You’re in for a treat as Rudolph shows off one of his signature dishes that you’ll get to taste.
Category Archives: Enticing Events
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.
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.
Born in Columbia, Sanchez crafts delightful, dainty sweets served in trios that are always worth the calories. His smooth, eggy flan is the stuff of legends.
Trained in both the savory and dessert sides of the kitchen, Sanchez has incorporated such unusual ingredients as bell peppers and candy cap mushrooms into his memorable desserts.
Join yours truly as I host a Q&A with the legendary Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel at 6 p.m. Nov. 4 at Williams-Sonoma in Palo Alto’s Stanford Shopping Center.
Yes, the man who started the Cronut craze is coming to the Peninsula to sign copies of his new cookbook, “Dominique Ansel: The Secret Recipes” (Simon & Schuster).
Ansel, a James Beard Award winner, was classically trained in Paris and was formerly executive pastry chef at Daniel in New York.
He opened his eponymous bakery in New York in 2011. Since then, throngs have lined up each day before dawn, hoping to snag his irresistible mashup of a croissant and a doughnut. Or a Cookie Shot. Or a Waffle Affogato. Or another of his wildly whimsical concoctions.
Join me at 6 p.m. Oct. 30, when I’ll be hosting Kenneth Payne, executive chef of this popular, family-owned Mexican restaurant known for its home-made tortillas, mole poblano, fish tacos and other specialties.
Payne, who previously cooked at the Hayes Mansion in San Jose and Hyde Street Bistro in San Francisco, will show you how to make one of his signature dishes.