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Pop-Ups by Former Ad Hoc Chef, Love Apple Farms Celeb Cooking Demo, and More

Monday, 6. May 2013 5:26

Chef Dave Cruz will be cooking in Oakland. (Photo courtesy of the chef)

Chef Dave Cruz will be cooking in Oakland. (Photo courtesy of the chef)

Chef Dave Cruz To Do Pop-Ups in Oakland

You know him as the original chef for Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc restaurant in Yountville. Now, after leaving the Keller fold, Chef Dave Cruz is embarking on a series of pop-up events in Oakland — a prelude to opening his own restaurant some day.

The first dinner, May 18, will feature Chefs Simone Fung and Sebastian Mendieta of S+S Gastropub, cooking with Cruz at their downtown loft on Jackson Street in Oakland. The five-course dinner that night will be reminiscent of the hearty, seasonal meals he did at Ad Hoc. Dishes will include salad of Asian baby greens with slow cooked egg; crisp pork belly and clams; and strawberry shortcake with strawberry sorbet, Tokaiji-macerated strawberries and arlette cookies. Price is $85 per person.

Two seatings are available for the BYOB dinner: 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. The exact location of the dinner will be emailed to guests after a reservation is made.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, Food TV, Fruit, General | Comment (0) | Author:

Maui Part I: Take Five with Chef Sheldon Simeon of Star Noodle on Life Post-“Top Chef”

Wednesday, 24. April 2013 5:25

Chef Sheldon Simeon of Star Noodle in Maui.

Chef Sheldon Simeon of Star Noodle in Maui.

 

To say that life has changed for Chef Sheldon Simeon would be an understatement.

After placing third in this season’s “Top Chef’’ competition on Bravo TV and winning over viewers to be named “Fan Favorite,’’ business has doubled at his already popular Star Noodle restaurant on Maui. Fans, tourists and locals alike now brave as much as a two-hour wait to get into the out of the way restaurant that serves creative pan-Asian street food such as Vietnamese crepes, and all manner of ramen, soba and saimin noodles – 100 pounds in total hand-made every day on site by one tiny, elderly woman whom Simeon affectionately calls “auntie.’’

The crowds at the other restaurant he oversees, Leoda’s Kitchen and Pie Shop, aren’t too shabby, either.

When I visited Maui earlier this month as a guest of the Maui Visitors and Convention Bureau, I had a chance to sit down with Simeon at Star Noodle, where in between answering questions, he’d graciously accommodate the many diners who wanted to pose for photos with him. The 30-year-old chef, husband and father of three young daughters who was born on the Big Island, chatted about the impact the television show has had on his career that began humbly enough as a restaurant dishwasher.

Q: Why did you want to do “Top Chef’’?

A: I could see the opportunity it brings. It’s been overwhelming at times, but also a blessing. It was a chance for me to represent Hawaii. I wanted to test myself.

Q: What was the hardest part about doing the show?

A: Every challenge was hard. As a chef, I work alone on a dish. If I’m not satisfied with it, I don’t put it out. But on the show, I was like, ‘I can’t believe I’m serving this to Wolfgang Puck!’

StarNoodleSign

The dining room has always been packed, but even more so now after "Top Chef'' aired.

The dining room has always been packed, but even more so now after “Top Chef” aired.

Q: Did you practice in any way to prepare for the challenges?

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Category:"Take Five'' Q&A, Chefs, Food TV, General, Restaurants, Travel Adventures | Comments (18) | Author:

Charlie Trotter Tribute Dinner at M.Y. China, Sweet Fests Not to Be Missed, and More

Monday, 15. April 2013 5:25

Martin Yan (Photo courtesy of the chef).

Martin Yan (Photo courtesy of the chef).

Martin Yan Hosts An All-Star Dinner at M.Y. China

Charlie Trotter, who shuttered his famed eponymous Chicago restaurant last year, will be the special guest of honor at a  6 p.m. June 9 dinner hosted by Martin Yan at M.Y. China in San Francisco.

If that weren’t enough of a draw, the dinner will be created in part by Chef Michael Rotondo, former executive chef of Charlie Trotter’s and now chef de cuisine at Parallel 37 in the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco. Dessert will be made by Yigit Pura, the first winner of “Top Chef: Just Desserts” and now proprietor of Tout Sweet Patisserie in San Francisco. And M.Y. China’s executive chef and master noodle-puller, Tony Wu, will be on hand to show his dough-twirling prowess.

