View all posts filed under 'Enticing Events'

Exploring California Gold Country, Part I

Monday, 20. January 2014 5:25

Karen Holmes of Karen's Bakery & Cafe in Folsom.

Karen Holmes of Karen’s Bakery & Cafe in Folsom.

As a native San Franciscan, I sheepishly admit I haven’t explored much of California Gold Country.

I vaguely remember playing at panning for gold once as a child somewhere in the vicinity, but beyond that, Sacramento, Amador and El Dorado counties have largely been seen from the freeway on the way to somewhere else.

Thanks to the tourism bureaus in Folsom, El Dorado, Amador and Sacramento,  I finally had a chance to see that area up-close, when I was invited as their guest over three days late last year to taste, explore and experience.

Here are highlights from that trip, which I hope will inspire you to get to know that region better, too.

Karen’s Bakery & Cafe in Folsom

Karen’s Bakery & Cafe is reason enough alone to stop in Folsom.

Karen Holmes opened this wonderful bakery in 2000, which has become so popular that you’ll almost always find a line to get outside, especially since it’s located near popular hiking and biking trails that bring famished weekend warriors right to her door for plum galettes, fig scones, and Tebirkes (a tradtiional almond paste danish).

The pastry case brimming with goodies.

The pastry case brimming with goodies.

Holmes is a former school teacher, whose mother took her family to Europe regularly, especially to its fine patisseries. As a teacher she baked banana bread for PTA events that became such a sensation that colleagues encouraged her to open a bakery.

A talent for baking and cooking obviously runs in the family as her son, Duncan Holmes is the chef de cuisine at San Francisco’s Sons & Daughters. In fact, in his teenage years, he’d ride his bike over to his mom’s bakery to help wash dishes after school before going home to hunker down to his homework. Both mother and son are self-taught.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, Enticing Events, Fruit, General, Great Finds, Restaurants, Travel Adventures | Comments (4) | Author:

Meet the Food Gal at Two January Events

Wednesday, 8. January 2014 5:26

Chocolate Mudslide Cookies by Pastry Chef Rodney Cerdan. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Chocolate Mudslide Cookies by Pastry Chef Rodney Cerdan. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Dying for a taste of those rich, gooey, chocolatey cookies above?

You know you are.

Then, come by Omnivore Books in San Francisco, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Jan. 13, for a taste. I’ll be signing copies of my debut cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table” (Lyons Press) with Pastry Chef Rodney Cerdan of Prospect in San Francisco and Chef Will Pacio of Spice Kit, with locations in San Francisco and Palo Alto.

SanFrancisoChefsTableCover2

Both chefs are featured in my cookbook and will be bringing treats to the event.

The “Chocolate Mudslide Cookies” are not only full of chocolate goodness, but also bits of home-made toffee that sometimes overflow out of the cookies  just like a real mudslide. And yes, the recipe is featured in the book.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, More Food Gal -- In Person | Comments (6) | Author:

Listen to the Food Gal Dish on Restaurants on KQED’s Forum Show

Monday, 6. January 2014 5:25

Getty Images

Getty Images

What are the hot new restaurants and the must-try dishes in the Bay Area for the new year?

Take a listen as yours truly talks food with Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle restaurant reviewer, and Meesha Halm, local editor of the Zagat Bay Area Restaurant Guide on last Thursday’s “Forum” show on KQED Radio.

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Category:Enticing Events, General, Restaurants, Videos & Podcasts | Comments (9) | Author:

Your Chance to Win A Copy of My “San Francisco Chef’s Table” Cookbook

Monday, 16. December 2013 5:26

SanFrancisoChefsTableCover

After doing so many giveaways on this blog, I’d be remiss not to do one for my own new cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table” (Lyons Press), wouldn’t I?

So, here’s your chance to win a copy of the book that I will autograph to you or to whomever you please.

The cookbook is a tantalizing compilation of 54 restaurants and 79 recipes from the food-centric San Francisco Bay Area.

You’ll find everything from trendy new places to landmark establishments — along with dishes that exemplify their individual spirit and unique cuisine.

Each restaurant entry is illustrated by gorgeous photos, too, by award-winning photographer Craig Lee.

I’ve been having a ball hosting cooking demos and signing events with some of the featured chefs, and look forward to many more in the new year to come.

Yours truly, flanked by chefs Lissa Doumani and Hiro Sone of Ame and Terra restaurants. Taken just before the start of our Macy's Union Square San Francisco event. (Photo taken by Craig Lee)

Yours truly, flanked by chefs Lissa Doumani and Hiro Sone of Ame and Terra restaurants. Taken just before the start of our Macy’s Union Square San Francisco event. (Photo taken by Craig Lee)

CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a signed copy of my new cookbook. Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST Dec. 21. Winner will be announced Dec. 23.

How to win?

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Category:Enticing Events, General, More Food Gal -- In Other Publications, New Products | Comments (8) | Author:

Time to Enjoy Holiday Teas, Christmas Ales and More

Friday, 13. December 2013 5:26

Afternoon tea hits the spot during the holidays. (Photo courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton)

Afternoon tea hits the spot during the holidays. (Photo courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton)

Holiday Tea Time at The Ritz-Carlton SF

If you need a respite from all that holiday shopping, head to the swank Ritz-Carlton San Francisco for some soothing tea.

Take a load off at the 3 p.m. afternoon tea in the lounge, available daily through Dec. 24.

You’ll enjoy a pot of tea, savory finger sandwiches, scones, macarons and other sweets while live music entertains.

Price is $65 per person.

The little ones are sure to love the Teddy Bear Tea, available 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dec. 14-15 and Dec. 20-24.

Children can bring their favorite stuffed animal to the Terrace Room to meet Stretchy the Elf, Holly Berry and the giant Ritz-Carlton Teddy Bear. They’ll also get to partake in holiday story-telling, sing-a-longs and a photo session with the Ritz-Carlton Teddy Bear. Holiday treats will be served, too.

Aww,  how cute is this Teddy Bear Tea? (Photo courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton)

Aww, how cute is this Teddy Bear Tea? (Photo courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton)

Price is $110 per person. A portion of proceeds benefits the Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area foundation.

For reservations to either tea event, call (415) 773-6168.

Winter-Christmas Ales at The Trappist

The Trappist in Oakland is celebrating Kerstbier, a two-day Bacchanalia today through Saturday that spotlights a bevy of winter-Christmas ales, including a tap take-over with 25 featured beers.

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Category:Enticing Events, General, Restaurants, Spirits/Cocktails/Beer | Comments (3) | Author: