Category Archives: Videos & Podcasts

Behind the Scenes as El Celler de Can Roca’s Roca Brothers Cook in San Francisco

"The World'' being assembled at the San Francisco dinner prepared by the Roca brothers.

“The World” being assembled at the San Francisco dinner prepared by the Roca brothers.

 

It was a little like getting a backstage pass to a U2 concert.

Only way better.

That’s how I felt when I was invited to hang around in the kitchen on Wednesday night when the three Roca brothers, owners of the illustrious El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, were in San Francisco to cook a series of dinners at the Julia Morgan Ballroom.

After all, in the culinary world — Joan (chef), Josep (sommelier and maitre d’) and Jordi (pastry chef) — are rock stars of the utmost magnitude. Their restaurant not only has garnered three Michelin stars, but is rated #2 on the current list of “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants,” (they were #1 in 2013 and 2015).

Jordi, Joan and Josep Roca in the Julia Morgan Ballroom.

Jordi, Joan and Josep Roca in the Julia Morgan Ballroom.

What’s more, the multi-course, three-hour dinners were not open to the public. Instead, they were by invitation-only, with the 100 guests each night predominantly clients of Spanish bank BBVA Compass, which was sponsoring the Roca brothers’ whirlwind cooking tour. It spans three continents in five weeks with stops in London, Hong Kong, Phoenix, San Francisco (this week), and finally, Santiago de Chile.

Although Joan had come to the Bay Area in the spring on a prior scouting trip, this was the first time the other two brothers have visited San Francisco.

The 2016 tour is the third time BBVA has sponsored such an endeavor for the brothers. And what an undertaking it is. El Celler Can Roca closes for the entire month of August just for this, and almost the entire staff comes along for the ride. We’re talking the brothers plus 40 others.

The ballroom before the guests arrived.

The ballroom before the guests arrived.

Some of the featured wines for the evening.

Some of the featured wines for the evening.

Besides their personal luggage, the brothers travel only with their knives, and a few special ingredients, such as distillations that would be too difficult to make on location. One-of-a-kind serving ware is sent ahead. They go through one Iberico jamon leg per dinner. They source most everything else locally, making a point to use a few key ingredients particularly indigenous to the cities they are cooking in.

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Cooking Up A Storm at the Googleplex with Chef Matt Accarrino of SPQR

Chef Matt Accarrino of SPQR makes gnocchi in the Google kitchen. (Photo courtesy of Google)

Chef Matt Accarrino of SPQR makes gnocchi in the Google kitchen. (Photo courtesy of Google)

 

How did New Orleans’ Emeril Lagasse influence Chef Matt Accarrino’s career? And just what does this “Food & Wine Best New Chef 2014” winner think of restaurants that don’t make any of their own pasta?

Take a listen as Accarino of the celebrated SPQR in San Francisco answers these questions and more when he joined me in the teaching kitchen at Google headquarters in Mountain View a few weeks ago for a very special event.

Accarrino and yours truly laughing it up in the kitchen. (Photo by Craig Lee)

Accarrino and yours truly laughing it up in the kitchen. (Photo by Craig Lee)

The occasion was a cooking demo in conjunction with my cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table” (Lyons Press), to which Accarrino contributed a recipe.

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My Q&A at the Googleplex with Pastry Chef Bill Corbett of Absinthe

Yours truly, interviewing Pastry Chef Bill Corbett, at Google headquarters. (Photo courtesy of Google)

Yours truly, interviewing Pastry Chef Bill Corbett, at Google headquarters. (Photo courtesy of Google)

 

It’s not every day you get to visit Google headquarters in Mountain View.

But a few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be asked to do an event there with Pastry Chef Bill Corbett of Absinthe Brasserie & Bar at San Francisco.

Corbett is one of the more than 50 chefs featured in my cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table” (Lyons Press).

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Listen to the Food Gal on “Dining Around with Joel”

Yours truly was honored to be a guest this past Saturday on "Dining Around with Joel'' on KGO Radio 910AM.

Joel Riddell (Photo courtesy of KGO Radio)

Yours truly was honored to be a guest this past Saturday on “Dining Around with Joel” on KKSF 910AM.

It’s always a laugh-a-palooza with host extraordinaire Joel Riddell, who makes it all too easy to chit-chat, especially when the topic is food.

We talk about my debut cookbook, “San Francisco Chef’s Table” (Lyons Press), how it came about, the challenges involved in getting it done, how the restaurants featured were chosen, and what it was like to corral so many chefs into one project.

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Listen to the Food Gal Dish on Restaurants on KQED’s Forum Show

Getty Images

Getty Images

What are the hot new restaurants and the must-try dishes in the Bay Area for the new year?

Take a listen as yours truly talks food with Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle restaurant reviewer, and Meesha Halm, local editor of the Zagat Bay Area Restaurant Guide on last Thursday’s “Forum” show on KQED Radio.

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