Can you smell the heavenly butter and sugar yet?
You will at 6 p.m. Feb. 10 when Christy Ikezi of San Jose’s 2nd Story Bakeshop joins me for a baking demo at Macy’s Valley Fair in Santa Clara.
The San Jose bakery specializes in long-fermented organic artisan breads, as well as sweet treats such as pear pie cookies, almond crisps, and dark chocolate sea-salt cookies. Its breads are sold at select South Bay farmers markets, as well as Whole Foods in Cupertino and on The Alameda in San Jose.
Chevoo Aleppo-Urfa Chili & Lemon crown focaccia.
Husband and wife Gerard and Susan Tuck would often entertain at their Australian home with plenty of shrimp on the barbie, and creamy, marinated goat cheese to spread on just about anything.
So much so that when Gerard left his job in corporate finance to run a Melbourne-based cheese importer and distributor, he had thoughts of being a really big cheese.
When he and his wife moved to the Bay Area, and Gerard graduated from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, they decided to pursue that dream and start their own cheese company.
Chevoo (pronounced “chez vous” in a nod to the French phrase that means “at your place”), launched last summer. It takes locally-produced chevre cubes and marinates them in extra virgin olive oil and herbs, then packs it all in convenient jars.
The herring sampler at Volta.
Chef Staffan Terje has been cooking up such brilliant Italian food for decades in San Francisco at his Perbacco and Barbacco restaurants, that it’s easy to forget he’s actually Swedish.
Now, the Stockholm-born chef is finally getting a chance to flex and flaunt his Scandinavian heritage with his Chef de Cuisine Keven Wilson, late of Perbacco.
During the holidays, his newest restaurant with business partner Umberto Gibin, opened quietly in downtown San Francisco in the former space of Tom Colicchio’s Wichcraft.
Volta is a brasserie that serves Scandinavian-French food with verve.
Chef Staffan Terje and Proprietor Umberto Gibin.
Comfortable and classy, that’s the look of this dining room.
A couple weeks ago, I had a chance to dine as a guest of the restaurant, a cavernous space that once was fairly plain and utilitarian, which now is a lot cozier, thanks to half-partitions that section the dining room without enclosing it.
A luxurious little potato crowned with creme fraiche and Black Opal caviar.
California may can lay claim to being the first producer of farmed caviar way back in 1993 with Sacramento County’s successful Sterling Caviar.
But now, the other side of the country is expanding its reach into the game, most notably Healthy Earth Inc.’s Black Opal caviar from Sarasota, FL.
It, too, is farm-raised, from Siberian black sturgeon fed a vegetarian diet. The company has worked with Sarasota’s Mote Marine Laboratory to grow the sturgeon for both meat and caviar.
It only takes a handful of ingredients to make this sensational pasta dish.
How many times do you come home pooped, cranky and starved, only to peer into a half-empty fridge and wonder what in the world you can eat to make you feel a whole lot better fast?
“Fettuccine with Preserved Lemon and Roasted Garlic” will do the trick.
Especially if you keep a handy-dandy jar of home-made preserved lemons in your fridge at all times like me. Which you should.
Particularly if you grow your own little pot of rosemary. Which you ought — because it comes in so handy.
And most readily, if you keep a stash of already roasted garlic in your fridge or freezer. Which you need to promise yourself you’ll do, because you’ll use it for so many things, including the tastiest garlic bread on the fly.
The pasta recipe is from “The Homemade Kitchen: Recipes For Cooking With Pleasure” (Clarkson Potter), of which I received a review copy.
The cookbook is by Alana Chernila, a Massachusetts food writer and cooking teacher who blogs at EatingFromTheGroundUp.