Category Archives: Food TV

Tacolicious School Project Starts Up, Santana Row Welcomes “Top Chef Mexico” Winner, And More

Visit Tacolicious on a Monday to help local schools. (Photo by Eleanor Palmieri)

Visit Tacolicious on a Monday to help local schools. (Photo by Eleanor Palmieri)

Tacolicious School Project

You probably already know that the Bay Area’s Tacolicious turns out delectable tacos. But what you might not know is that the restaurant company is now in its fifth year of raising funds for local schools.

In fact, its Tacolicious School Project has now raised $852,000 for local public schools, and is closing in on its goal of raising $1 million.

Every Monday from now through May, all Tacolicious restaurants in San Francisco, as well as the Santana Row San Jose location, will donate 15 percent of a month’s proceeds to 36 neighboring public schools.

To see which schools will benefit each month, click here.

What’s more, this year Tacolicious will donate proceeds from its sixth annual Taco Open golf tournament to Parents for Public Schools and the San Francisco Education Fund. The tournament will be held Oct. 19 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

Tacolicious owners Joe Hargrave and Sara Deseran started the school project in 2012. With kids of their own, they knew all too well how public schools struggle these days for enough funds to operate properly.

So if you’re hankering for tacos, be sure to visit Tacolicious on a Monday, when you’ll satisfy not only your hunger, but put your dollars to work for local schools.

Santana Row’s Chef Table Dinners with A “Top Chef” Winner

Las year’s “Top Chef Mexico” champ Chef Rodolfo Castellanos will headline two chef table dinners at Santana Row this month.

Sept. 13, he will cook a $99 four-course dinner at LB Steak, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Guests for this special Oaxacan-influenced dinner will be seated on the patio to enjoy dishes such as Chilhuacle pepper crusted seared Ahí tuna, and pan-roasted duck breast with flying ant mole manchamanteles.

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A Big Bad Breakfast for Mother’s Day

Fluffy, oat-fortified pancakes to greet the day.

Fluffy, oat-fortified pancakes to greet the day.

 

When I was growing up, my oldest brother and I would often wake up early on Sundays to stir up a big bowl of batter for waffles for the entire family.

Nowadays, with my husband’s predilection, it’s pancakes all the way.

Are you Team Waffle? Or Team Pancake?

It’s funny how most households seem to favor one or the other.

“Toasted Oatmeal Pancakes” might just satisfy both camps. That’s because of the toasted steel-cut oats that not only fortify the batter, but get sprinkled on as each pancake cooks, lending bits of crunch here and there like the edges of a waffle might.

The recipe is from “Big Bad Breakfast: The Most Important Book of the Day” (Ten Speed Press, 2016) by John Currence, the James Beard Award-winning chef who owns Big Bad Breakfast in Alabama. You might also know him from his appearances on “No Reservations,” “Mind of A Chef,” and “Top Chef Masters.”

BigBadBreakfastBook

Of course in this case, the operative word “bad” really means “good.” This is breakfast done boldly, with plenty of excess. Among Currence’s “Ten Commandments of Breakfast” is “Thou shalt slather with butter,” and “Though shalt hold no meal higher than breakfast.”

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Bad Boy Cauliflower

Anthony Bourdain's craveable cauliflower.

Anthony Bourdain’s craveable cauliflower.

 

Anthony Bourdain is never one to hold back. That’s why fellow chefs and food writers love him.

So when he describes this dish as “This s–t is compulsively delicious,” you can bet that it is.

And I concur heartily after having made it.

“Roasted Cauliflower with Sesame” is from his new book, “Appetites: A Cookbook” (Ecco), of which I received a review copy.

It’s his first cookbook in more than 10 years. This isn’t a collection of necessarily cutting-edge cooking, but rather recipes for dishes that he loves to cook at home — well, on the rare days that he actually is in New York and not traveling the globe for his must-see “Parts Unknown” show on CNN. They’re also dishes that Bourdain thinks every home-cook ought to have in his or her repertoire.

AnthonyBourdainAppetites

Besides the recipes for fundamentals such as “Sunday Gravy with Sausage and Rigatoni” and “Chicken Satay with Fake-Ass Spicy Peanut Sauce,” you get plenty of personality and snark.

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“Taste of Yosemite” 2017

Pretty in white.

Pretty in white.

 

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CA — After five years of drought, the snow was back and the waterfalls gushing like crazy this winter in this spectacular national park (click on the Instagram video below).

The Ahwahnee may now be known as the Majestic Yosemite (because its former concessionaire Delaware North claims it owns the park’s historic names after trademarking them); and the former “Chefs’ Holidays” event is now referred to as “Taste of Yosemite.” But no matter what you call it, a bevy of stellar chefs were more than happy to be back for this 32nd year, and yours truly was once again the moderator for the two closing sessions of this annual gourmet event.

Every year, I get a chance to meet newcomers who are not only attending their first gala dinner event here, but visiting the park for the very first time, too. That’s coupled with regulars, some of whom have been attending this glorious event for more than seven years.

Rhythm in motion @yosemitenps @yosemite

A video posted by Carolyn Jung (@food_gal_carolyn) on

Each sessions features three chefs or gourmet purveyors who each do a cooking demo. There’s a wine reception where you can mingle with the chefs. And every session ends with a gala five-course dinner prepared by one of the visiting chefs.

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My New Favorite Spaghetti Vongole

flavoring addition makes this clam pasta extra delicious.

A last-minute flavoring addition makes this clam pasta extra delicious.

 

There are times when I can be pretty predictable. Case in point? If spaghetti or linguini vongole is on a menu, it’s almost a sure bet that I will order it.

First off, I buck the trend in being an unabashed carb lover. Second, clam pasta is a little lighter than a meaty ragu. Third, there’s just something so appealing about a big bowl of tender clams tossed with toothsome noodles that get coated in all those sweet, briny juices.

I’ve made quite a few versions of it at home over the years. But my new favorite has to be the one I saw in the Wall Street Journal last summer. “Spaghetti Vongole” is by Chef Nina Compton of Compere Lapin in New Orleans. If you’re a “Top Chef” fan, you may remember her as a contestant on Season 11.

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