If you like to read and if you like to eat — I mean, who doesn’t? — you won’t want to miss all the fun at Litquake’s “Eat, Drink, and Be Literary” event, 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Oct. 11 at Z Space in San Francisco’s Mission District.
Especially because yours truly along with photographer extraordinaire Craig Lee will be on hand to sign copies of our cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table” (Lyons Press).
Craig and I will be doing our signing at San Francisco’s premier literary festival from 1:15 p.m. to 2 p.m. that day. For added incentive, I’m bringing cookies baked from a recipe from the book that will be doled out until they run out.
We’ll be in great company, too. Others participating in the signings and panels include:
Say yes to loaded, smashed potatoes at Roots & Rye.
I have joked with Chef-Restaurateur Chris Yeo that some day he will end up operating every restaurant at San Jose’s Santana Row.
Which would be pretty impressive for a guy who describes himself as retired.
Yeo may no longer be in the kitchen these days, but he’s still plenty active. In fact in July, he opened his third restaurant at that upscale outdoor retail-housing complex.
Roots & Rye is a slight departure for Yeo in that unlike his other two restaurants here, Straits and Sino, this one is not heavily Asian-influenced.
Instead, it’s a gastropub, featuring New American cuisine, offered in both small and large plates, as well as about 100 different whiskeys on the menu.
The large lounge area.
The expansive, backlit bar.
What it does share in common with his two other establishments is a boisterous, lounge-y vibe with pulsating music playing noon and night. His penchant for bar hostesses in short, tight, black attire also has been carried over here. So much so that I jested that I hoped my husband would not end up with whiplash when we dined here one recent evening when I was invited in as a guest of the restaurant.
The front of Roots & Rye opens up to bring the outdoors in. The bar area takes up about half the restaurant and spills outdoors with chairs set up around cool-looking glass-fronted fire pits. The dining room toward the back makes for a slightly quieter area.
Move over, banana bread. Make way for banana upside down cake.
There’s no denying banana bread is so comforting, so nostalgic, and so easy to make.
But I think it’s high-time to branch out of that ol’ banana rut.
It’s time to flip things around. Upside down to be precise.
As in “Banana Polenta Upside Down Cake.”
This delightful recipe is from “Vanilla Table” (Jacqui Small LLP) by Natasha Macaller, a pastry chef and restaurant consultant who splits her time between London, Los Angeles and New Zealand.
As the name implies, this cookbook, of which I received a review copy, showcases vanilla in every recipe, both savory and sweet.
If you’ve ever accidentally left out vanilla extract from a cookie recipe — ahem, yes, I have so blundered on one occasion — you know exactly how flat tasting it ends up. Vanilla adds an unmistakable lovely, natural sweetness to anything it touches.
It’s guaranteed to be a sweet time when yours truly teams with Executive Pastry Chef Samantha Miotke of Palo Alto’s Mayfield Bakery & Cafe for a delightful cooking demo 2 p.m. Sept. 19 at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara.
A graduate of the California Culinary Academy, Miotke was hooked on creating sugary treats ever since she was a little girl, playing with her Easy-Bake Oven.
Pretty tomato tartines at Kristi Marie’s in Redwood City.
If you’ve spent anytime in Menlo Park, you know the Borrone name.
As in the beloved Cafe Borrone next door to the equally cherished Kepler’s Books on El Camino Real.
Rose and Roy Borrone opened the European-style cafe more than a quarter century ago.
Their son Peter and his wife then opened the wood-fired pizza joint, Vesta, three years ago in Redwood City in the same location the first Cafe Borrone was established before it moved to Menlo Park.
And just a month ago, following in the family’s footsteps, Rose’s and Roy’s youngest daughter Kristi opened Kristi Marie’s bakery in downtown Redwood City with her husband Zu Tarazi. The couple previously owned Station 1 restaurant in Woodside.
The colorful sign painted on the side of the building.
Owners Kristi Borrone and Zu Tarazi.
The slender, shoebox-sized space once housed a hair salon. Now, it’s where Kristi and former Station 1 Sous Chef Alex Avery turn out sweets with Tarazi lending a hand with the savory side.