The evening will begin with appetizers and sparkling wines from Domaine Carneros. That will be followed by a seated four-course dinner with wines by the Michael Mondavi Family Estate. A live auction also will be held.

The dinner, a benefit for the James Beard Foundation and the Chef Martin Yan Scholarship, is limited to 100 people. Tickets are $200 per person or $175 per person for James Beard Foundation members. Tickets can be purchased at MyChinaSF.com or by calling (415) 580-3001.

Pastry Chef Yigit Pura. (Photo courtesy of the chef)

Pastry Chef Yigit Pura. (Photo courtesy of the chef)

Dessert First!

Calling all sweet tooths: The Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco will be the place to be 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. May 5.

That’s when 20 of the Bay Area’s best pastry chefs will ply you with all manner of signature sweets at “Dessert First!,” a benefit for Project Open Hand, which provides meals for people afflicted with breast cancer or HIV/AIDS, or are home-bound and critically ill.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, Enticing Events, Food TV, General, Restaurants | Comments (1) | Author:

San Francisco Film Society Culinary Luminaries Banquet, New Anthony Bourdain Show & More

Thursday, 4. April 2013 5:25

Alice Waters and Cecilia Chiang in a scene from "Soul of a Banquet.'' (Still courtesy of the San Francisco Film Festival)

Alice Waters and Cecilia Chiang in a scene from “Soul of a Banquet.” (Still courtesy of the San Francisco Film Festival)

Mega-Benefit Banquet by the San Francisco Film Society

If you’re an aficionado of Chinese banquet galas, you will not want to miss this stellar one by the San Francisco Film Society at Yank Sing in San Francisco, 6 p.m. April 10.

Among the noted guests who will be in attendance: Bay Area culinary legends, Alice Waters and Cecilia Chiang; acclaimed food writer Ruth Reichl; and noted film director, Wayne Wang, who will be showing a sneak preview of his newest film, “Soul of a Banquet,” his tribute to Chiang, who changed the face of Chinese food in America when she opened The Mandarin in San Francisco in 1961.

The event benefits Waters’ Edible Schoolyard Project.

Tickets, which include the reception, film screening and dinner, are $288 per person. A table for 10 is $2,500.

Avant Garden Food & Art Fundraiser in San Jose

Celebrate all things local in the South Bay at the third annual “Avant Garden event, 7 p.m. April 19 at The Armory, 240 N. 2nd St. in San Jose.

Enjoy live music, crafts, artwork and plenty of food and drink by vendors such as Little Bee Pops, Good Karma Vegan Cafe and Cafe Stritch.

Event tickets are $10 online or $12 at the door. Food and drink tickets are $3 each and available at the event site.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, Food TV, General, Going Green and Sustainable, Health/Nutrition, Restaurants | Comments (1) | Author:

Belcampo Ushers in A New Age of Sustainable Food

Monday, 1. April 2013 5:25

A butcher making porchetta at Belcampo Meat Co. in Larkspur.

A butcher making porchetta at Belcampo Meat Co. in Larkspur.

 

Belcampo Meat Co. in Larkspur may look like the latest trendy, farm-to-table butcher shop stocked with pedigreed meat for sale at sky-high prices.

But it’s so much more than that.

It’s part of a corporation that aims to start a new food revolution — by producing sustainable food on an unheard of scale. And at a profit, to boot.

It is the brainchild of Todd Robinson, a Wall Street veteran with deep pockets; and Anya Fernald, a California-native and long-time locavore entrepreneur. She may look familiar from her previous appearances as a judge on “Iron Chef America” and as the founder of the Eat Real Festival in Oakland.

The two founded Belcampo, Inc. in 2011, which consists of several operations spread across three countries. They include: a 10,000-acre certified organic, sustainable ranch at the base of Mt. Shasta in California, where cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, rabbits, goats, turkeys, geese and squabs are raised sustainably, organically and on pasture; another cattle ranch in Uruguay; and an eco-lodge and farm in Belize that produces coffee, chocolate and rum.

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Category:Food TV, General, Going Green and Sustainable, Great Finds, Health/Nutrition, Meat, More Food Gal -- In Other Publications, Restaurants | Comments (3) | Author: