At Lundberg Family Farms, Rice Is Always Nice

Lundberg Family Farms combine corn and rice to make tortilla chips that taste like cheese pizza.

Lundberg Family Farms combine corn and rice to make tortilla chips that taste like cheese pizza.

 

For three generations since 1937, the Lundberg Family has been synonymous with premium rice.

On 6,000 acres in the Sacramento Valley, it grows 18 varieties of rice — all non-GMO, and all certified gluten-free. It was also only the second farm in California to be certified organic.

Over the years, “The family has had many offers for both the land or the company, but they have a legacy they want to continue,” says Janet Souza, public relations and design manager for the farm. “They have never entertained any of those offers.”

Fortunately, for consumers, they just keep looking for new rice varieties to grow and new products to make. I had a chance recently to try samples of some of Lundberg’s newer products.

Bold Bites are small organic tortilla chips — that have the addition of rice in them. That makes them denser in texture. They are not as shatteringly crisp, but still plenty crunchy. They’re also gluten-free.

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Celebrate Bourdain Day by Indulging In Iceberg Wedge With Stilton and Pancetta

Dig into Anthony Bourdain's easy and classically wonderful wedge salad on Bourdain Day.

Dig into Anthony Bourdain’s easy and classically wonderful wedge salad on Bourdain Day.

 

I am not normally one to pay much heed to National Fettuccine Alfredo Day, National Onion Rings Day, National Chop Suey Day or any other rather bogus food holiday of the like.

But when esteemed chefs Eric Ripert and Jose Andres declared June 25 to be “Anthony Bourdain Day,” I was all in.

Close friends of the author, chef, television host, cultural pundit, and larger-than-life icon, they wanted to honor Bourdain on what would have been his 63rd birthday. Tragically,  the much-loved Bourdain too his own life last year.

Appetites cookbook

“Bourdain Day” was thus ordained to honor a man who traveled the world to parts unknown, and in the process, introduced us intimately to people and places we never would have seen in quite the same fresh, nuanced way.

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Tony’s Seafood Is SO Worth The Drive

Sublime fish and chips at Tony's Seafood.

Sublime fish and chips at Tony’s Seafood.

 

Marshall, on the northeast shore of Tomales Bay, is not a quick hop, skip and a jump for most of us to get to. But if you make the trek, often along a narrow, twisty road, depending upon the route you take, you will be deliciously rewarded. Much like the end of a rainbow, what awaits is gold.

Or Tony’s Seafood to be exact.

The throwback seafood shack on Highway 1 founded in 1948 by a local fisherman. Last year, the venerable Hog Island Oyster Company, just up the road, took it over, embarking on a massive renovation that shored it up yet kept its seafaring spirit.

The old-school seafood shack has new owners.

The old-school seafood shack has new owners.

How's that for a view?

How’s that for a view?

It reopened earlier this spring. I had a chance to check it out at a media luncheon held on a warm, sunny day — the kind this place was made for.

Tony’s Seafood sits on pilings, jutting out into the blue water. When you dine here, you feel like you’re floating in the sea.

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La Calenda Proves Naysayers Wrong

Pork jowl in mole verde at La Calenda.

Pork jowl in mole verde at La Calenda.

 

When Thomas Keller first let wind that he was going to open a Mexican restaurant in Yountville, the response was immediate: lots of eye rolling and sarcastic remarks.

But like Rick Bayless in Chicago, Keller soon proved this gringo knew exactly what he was doing. Keller may not have made exhaustive trips to Mexico to immerse himself in the intricacies of the cuisine. But he did the next best thing; he hired a chef de cuisine with impeccable credentials and know-how, Kaelin Ulrich Trilling, who was raised in Oaxaca by his mother, Susana Trilling, the noted culinary teacher who owns the cooking school, Seasons of My Heart in Mexico.

As a result, Keller’s La Calenda, which opened in January, is a triumph.

I finally had a chance to check it out a month ago, when I dined at lunch, paying my own tab at the end.

Housed in the former Hurley's.

Housed in the former Hurley’s.

La Calenda is mere steps away on Washington Street from Keller’s other establishments: The French Laundry, Bouchon Bistro, Bouchon Bakery, Ad Hoc, Ad Hoc Addendum, and the group’s lush culinary garden.

The former Hurley’s has been transformed into an airy, colorful space reminiscent of a Mexican hacienda.

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Red Duck Gourmet Condiments — And A Food Gal Giveaway

Everyday sausages turn special with a topping of Red Duck Curry Ketchup.

Everyday sausages turn special with a topping of Red Duck Curry Ketchup.

 

With summer weather comes prime condiment season.

Red Duck has got you covered, no matter what you’re grilling.

The Portland, OR-company makes a range of ketchups, barbecue sauces and taco sauces, all gluten-free and certified organic. The tomatoes used are all grown in California’s Central Valley, too, picked ripe in season from late-June through July.

The business is the brainchild of four MBA students who were studying at the University of Oregon when they came up with the idea for the condiments for a class project. The name “Red Duck” takes its name from the color of ketchup, their first product, plus the mascot of their college.

There are 11 products now, sold either separately or in trio samplers: “Quite Traditional” (Original Ketchup, Approachably Mild Taco Sauce, and Smoked Applewood Molasses BBQ Sauce); “So Unique” (Curry Ketchup, Uniquely Korean Taco Sauce, and Sweet Mustard Peppercorn BBQ Sauce); and “Fairly Spicy” (Spicy Ketchup, Actually Spicy Taco Sauce, and Hot Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce).

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