The famed honey cake at 20th Century Cafe.
Lovely fragrant honey permeates the 10 ethereal layers of honey cake and honey buttercream stacked high at 20th Century Cafe in San Francisco.
Not surprisingly, it’s the top-selling treat there.
That’s Pastry Chef-Proprietor Michelle Polzine hard at work, assembling a fresh one, layer by delicate layer.
Pastry Chef Michelle Polzine in her open kitchen.
The first slice.
If you haven’t had a chance to visit Polizine’s charming Central European cafe, there’s no time like now, especially with Mother’s Day around the corner. After all, what better way to spoil Mom on her special day than with some impeccable baked goods?
This is what real wasabi looks like.
If you think that pasty blob of green garnishing your sushi platter is wasabi, think again.
The real-deal rhizome is as rare as it is pricey.
That’s why what you generally find on most sushi plates is actually a cheap concoction of horseradish, mustard and green dye, not the actual Japanese rhizome that’s extremely difficult to grow.
Nowadays, though, if you know where to look, you might find more of the real wasabi around. That’s because there’s now one grower in California cultivating it: Half Moon Bay Wasabi.
After doing so many giveaways on this blog, I’d be remiss not to do one for my own new cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table” (Lyons Press), wouldn’t I?
So, here’s your chance to win a copy of the book that I will autograph to you or to whomever you please.
The cookbook is a tantalizing compilation of 54 restaurants and 79 recipes from the food-centric San Francisco Bay Area.
You’ll find everything from trendy new places to landmark establishments — along with dishes that exemplify their individual spirit and unique cuisine.
Each restaurant entry is illustrated by gorgeous photos, too, by award-winning photographer Craig Lee.
I’ve been having a ball hosting cooking demos and signing events with some of the featured chefs, and look forward to many more in the new year to come.
Yours truly, flanked by chefs Lissa Doumani and Hiro Sone of Ame and Terra restaurants. Taken just before the start of our Macy’s Union Square San Francisco event. (Photo taken by Craig Lee)
CONTEST: One lucky Food Gal reader will win a signed copy of my new cookbook. Entries, limited to those in the continental United States, will be accepted through midnight PST Dec. 21. Winner will be announced Dec. 23.
How to win?
Chef Amy Glaze teaching young students how to cook.
She’s cooked on the line at some of the most demanding and exacting restaurants in the world, including Guy Savoy in Paris and Le Bernardin in New York.
Now, Chef Amy Glaze is back in the Bay Area, cooking with a much different crowd — 12- to 14-year-olds, whose parents are struggling farm workers, who have no idea of her illustrious background.
Since its inception two years ago, Glaze has overseen the pioneering “Edible After School” program, Pescadero’s first after-school cooking class for kids. Its aim is to not only teach fundamental cooking skills, but to help strengthen English and math literacy.
A halibut dish guaranteed to make an impression.
When I placed this dish of “Halibut and Spinach with Orange-Pine Nut Vinaigrette” in front of my husband one Saturday night, he exclaimed:
It does look pretty impressive, I must admit. Like a restaurant-quality dish. But would you believe it took mere minutes to make?
The recipe is from the new Curtis Stone cookbook, “What’s For Dinner” (Ballantine Books), of which I received a review copy. Yes, those of you who pooh-pooh celeb TV chefs as nothing more than pretty faces should know that Stone, the host of “Top Chef Masters,” can actually cook. The Aussie is classically trained and learned his craft alongside greats like Michelin three-star chef and notorious bad-boy, Marco Pierre White.
The 130 recipes in this book are designed for our busy lives today. They are geared toward different days of the week, such as “One-Pot Wednesdays” when you don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning up, and “Thrifty Thursdays” when you want something delicious that’s easy on the wallet.
The halibut dish falls under “Time-Saving Tuesdays.” Truly, you can have it on the table in about 20 minutes, too.