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Six Chefs, Six Dishes of Foie Gras — Yes, In California

Friday, 12. September 2014 5:26

Miniature duck dogs with foie gras torchon on pretzel buns by Chef Victor Scargle.

Miniature duck dogs with foie gras torchon on pretzel buns by Chef Victor Scargle.

 

It was a veritable swoon fest when 50 hand-picked guests came together to salivate over course after course of foie gras.

Yes, in California — the only state in the nation that bans that specialty product made from the fattened liver of a goose or duck.

That was the scene on July 5 at La Toque restaurant in Napa, which famously held a “State of American Foie Gras” lunch to publicize the fact that it’s been two years now since it became illegal to produce or sell foie gras in the state. Which is why La Toque gave it away — charging guests nothing for the lunch. Instead, the restaurant held a contest, asking people to write in about why “California’s foie gras ban is foolish.” Twenty-five winners were chosen, each of whom were allowed to bring a guest.

Scargle preparing his dish.

Scargle preparing his dish.

The guest chefs in the kitchen (L to R): David Bazirgan, Patrick Mulvaney, Mark Dommen, Douglas Keane and Victor Scargle.

The guest chefs in the kitchen (L to R): David Bazirgan, Patrick Mulvaney, Mark Dommen, Douglas Keane and Victor Scargle.

Nearly  200 people entered. Kelvin Kwan, 40, of San Mateo was only too happy to attend after his wife, Diane Wong, 40, won the seats. “Whenever we travel out of state – whether it’s for work or pleasure – I guarantee that at least one meal will have foie gras,’’ says Kwan, a high-tech entrepreneur. “Now that we can’t get it in California, we always look for it on menus elsewhere.’’

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, More Food Gal -- In Other Publications, Restaurants | Comments (2) | Author:

Fried Chicken Galore, Chef of Compassion & More

Monday, 8. September 2014 5:25

Who's ready for unlimited fried chicken? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. (Photo courtesy of Tasting Table)

Who’s ready for unlimited fried chicken? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. (Photo courtesy of Tasting Table)

Tasting Table Presents “Bubbly + Crunch”

Great fried chicken will make your eyes roll back into your head. So, too, a fabulous sparkling wine.

Leave it to Tasting Table to pair the two together in one unforgettable night.

Head to “Bubbly + Crunch,” 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 18 at American Steel Studios in Oakland.

Think unlimited fried chicken and bottomless glasses of Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine, plus custom cocktails. But wait, there’s more — dessert, of course.

Fried chicken and waffles from FarmerBrown-Little Skillet. (Photo courtesy of Tasting Table)

Fried chicken and waffles from FarmerBrown-Little Skillet. (Photo courtesy of Tasting Table)

Among those dishing up the fried chicken will be: Namu Gaji, Comstock Saloon, Nombe, Pican, Miss Ollie’s, Boxing Room, Abura-Ya, The Thomas, Farmerbrown’s-Little Skillet, and Grease Box. The sweets will be courtesy of: Humphry Slocombe, Pop Art Bakeshop, Delise Dessert Café and Sweet Collections.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General | Comments (1) | Author:

A Meal of A Lifetime: My Dinner at Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine Laboratory

Wednesday, 3. September 2014 5:28

What would a Modernist Cuisine dinner be without a little liquid nitrogen action going on? Chef Naomi Pomeroy gets in on the fun.

What would a Modernist Cuisine dinner be without a little liquid nitrogen action going on? Chef Naomi Pomeroy gets in on the fun.

 

BELLVUE, WA — Nathan Myhrvold, former Microsoft chief technology officer turned maestro of modernist cuisine, has held less than a dozen invitation-only dinners at his Intellectual Ventures laboratory. The exclusive guests have included the likes of Thomas Keller, Ferran Adria, David Chang and Jose Andres.

In June, I was lucky enough to join that illustrious list when I was invited to be part of a very special dinner. What made this dinner so epic was not only the fact that it was Myhrvold’s largest dinner party to date, but that all the guests were women.

The wizard-genius behind it all, Nathan Myhrvold, stops by each table to explain the dishes.

The wizard-genius behind it all, Nathan Myhrvold, stops by each table to explain the dishes.

The Modernist Cuisine team hard at work on the one-of-a-kind dinner.

The Modernist Cuisine team hard at work on the one-of-a-kind dinner.

Plating in action.

Plating in action.

A reminder that you are dining in an actual science laboratory.

A reminder that you are dining in an actual science laboratory.

Twenty-one female chefs and four female journalists sat down to a marathon 35-course dinner that lasted six hours. The guest list was as follows:

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Category:Chefs, Cool Cooking Techniques, Enticing Events, General, Google/Tech/Corporate Cafes, Great Finds, More Food Gal -- In Other Publications, Travel Adventures | Comments (13) | Author:

Join the Food Gal and Chef Philippe Breneman of the Lexington House at Macy’s Valley Fair

Wednesday, 20. August 2014 5:26

MacysLexingtonHouse

It’s a little bit of San Francisco in downtown Los Gatos.

The Lexington House, which opened in September 2013, boasts a modern speakeasy vibe with plenty of craft cocktails and inspired farm-to-table cooking. Get a taste when Chef Philippe Breneman joins me to create a signature dish at a cooking demo at 6 p.m. Aug. 28 at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara.

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

A Celebration of Wild Salmon Plus a Food Gal Giveaway

Monday, 18. August 2014 5:25

Grilled salmon with an Asian-style glaze.

Grilled salmon with an Asian-style glaze.

 

Every summer, I look forward to heirloom tomatoes, peaches, plums, and one other very special item:

Wild local King salmon.

Like fruits and vegetables, seafood also has a season. For California wild salmon, it’s summer. And it ends all too soon for my liking.

Indeed, get your fill now because the season will soon come to a close toward the end of September.

There’s nothing like eating salmon in summer with its bright reddish orange flesh that tastes downright luxurious. To be sure, it’s not an inexpensive ingredient at $25 or more per pound. But it tastes far more expensive than that with its unbelievably lush texture and resonating flavor that just fills your mouth like a dream.

I like to enjoy it simply. Sashimi-style, when you can really taste the fat and freshness. Or grilled, with a kiss of smoke to heighten its robust richness.

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Category:Asian Recipes, Enticing Events, General, Recipes (Savory), Seafood | Comments (20) | Author: