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Macarons Galore Plus New Juice Bar and an Oyster Fest

Monday, 11. August 2014 5:25

Presenting the "Hedwig Schmidt'' macaron. (Photo courtesy of Tout Sweet Patisserie)

Presenting the “Hedwig Schmidt” macaron. (Photo courtesy of Tout Sweet Patisserie)

Glitzy New Macaron from Tout Sweet

Inspired by the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” Tout Sweet of San Francisco has created a limited-edition macaron covered in a riot of edible red glitter.

Pastry Chef-Proprietor Yigit Pura was inspired to make the “Hedwig Schmidt” macaron because the musical’s message of “love and discovering who you really are,” resonated with him.

Named for the title character in the musical, the macaron features a bourbon-orange marmalade ganache with a brandied cherry center. And of course, there’s the glitter, which will leave your lips sparkling.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, Enticing Events, General, New Products, Restaurants | Comments (3) | Author:

Scenes from Eat Drink SF 2014

Monday, 4. August 2014 5:26

CnC Cocktail Company's made-to-order cocktail snow cones.

CnC Cocktail Company’s made-to-order cocktail snow cones.

 

Bourbon, honey, grilled peaches and bitters -- in snow cone form.

Bourbon, honey, grilled peaches and bitters — in snow cone form.

 

It’s got a new name along with new digs.

The annual SF Chefs event was re-dubbed Eat Drink SF for 2014 and moved to the more spacious Fort Mason in San Francisco from its tight quarters underneath a tent pitched on Union Square.

The result?

A three-day event that still showcases the Bay Area’s best chefs, wineries and mixologists — but is far easier to navigate.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, Restaurants | Comments (5) | Author:

Parallel 37 Comes Full Circle

Friday, 1. August 2014 5:26

Guinea hen terrine with eggplant -- on the new tasting menu at Parallel 37.

Guinea hen terrine with eggplant — on the new tasting menu at Parallel 37.

 

San Francisco’s Parallel 37 has done a 360.

Almost.

Two years ago, the once prim, proper and heavily brocaded Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco was jettisoned. So were the tasting menus.

In its place came a sleeker, more modern space, renamed Parallel 37 (after the geographic latitude running near the Bay Area). The tasting menus were eliminated in favor of la carte dining.

But something funny happened along the way. Chef Ron Siegel departed for Michael Mina Restaurant in San Francisco. His successor was Michael Rotondo, who brought back the tasting menus, slowly but surely, and something even more important. Rotondo, former executive chef of Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, convinced his former Windy City colleagues to jump into the fog with him. Besides Rotondo, Parallel 37 now boasts Trotter alums: Sous Chef Mitchell Nordby, Pastry Chef Andrea Correa, and the most recent hire, Restaurant Manager and Sommelier Ryan Stetins. Parallel 37 now boasts more Trotter veterans than any other restaurant in the country.

Rotondo added a tasting menu option early on, but left the a la carte menu, too. But starting in June, the restaurant went to a tasting menu-only format: three courses for $65, five courses for $95, and eight courses for $135. Wine pairings are an additional $40, $55 and $85, respectively.

The contemporary dining room.

The contemporary dining room.

In an homage to Trotter’s famed “kitchen table” dining experience, Rotondo also has added something similar. Guests start the evening inside the kitchen with cocktails and canapes to watch the cooks in action. Then, they are seated at a table next to the kitchen for an eight-course tasting menu with wine pairings. The “Kitchen Table” experience is $250 per person. A minimum of four people is required.

A couple weeks ago, I was invited in to dine as a guest in the main dining room. Parallel 37 is one of the 54 restaurants featured in my debut cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table” (Lyons Press) and it was a kick to see a stack of the books for sale behind the hostess stand.

Thrilled to have the recipe for "Pig 'N' Boots'' in my cookbook, "San Francisco Chef's Table.''

Thrilled to have the recipe for “Pig ‘N’ Boots” in my cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table.”

Of course, I had to start the evening off with a “Pig ‘N’ Boots” ($14), a cocktail created by mixologist Camber Lay and featured in my cookbook. Normally — and particularly when I have a wine pairing yet to come — I take a few sips of a cocktail, but leave the rest. Not this one. It’s amazing that a scotch-based cocktail can be this light and refreshing. Lillet Rose, lavender, yuzu and a fresh grating of cinnamon over the top give it balance, so that it’s not overly boozy tasting but rather floral and tangy instead.

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Category:Chefs, General, Restaurants | Comments (4) | Author:

Palo Alto Welcomes Belcampo Meat Co.

Friday, 25. July 2014 5:28

Pulled pork bun (front) and braised lamb belly bun (back) at Belcampo in Palo Alto.

Pulled pork bun (front) and braised lamb belly bun (back) at Belcampo in Palo Alto.

 

After opening its first restaurant-retail meat shop last spring in Larkspur, Belcampo Meat Co. has been on a rapid roll.

Since then, it has opened in speedy succession in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and just four weeks ago in Palo Alto’s Town & Country Village.

Shortly, Santa Monica will get the largest outpost of the farm-to-table meat company with a butcher shop plus a restaurant that will boast a full bar, as well as 90 seats. A lease also has been signed for a location in West Hollywood.

Belcampo is on a fast-track mission to prove that sustainable not only can be profitable, but feasible on a large-scale.

A butcher packs away the meat just before closing.

A butcher packs away the meat just before closing.

Note the whiteness of the fat on the meat -- a sign of pasture-fed animals.

Note the whiteness of the fat on the meat — a sign of pasture-fed animals.

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.

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Category:General, Going Green and Sustainable, Great Finds, Meat, New Products, Restaurants | Comments (4) | Author:

An Indulgent Chocolate Treat From My “San Francisco Chef’s Table” Cookbook

Friday, 18. July 2014 5:26

Dark chocolate and mint make one arresting dessert. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Dark chocolate and mint make one arresting dessert. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

 

I love the dichotomy of dark chocolate and fresh mint.

On one hand, you have the deep, rich weightiness of the chocolate. On the other, the breezy lilt of the tingly mint.

Put them together and you get the best yin-yang: one ingredient so devilishly decadent it can’t help but lure you in, and the other so fresh and vibrant, it clears your palate to egg you into enjoying another mouthful — and yet another — of chocolate.

Chef Sarah Rich of the wildly popular Rich Table in San Francisco knows this. Trained in both the savory and sweet side of the kitchen, she knows just what is bound to tempt.

That’s why I couldn’t have been happier when I asked her to contribute a recipe to my debut cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table” Lyons Press), and she chose “Mint Chocolate Sable with Mint Chocolate Cream & Iced Milk.”

It was one of the first recipes I tested. (Hey, I’m no fool!)

Think of this as a fanciful yet rustic version of an ice cream sandwich. (You see why I wanted to try this one right off the bat.)

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Category:Chefs, Chocolate, General, Recipes (Sweet), Restaurants | Comments (5) | Author: