On the heels of Hispanic Heritage Month, Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara is proud to present a cooking demo with Plaza Garibaldi in San Jose.
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.
Why do I love cinnamon? Let me count the ways.
Perhaps it all started as a kid, when my Dad and I would indulge on weekend mornings with cinnamon raisin toast slathered with butter. Truth be told, he often ate it for a late-night snack, too. Crisp, and heady with that warm, sweet, fragrant spice, who could blame him?
When I got older, and started my endless weekend baking bouts, Snickerdoodles were a favorite to make. Of course, rolling them in cinnamon-sugar was the best part.
And when I got older still, there was nothing so intoxicating as a Moroccan chicken scented heavily with cinnamon all over its beautiful bronze skin.
As a result, jars of cinnamon are always on hand in my pantry.
But nothing prepared me quite for the beauty of this container of cinnamon, which I received as a sample.
“Prosperity Cinnamon” is a lovely cinnamon bark box hand-carved with the Asian character for “prosperity.” Inside is 3 ounces of ground Vietnamese sweet cinnamon that is so fragrant, you’ll want to use it the minute you open it up.
It’s one of the many items included in the 2014 World Vision Gift Catalog.
Liquid nitrogen butter pecan ice cream floats (with an edible chocolate straw) at Michael Mina’s tailgate at Levi’s Stadium.
When there’s the likes of lobster pot pie, freshly shucked Kusshi oysters, and made-to-order, liquid-nitrogen butter pecan ice cream being served, you know you’re not at your average tailgate.
When it’s chefs Michael Mina and Thomas Keller in charge of the food, you know you’re truly at no ordinary sports feast.
Such was the case yesterday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, when the San Francisco 49ers socked it to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Chef Michael Mina presiding over his exclusive tailgate at his Bourbon Steak & Pub.
Oh, he’s a fan alright.
Some young fans enjoying the food.
At every home game, Mina’s Bourbon Steak & Pub, located right at the stadium, is transformed into the ultimate upscale tailgating party imaginable. For added fun, Mina invites a different guest chef to headline with him. Typically, the guest chef has a connection to the opposing team’s city, such as when Chicago-native Christopher Kostow of the Restaurant at Meadowood was on hand for the Niners-Bears game. Or how when the Niners take on the Washington Redskins on Nov. 23, it’ll be Chef Jose Andres, who has several restaurants in the nation’s capitol.
You’re invited to enjoy a cooking demo with yours truly and Chef Brendy Monsada at 2 p.m. Sept. 27 at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara.
Monsada is the head chef of Left Bank Brasserie in Menlo Park, where he dazzles with Provencal dishes crafted with the Bay Area’s finest ingredients.
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.
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.’’