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Run, Don’t Walk, to B. Patisserie

Wednesday, 19. June 2013 5:25

Front and center, the incredible kouign-amann from B. Patisserie, as well as a croissant and an apple brown butter coffee cake.

Front and center, the incredible kouign-amann from B. Patisserie, as well as a croissant and an apple brown butter coffee cake.

 

It’s a good thing I don’t live close to the new B. Patisserie in San Francisco’s lower Pacific Heights neighborhood — or I’d be 300 pounds.

If I lived within walking distance, it would be a far, far dangerous thing.

That’s because these are pastries worth every single calorie.

Pastry Chef Belinda Leong and business partner Michel Suas have created a very special place.

That’s because Suas, founder of the San Francisco Baking Institute, is a master of bread, which star in the bakery-cafe’s open-faced tartine sandwiches. And Leong knows her way with butter, having trained in Paris with Pierre Hermé, and staged at Fauchon in New York. She’s also headed the dessert side of the kitchen at Manresa and Gary Danko restaurants.

The result is the perfect neighborhood bakery that feels like a slice of Paris.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, General, Great Finds | Comments (6) | 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:

Emporio Rulli Welcomes Easter with La Colomba Pasquale

Wednesday, 27. March 2013 5:25

Easter wouldn't be complete without La Colomba Pasquale from Emporio Rulli.

Easter wouldn’t be complete without La Colomba Pasquale from Emporio Rulli.

 

As much as I love chocolate eggs and marshmallow bunnies for Easter, there’s something that trumps all of that. At least in my book.

And that’s La Colomba Pasquale (“The Easter Dove”), baked by Larkspur’s famed Emporio Rulli.

Originally made only in the Lombardy province, it’s now made baked throughout Italy. Emporio Rulli has been offering its version for more than 24 years for the Easter holiday.

Think a soft, airy brioche loaded with organic butter and egg yolks that’s studded with candied orange peels. It rises overnight until it’s regal in height, then it’s remixed with yet even more butter, egg yolks and sugar.

Candied orange peels are added in, then the dough is formed into a traditional dove shape before it’s coated with almond paste, whole almonds, sugar crystals and vanilla powdered sugar before baking.

It’s bread. It’s dessert. It’s a dream.

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Category:Bakeries, General, Great Finds | Comments (6) | Author:

A Bakery with a Heart

Friday, 15. March 2013 5:25

Rubicon's cinnamon bread is sold only at Whole Foods.

Rubicon’s cinnamon bread is sold only at Whole Foods.

 

That’s what Richmond’s Rubicon Bakery is all about.

You may know the bakery for its carrot cake whoopie pies, triple chocolate mousse cake, lemon tart and other delights.

But what you might not know is how it all got started and the benefit it provides.

It was founded in 1993 as a non-profit dedicated to providing employment, housing and support services to low-income folks in the Bay Area. It started a bakery as a way to provide job skills to those who were once homeless, drug abusers and convicts.

That it did provide. But it was not a sustainable enterprise, as it was losing significant money and had to reduce its workforce drastically.

Enter Andrew Stoloff, a Berkeley resident with both an MBA from Wharton and experience in the restaurant industry. He was brought in to help sell the company. But he ended up buying it, himself, in 2009.

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Category:Bakeries, General, Great Finds | Comments (9) | Author:

A Passion for Peppercorns

Friday, 22. February 2013 5:25

Rose peppercorns. How pretty are these?

Husband-and-wife, Bruce and Angela Morgan of Washington state, have that in spades.

A decade ago they started Pepper-Passion. As the name implies, the company sells peppercorns. Black, green, rose and white. More than a dozen varieties in all — sourced from all over the world. Many not typically available in stores, either.

The company is an outgrowth of two of their hobbies: wood-working and cooking. Bruce designs his own, hand-crafted peppermills, each made from a single piece of exotic hardwood. Of course, with all those peppermills (some of which can fetch up to $900 each), he had to fill them with something.

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Category:General, Great Finds, New Products | Comments (9) | Author: