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Piggish for Tea

Wednesday, 21. January 2015 5:26

Steeping my Teapigs.

Steeping my Teapigs.


I am piggish for tea after trying samples of Teapigs.

I mean, you just gotta love the name right off the bat, right?

Plus, you have to smile at a tea company that has a sense of humor. Its Chamomile tea has a drawing of an easy chair on the package, while its Chili Chai is decorated with an image of a fire extinguisher.

The company is called Teapigs because the the founders are greedy for great teas. Get it?

On top of that, the company, which started in the United Kingdom in 2006 and opened a New York branch last year, works with the communities from where it sources tea to try to improve them in some way. Case in point, it’s now helping raise money for the Noel Orphanage in Rwanda, which is located in the same region where Teapigs produces its English Breakfast blend.

Of course, the real question is how does the tea taste?

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Category:General, New Products | Comments (6) | Author:

Yotam Ottolenghi’s Squash with Chile Yogurt and Cilantro Sauce

Monday, 19. January 2015 5:26

Butternut squash gets drizzled with Sriracha-spiked yogurt and more.

Butternut squash gets drizzled with Sriracha-spiked yogurt and more.


He has been dubbed a genius with vegetables.

His cooking may not be vegetarian per se, but Yotam Ottolenghi, the chef-owner of four London restaurants, definitely is a champion of putting vegetables front and center, in especially vibrant ways.

His three previous cookbooks have all been best-sellers: “Ottolenghi,” “Jerusalem,” and “Plenty.” No doubt, his fourth one, “Plenty More” (Ten Speed Press), also will top the charts.

In this cookbook, of which I received a review copy, Ottolenghi continues his foray into dazzling veg-centric dishes such as “Steamed Eggplant with Sesame and Green Onion,” “Iranian Vegetable Stew with Dried Lime,” and “Grilled Banana Bread with Tahini and Honeycomb.”


At this time of year, I love roasting winter squashes. But I’m always looking for new ways to accent them. “Squash with Chile Yogurt and Cilantro Sauce” fit the bill perfectly.

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Category:Chefs, General, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (6) | Author:

Chef James Syhabout Helping Oakland Schools, Restaurant Weeks & More

Friday, 16. January 2015 5:26

Chef James Syhabout gives back to Oakland schools. (Photo courtesy of the chef)

Chef James Syhabout gives back to Oakland schools. (Photo courtesy of the chef)

Chef James Syhabout’s Dine About Oakland Public Schools Initiative

Oakland’s native son and only Michelin-starred chef, James Syhabout has launched “Dine About Oakland Public Schools.” Under the initiative, 5 percent of all sales in January at his Oakland restaurants, Hawker Fare, Box & Bells, The Dock, and Commis, will be donated to a designated Oakland school.

Through Jan. 17, proceeds will go to Claremont Middle School. From Jan. 18-24, funds will go to Chabot Elementary. And from Jan. 25-31, proceeds will benefit Oakland  Tech.

Restaurant Weeks

Chef James Syhabout’s Hawker Fare, Box & Bells, and The Dock also will be among the restaurants participating in Oakland Restaurant Week, Jan. 15-25.

For those 10 days, a slew of restaurants will be offering special prix-fixe lunch and/or dinner menus for $20, $30 and $40.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, New Products, Restaurants | Comment (0) | Author:

Fall In Love with Arborio Rice Bread from Della Fattoria

Wednesday, 14. January 2015 5:26

My new favorite bread.

My new favorite bread.


I am madly, deeply, crazy as a loon in love.

With this bread.

It’s a solid loaf. It has a beguiling character owing to an unusual backbone of arborio rice. It has every quality you’ve dreamed about in the perfect bread. In short, it’s a keeper.

And I was smitten at the first chewy bite.

Naturally, the recipe comes from one of my favorite bread bakeries — Della Fattoria in Petaluma, where owner Kathleen Weber and her family turn out artisan loaves baked in a wood-fired oven on their ranch. They are breads full of flavor and integrity. Among the first restaurants they supplied was the French Laundry in Yountville, which tells you just how extraordinary the products are.

“Arborio Rice Bread” is from their new cookbook, “Della Fattoria Bread” (Artisan), complete with 63 recipes for everything from Della Fattoria’s signature Meyer Lemon-Rosemary Campagne Boule to Spicy Cheddar Crackers to Sticky Buns.


It appealed to me for its intriguing use of risotto-style rice and because it’s one of the more streamlined recipes in the book as it doesn’t require a starter.

Making bread always takes time and patience. It’s never a quick process. But this particular recipe doesn’t require much heavy-lifting. It also makes two loaves, so you’re amply rewarded after an afternoon of work.

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Category:Bakeries, General, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (7) | Author:

Join the Food Gal at Macy’s For A Cooking Demo with Fattoria e Mare Chef Pablo Estrada

Monday, 12. January 2015 5:25


Seafood with Italian gusto — that’s what’s on the menu at 6 p.m. Jan. 22 when I host a cooking demo at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara with Chef Pablo Estrada of Fattoria e Mare in Burlingame.

He’ll show you how he creates one of his specialties: Venetian poached prawns.

Born in Mexico, Estrada got his start working in his family’s bakery. Since coming to the Bay Area in 1993, he’s worked in a slew of top-notch San Francisco restaurants, including Campton Place, Restaurant LuLu, Palio d’Asti, Red Herring and Rose Pistola.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, More Food Gal -- In Person | Comments (1) | Author: