Category Archives: General

Free Scoops of Humphry Slocombe in Cupertino, Plus More

Betty the Truck will be doling out free scoops this Wednesday in Cupertino. (photo courtesy of Humphry Slocombe)

Betty the Truck will be doling out free scoops this Wednesday in Cupertino. (photo courtesy of Humphry Slocombe)

Humphry Slocombe Truck Rolls Into Cupertino With Free Scoops

From now on, you might want to time your shopping trips to Whole Foods Cupertino to take advantage of the fact that Betty the Truck, aka the Humphry Slocombe ice cream mobile, will be in the parking lot regularly.

In fact, this Wednesday, noon to 9 p.m., marks the start of this new attraction. For this inaugural date only, the truck will be doling out free scoops. Yes, free scoops of such creative, iconic flavors as Secret Breakfast (bourbon ice cream with house-made corn flakes), and Queer  Eye Cookies & Graham (chocolate cookies and graham crackers in olive oil ice cream).

Secret Breakfast cones. (photo courtesy of Humphry Slocombe)

Secret Breakfast cones. (photo courtesy of Humphry Slocombe)

You can also buy pints, including the newest Whole Foods exclusive flavor, Mango Mojito (mango ice cream with mint, lime and rum). It was created in collaboration with “Top Chef” competitor Chef Melissa King.

After this Wednesday free day, look for the truck in the parking lot at 20955 Stevens Creek Blvd. in Cupertino every day, noon to 9 p.m., unless it has prior commitments elsewhere. Just bring your wallet, though, as you’ll have to pay for those scoops from then on out.

Rev Up the Appetite for “Dine Downtown San Jose”

From July 19-28, you’ll find a host of special prix fixe menus, chef specials and other limited-time creations at 22 top San Jose restaurants.

It’s all part of the 11th annual “Dine Downtown San Jose.”

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Sushi Sundays at The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse

The Sunday Sushi platter made for two at The Sea by Alexander's Steakhouse.

The Sunday Sushi platter (doubled in size here to serve two) at The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse.

 

After Meatless Mondays and Taco Tuesdays, now comes Sushi Sundays.

At least now at The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse in Palo Alto.

The upscale seafood-focused restaurant with the chic, Tiffany-like blue dining room can be a spendy experience, often more suited to a special occasion or a business account meal.

But on Sunday nights from now through Sept. 1, the restaurant is featuring a chef’s choice sushi platter for a reasonable $35 per person. Recently, I had a chance to try the new sushi special when I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant.

Sunday evenings are definitely a quieter time for the restaurant. Only a few people nursed drinks at the bar, while in the dining room, a few tables definitely seemed like they were celebrating a noteworthy moment.

The swank bar.

The swank bar.

The seafood theme carries over into the decor.

The seafood theme carries over into the decor.

We left ourselves in the hands of the kitchen and Executive Chef Yu Min Lin, who created a truncated tasting menu for us with the sushi platter included.

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Summer’s Finger-Food: Charred Padron Peppers with Goat Cheese and Sage

A pile of just-seared shishitos gets dressed with lovely goat cheese and sage leaves.

A pile of just-seared shishitos gets dressed with lovely goat cheese and sage leaves.

 

Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards and Winery in the Sonoma Valley takes pride in everything it does. It grows its own organic olives and Bordeaux varietal grapes, and makes its own olive oil and wine. It’s even won state awards for its sustainability practices.

Moreover, it has its own culinary team, whose talents are on full display in the new cookbook, “Stone Edge Farm Kitchen Larder Cookbook” (Rizzoli), of which I received a review copy.

The book is by John McReynolds, Mike Emanuel, and Fiorella Butron, who are respectively the culinary director, estate chef, and chef de cuisine for the winery.

The winery boasts a restored 1910 farm house, where tastings can be enjoyed by appointment-only, along with options for food and wine pairings, private cooking demonstrations, and private dining events.

The recipes reflect the bounty of produce the estate raises: “Lacto-Fermented Vegetables,” “Asparagus Tempura with Meyer Lemon Aioli, ”Oak Ember-Grilled Pork Chops with Quince Mostarda” and “Cabarnet Sauvignon Grape and Wine Granita.”

Stone Edge Farm cookbook

I gravitated to “Charred Padron peppers with Goat Cheese and Sage,” which also can be made with shishito peppers instead.

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One-Pan-Wonder: Chicken In Plums and Sweet Spice

Plums and Pluots color this one-pan chicken dish a dazzling color.

Plums and Pluots color this one-pan chicken dish a dazzling color.

 

For the past couple of years, Middle Eastern cuisine has been having a major moment.

And we are all luckier for it.

No longer does the spice mixture of ras el hanout prompt a quizzical look. We now talk knowledgeably about the best brand of tahini. And we think nothing of whipping up our own hummus at home.

The new “Honey & Co. at Home: Middle Eastern recipes from our kitchen” (Pavilion), of which I received a review copy, adds to that narrative by providing a wealth of tempting accessible recipes. The book is by husband and wife chefs, Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich, who own the Israeli-influenced cafe, Honey & Co. in London.

Honey&CoBook

As alums of Yotam Ottolenghi’s renowned London restaurants, their recipes spotlight seasonal ingredients, but are even easier to make at home. Try your hand at everything from “Yemeni Lentil Meatballs” and “Cold Yogurt and Pomegranate Soup” to “Lamb Chops with Rocket, Figs and Walnuts” and “Tahini Cake with Lemon and White Chocolate.”

“Chicken in Plums and Sweet Spice” is a Middle Eastern version of a tray bake.

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Chef Nora Haron Makes Local Kitchen All Her Own

Singaporean chicken rice at Local Kitchen & Wine Merchant in San Francisco.

Singaporean chicken rice at Local Kitchen & Wine Merchant in San Francisco.

 

As the former chef of Drip Line in Oakland and head kitchen manager for Blue Bottle Coffee in Oakland, Nora Haron has built a solid reputation in the East Bay.

But now she has staked a firm foothold in San Francisco, taking over the reins this year at Local Kitchen & Wine Merchant in the South of Market district.

The once Italian menu has been transformed by the Singaporean-born chef’s Southeast Asian flair. She’ll be the first to tell you that what she cooks is not rigidly traditionally authentic. Instead, she takes liberties, injecting her own personal preferences into the mix, as I found out when I was invited in as her guest recently.

When Haron is in the house, you know immediately. She is a gregarious, warm presence, sort of like the Asian auntie who invites you over to her house, then fills you to the gills with her home-cooking, thinking that if you don’t leave with a full belly, something is seriously wrong.

Chef Nora Haron took over and put her own spin on the menu earlier this year.

Chef Nora Haron took over and put her own spin on the menu earlier this year.

When she finds out that a young couple dining for the first time just moved into the neighborhood from out of state, she stops by to chat at length. When she discovers that another table of six includes a few Singaporean natives, she immediately brings over a bowl of her curry for them to try.

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