually had a chance to try a sample of the roast recently. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked a cut of meat worth this much. My kitchen almost felt unworthy.

What accounts for its sky-high price tag? First, it’s American Kobe, which is Japanese Wagyu crossed with American Angus. Second, it’s gold grade, meaning it’s more marbled than than any other roast the Idaho-based company sells. Third, it’s aged, hand-trimmed and limited in quantity.

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Category:Enticing Events, General, Great Finds, Meat | Comments (23) | Author:

Join the Food Gal and Madera Chef Peter Rudolph for a Macy’s Cooking Demo

Monday, 1. December 2014 5:30

MacysPeterRudlph

Join me at 6 p.m. Dec. 11 when I host Chef Peter Rudolph of Madera restaurant for a holiday cooking demo at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara.

You’re in for a treat as Rudolph shows off one of his signature dishes that you’ll get to taste.

The East Bay native is the former executive chef of Campton Place Restaurant in San Francisco. Under his guidance, Madera in the Rosewood Sand Hill resort garnered a coveted Michelin star.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, More Food Gal -- In Person | Comments (3) | Author:

In Praise of Pistachios

Friday, 14. November 2014 5:26

Pistachios growing in California's Central Valley.

Pistachios growing in California’s Central Valley.

 

A pistachio is a wonder.

For much of its growth cycle, its shell is empty. Only later does the tiny, sweet, green edible kernel grow inside.

It’s a phenomenon that has even surprised many a first time grower.

This summer, I was invited by the American Pistachio Growers to Fresno to watch the annual pistachio harvest.

There are more than 650 pistachio growers in Arizona, New Mexico and California. The Golden State boasts the most with more than 98 percent of the total growers and more than 300,000 acres of pistachio trees.

The pistachio crop may still pale in comparison to California’s almonds, which make up 940,000 acres. But pistachios remain an important crop, bringing in $1.3 billion in revenue. Indeed, the pistachio crop is expected to double in the next seven years.

With its hot, dry climate and rich soil, the Central Valley became a natural place to plant pistachios, which hail from the Middle East. In the 1960s, plantings began in the Fresno area. Nowadays, you’ll find family farms that have grown pistachios for generations.

Although they’re one of the more drought-tolerant trees, this year’s pistachio crop, which just finished harvesting, is about 30 percent lower than usual.

Tasting a just-picked pistachio.

Tasting a just-picked pistachio.

Once the kernel forms inside the shell, it keeps growing until it gets so big that it splits the shell, the sign that it is ripe for picking. Hence, the naturally created slit that pistachios in the shell possess, which makes it easier for us to crack them open with our fingers. A real treat is getting to taste a just-picked pistachio. Unlike salted, roasted ones from the store, a fresh one is softer and even more buttery tasting.

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Category:Enticing Events, General, Health/Nutrition | Comments (8) | Author: