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The Goodies You’ll Find In My New Cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table”

Wednesday, 27. November 2013 5:25

A dusting of cinnamon completes this anise semolina cake from Aziza that's perfect for the holidays.

A dusting of cinnamon completes this anise semolina cake from Aziza that’s perfect for the holidays.

 

Drum roll, please: My debut cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table,” (Lyons Press) arrives next week.

Available easily on Amazon, it makes for a perfect holiday gift without having to trudge to the mall on Black Friday, too.

The cookbook features spotlights on 54 of the San Francisco Bay Area’s top restaurants, along with 70 of their signature recipes.

SanFrancisoChefsTableCover2

To rev up your taste buds, I thought I’d tell you about some of the recipes you’ll find in the book:

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Nudo’s Italian Torrone and Adopt A Tea Garden Program; Plus A Food Gal Giveaway

Monday, 25. November 2013 5:28

An Italian specialty candy perfect for the holidays.

An Italian specialty candy perfect for the holidays.

 

Sticky, sweet and crunchy — that’s Italian torrone.

This traditional confection is made the time-honored way by hand by Torronificio Trapani in Southern Italy with a family recipe that’s more than 200 years old.

Now, Nudo Italia has made it available in the United States. The gourmet food company sells a 7-ounce, 10-inch-long slab for $15.

Recently, I had a chance to try a sample.

The white nougat looks like Christmas, itself. It’s packed to the gills with almonds, too. Orange honey gives it a rounder flavor. And the bitter edge of the almonds ensures this treat isn’t cloying.

It’s a stick-to-your-teeth candy that’s fairly addictive.

A nice up of tea is a perfect accompaniment, what with its welcome tannins to counteract the sweetness.

A sample from the Darjeeling Adopt a Tea Garden program.

A sample from the Darjeeling Adopt-A-Tea-Garden program.

Nudo offers a unique way to enjoy its tea by offering a Darjeeling Adopt-A-Tea-Garden program. Here’s how it works: Choose one of five Nudo tea gardens in Darjeeling, India to adopt for a year. Each features a different flavor profile. Then, each quarter for $29 per quarter, you’ll receive a 125-gram tin of loose leaf tea straight from your garden. Each container is enough for 40 cups.

In this way, you’re helping to support a local, family tea farm in India.

You’ll also get quite the tea education in the process by being able to taste tea from the same garden throughout the year, discovering how the flavors change over time. For instance, I found the First Flush (summer harvest) I sampled to be quite delicate and green tasting. In comparison, the Monsoon Flush (winter harvest) was quite robust and earthy.

CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win not only a sample of Nudo Italia’s torrone, but a membership in the Darjeeling Adopt-A-Tea-Garden program that includes an “adoption certificate” plus one shipment of Golden Harvest Darjeeling tea. Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST Nov. 30. Winner will be announced Dec. 2.

How to win?

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Category:Enticing Events, General | Comments (7) | Author:

Scenes from “Worlds of Flavor 2013″ at the CIA in St. Helena

Wednesday, 20. November 2013 5:25

A mosaic of squid draped over a warm potato puree gets the smoke treatment from Chef Raul Sillero of El Cellar de Can Roca.

A mosaic of squid draped over a warm potato puree gets the smoke treatment from Chef Raul Sillero of El Cellar de Can Roca.

 

Last week brought together culinary superstars from all over the globe to the annual “Worlds of Flavor” conference at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena.

We’re talking everyone from Thomas Keller of the French Laundry to Maxime Bilet, co-author of “Modernist Cuisine” to Josep Roca of El Celler de Can Roca in Spain — all there to discuss and demonstrate how technology and travel have combined to create “Kitchens Connected,” the theme of this year’s event.

Here were some of my favorite moments of the conference:

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KIND Healthy Grains Clusters and A Food Gal Giveaway

Monday, 18. November 2013 5:25

Dark Chocolate & Cranberry Clusters by KIND.

Dark Chocolate & Cranberry Clusters by KIND.

I admit that when I open a bag of granola, I pick out the prized big clusters to eat first.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

In fact, KIND Healthy Snacks knows most people do the same. That’s why the New York company makes a line of Healthy Grains Clusters. Think granola — but with big chunks throughout the bag — some as large as 2 1/2 inches across.

They come in six varieties: Peanut Butter Whole Grains Clusters, Vanilla Blueberry Clusters with Flax Seeds, Cinnamon Oat Clusters with Flax Seeds, Maple Walnut Clusters with Chia & Quinoa, Dark Chocolate & Cranberry Clusters, and Oats & Honey Clusters with Toasted Coconut.

Recently, I had a chance to try some samples.

The clusters are made with whole grains, including amaranth, quinoa, oats, millet, buckwheat and brown rice. As a result, they have a very hearty flavor, and a natural, toasty nuttiness from all the grains.

They’re not super sweet, either, like so many other granolas on the market. Even the Dark Chocolate & Cranberry one is just sweet enough, thanks in balance to the slight bitter, earthy edge of the chocolate. The Oats & Honey one tastes almost like a crunchy oatmeal cookie. The peanut butter one has a salty, savory quality, along with peanut halves sprinkled throughout.  My favorite might be the Maple Quinoa because the maple flavor compliments the grains so well.

The Healthy Grains Clusters come in convenient, resealable bags.

The Healthy Grains Clusters come in convenient, resealable bags.

A one-third cup serving has about 120 to 130 calories, depending upon the variety.

An 11-ounce bag is about $5 and available at GNC and Walmart.

It’s perfect for sprinkling on top of yogurt or a bowl of oatmeal for added texture. Or just eat it out of hand, as clusters are so made for doing.

CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win three bags of KIND Healthy Grains Clusters. Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST Nov. 23. Winner will be announced Nov. 25.

How to win?

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An Invitation to My First Signings for My Debut Cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table”

Wednesday, 13. November 2013 5:25

SanFrancisoChefsTableCover

I’m still in a daze about it — but thrilled to announce — the publication of my first cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table” (Lyons Press), which will be released in early December.

The book spotlights 54 of the Bay Area’s top restaurants and their signature recipes, along with gorgeous photos by Craig Lee, the former photographer for the San Francisco Chronicle’s Food section.

Craig and I will be signing copies of the book at upcoming events with some of the chefs featured in the cookbook. We hope you’ll be able to join us to share in the excitement. Mark you calendar now:

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, More Food Gal -- In Person, New Products | Comments (13) | Author: