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Six Chefs, Six Dishes of Foie Gras — Yes, In California

Friday, 12. September 2014 5:26

Miniature duck dogs with foie gras torchon on pretzel buns by Chef Victor Scargle.

Miniature duck dogs with foie gras torchon on pretzel buns by Chef Victor Scargle.

 

It was a veritable swoon fest when 50 hand-picked guests came together to salivate over course after course of foie gras.

Yes, in California — the only state in the nation that bans that specialty product made from the fattened liver of a goose or duck.

That was the scene on July 5 at La Toque restaurant in Napa, which famously held a “State of American Foie Gras” lunch to publicize the fact that it’s been two years now since it became illegal to produce or sell foie gras in the state. Which is why La Toque gave it away — charging guests nothing for the lunch. Instead, the restaurant held a contest, asking people to write in about why “California’s foie gras ban is foolish.” Twenty-five winners were chosen, each of whom were allowed to bring a guest.

Scargle preparing his dish.

Scargle preparing his dish.

The guest chefs in the kitchen (L to R): David Bazirgan, Patrick Mulvaney, Mark Dommen, Douglas Keane and Victor Scargle.

The guest chefs in the kitchen (L to R): David Bazirgan, Patrick Mulvaney, Mark Dommen, Douglas Keane and Victor Scargle.

Nearly  200 people entered. Kelvin Kwan, 40, of San Mateo was only too happy to attend after his wife, Diane Wong, 40, won the seats. “Whenever we travel out of state – whether it’s for work or pleasure – I guarantee that at least one meal will have foie gras,’’ says Kwan, a high-tech entrepreneur. “Now that we can’t get it in California, we always look for it on menus elsewhere.’’

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, More Food Gal -- In Other Publications, Restaurants | Comments (2) | Author:

Yummy Supper’s Brown Butter Almond Tea Cakes That Are — Well — Yummy

Wednesday, 10. September 2014 5:26

You won't be able to resist these tender little cakes.

You won’t be able to resist these tender little cakes.

If we do eat with our eyes first, then I must gain 10 pounds every time I lay eyes upon Erin Scott’s luminous food photos.

The creator of the blog, Yummy Supper, serves even up more temptation now with her similarly named new cookbook, “Yummy Supper” (Rodale), of which I received a review copy.

Scott of Berkeley, who as a teenager grew up a stone’s throw from Chez Panisse, describes herself as a “gluten-free omnivore.” She may have celiac disease, but she doesn’t let that define her or limit her ability to enjoy delicious food.

In fact, all it takes is a cursory look at her blog or cookbook of 100 recipes to see that. Both are filled with vibrant, seasonal dishes that carry a fresh California sensibility and aren’t too fussy.

That’s what drew me to the recipe for “Brown Butter Almond Tea Cakes.” Well, that and the fact that I love anything with almonds. Or in this case: almond flour.

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Category:General, Recipes (Sweet) | Comments (9) | Author:

Fried Chicken Galore, Chef of Compassion & More

Monday, 8. September 2014 5:25

Who's ready for unlimited fried chicken? Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. (Photo courtesy of Tasting Table)

Who’s ready for unlimited fried chicken? Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. (Photo courtesy of Tasting Table)

Tasting Table Presents “Bubbly + Crunch”

Great fried chicken will make your eyes roll back into your head. So, too, a fabulous sparkling wine.

Leave it to Tasting Table to pair the two together in one unforgettable night.

Head to “Bubbly + Crunch,” 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 18 at American Steel Studios in Oakland.

Think unlimited fried chicken and bottomless glasses of Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine, plus custom cocktails. But wait, there’s more — dessert, of course.

Fried chicken and waffles from FarmerBrown-Little Skillet. (Photo courtesy of Tasting Table)

Fried chicken and waffles from FarmerBrown-Little Skillet. (Photo courtesy of Tasting Table)

Among those dishing up the fried chicken will be: Namu Gaji, Comstock Saloon, Nombe, Pican, Miss Ollie’s, Boxing Room, Abura-Ya, The Thomas, Farmerbrown’s-Little Skillet, and Grease Box. The sweets will be courtesy of: Humphry Slocombe, Pop Art Bakeshop, Delise Dessert Café and Sweet Collections.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General | Comments (1) | Author:

True Gentlemen’s Jerky or Of Men and Meat

Friday, 5. September 2014 5:26

True Gentleman's Jerky in Sinsa Korean Flavored BBQ flavor.

True Gentleman’s Jerky in Sinsa Korean Flavored BBQ flavor.

When I — or most women — are in need of a snack, we reach for fruit, yogurt, a handful of granola, a cookie or some pretzels.

Men?

It’s meat. Always.

My husband could have had a burger for lunch and could be preparing a leg of lamb for dinner, yet if he gets the munchies, he’ll still crave a meat product of some sort.

That’s a little of the spirit behind True Gentlemen’s Jerky. It was founded by a group of guys who all went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo together. In search of the perfect snack, they started making their own beef jerky based on a family recipe. Before long, a business was born.

True Gentlemen’s Jerky is made in the Sacramento area from Northern California beef. Recently, I had a chance to try samples.

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Category:General, Meat, New Products | Comments (5) | Author:

A Meal of A Lifetime: My Dinner at Nathan Myhrvold’s Modernist Cuisine Laboratory

Wednesday, 3. September 2014 5:28

What would a Modernist Cuisine dinner be without a little liquid nitrogen action going on? Chef Naomi Pomeroy gets in on the fun.

What would a Modernist Cuisine dinner be without a little liquid nitrogen action going on? Chef Naomi Pomeroy gets in on the fun.

 

BELLVUE, WA — Nathan Myhrvold, former Microsoft chief technology officer turned maestro of modernist cuisine, has held less than a dozen invitation-only dinners at his Intellectual Ventures laboratory. The exclusive guests have included the likes of Thomas Keller, Ferran Adria, David Chang and Jose Andres.

In June, I was lucky enough to join that illustrious list when I was invited to be part of a very special dinner. What made this dinner so epic was not only the fact that it was Myhrvold’s largest dinner party to date, but that all the guests were women.

The wizard-genius behind it all, Nathan Myhrvold, stops by each table to explain the dishes.

The wizard-genius behind it all, Nathan Myhrvold, stops by each table to explain the dishes.

The Modernist Cuisine team hard at work on the one-of-a-kind dinner.

The Modernist Cuisine team hard at work on the one-of-a-kind dinner.

Plating in action.

Plating in action.

A reminder that you are dining in an actual science laboratory.

A reminder that you are dining in an actual science laboratory.

Twenty-one female chefs and four female journalists sat down to a marathon 35-course dinner that lasted six hours. The guest list was as follows:

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Category:Chefs, Cool Cooking Techniques, Enticing Events, General, Google/Tech/Corporate Cafes, Great Finds, More Food Gal -- In Other Publications, Travel Adventures | Comments (13) | Author: