The Ahwahnee looking as it should in winter.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA — Last week, I had the great pleasure of returning for the fourth year in a row to help host the incomparable 31st Annual Chefs’ Holidays event at The Ahwahnee in Yosemite.
Besides the stellar chefs, the welcoming staff, and the outstanding food, there was one other unforgettable highlight: snow.
Yes, after four years of drought, and a January a year ago where it was so dry and warm that I hiked in a T-shirt, it was a joy to see Yosemite dusted in powdery, fluffy white, looking every bit its picture-postcard self.
(L to R): Sous Chef Daniel Gomez Sanchez of La Toque, Executive Chef Ken Frank of La Toque, Sarah and Evan Rich of Rich Table, and David Bazirgan of Dirty Habit.
Chefs’ Holidays takes place every January through early February. It is comprised of eight sessions, with each one spotlighting three renowned chefs, each of whom does a cooking demo. There is a wine reception to meet all the chefs. Each session ends with a gala dinner prepared by the headliner chef or all three participating chefs.
At Bushido Izakaya in downtown Mountain View, you’ll find clever cocktails and creative Japanese small plates. Plus something more.
An adherence to sustainable seafood.
That’s more rare than you think when it comes to the offerings at most Japanese restaurants. But Chef Isamu Kanai has made it his mission to do right by the world’s oceans.
Come see the inventive sushi he dreams up, when he joins me for a cooking demo at 2 p.m., Jan. 30 at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara.
A bone-in ham to put all others to shame. From Snake River Farms.
I often keep old Christmas cards, and sometimes the gently-used ribbons and bows, too.
But one thing I make a point never to discard is something all together different.
From the Thanksgiving turkey. From the Christmas ham.
They are always wrapped carefully with aluminum foil, then tucked inside a heavy-duty plastic bag in a safe place in my freezer.
That’s when I take them out for their intended purpose, one that I look forward to every year after the holiday season.
Restaurants with the best views don’t always boast the greatest food.
Not so with Menlo Park’s Madera restaurant,which has one of the prettiest dining rooms around, and a most talented chef in East Bay native, Peter Rudolph.
Get a taste of his elegant, farm-to-table cuisine when he joins me for a cooking demo, 6 p.m. Dec. 3 at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara.
You’re in for a spicy, scrumptious time at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara when Lisa Murphy, founder of the Bay Area’s Sosu Sauces joins me for a cooking demo at 6 p.m. Nov. 19.
Sosu Sauces makes my favorite sriracha sauce. The artisan sauce is hand-made in small batches, then aged in whiskey barrels to give it great complexity and a hint of smokiness.
Learn how Murphy gave up a career in banking and high-tech to spread the gospel of sriracha and Srirachup (that’s her mashup of her sriracha with ketchup).