Kronner Shrimp Burger

KronnerBurger's Shrimp (and Sweet Potato) Burger.

KronnerBurger’s Shrimp (and Sweet Potato) Burger.

 

With Labor Day on the horizon, look no farther than Chris Kronner for all your burger needs.

After all, Kronner, late of the now-shuttered Slow Club and Bar Tartine, as well as Serpentine in San Francisco, has been perfecting his burgers for more than a decade.

The burger impresario, who now heads Henry’s in Berkeley’s Graduate Hotel, is best known for his KronnerBurger restaurant in Oakland, which closed following a fire earlier this year.

In his new cookbook, “A Burger to Believe In” (Ten Speed Press), written with the San Francisco Chronicle Food & Wine section editor Paolo Lucchesi, Kronner takes you through the fine points of making the ultimate burgers, as well as salads, sides, drinks, desserts and condiments.

KronnerBurgerbook

There’s every iteration imaginable, from the “Patty Melt” made with bechamel to the “Earth Burger” made with mushrooms, mushroom powder and a host of other veggies, and “Pickle-Brined Fried Chicken” burger in which you will need 3 cups of pickle juice to submerge chicken thighs in before further soaking them in buttermilk.

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Recchiuti Confections New Collection For A Cause, An Afternoon with El Cajon & More

Recchiuti Confections' new Musical Jamboree collection. (photo courtesy of Recchiuti)

Recchiuti Confections’ new Musical Jamboree collection. (photo courtesy of Recchiuti)

Recchiuti Truffles Get Extra Artsy

If there wasn’t ample reason already to love Recchiuti Confections’ burnt caramel truffles, its new limited edition collection offers up yet another one: They are decorated with dazzling art by Creativity Explored, a San Francisco non-profit that gives those with developmental disabilities the opportunity to create and share their work.

This marks the 14th year that the San Francisco chocolatier has partnered with that organization.

The special Musical Jamboree chocolate collection showcases artist Kate Thompson’s whimsical comic book-like illustrations of musicians in full color on top of each truffle. Thompson’s artwork also was featured on Google’s 2015 prototype of self-driving cars.

“I like to tell stories through my artwork and have it convey people doing things whether that is people on a bike, riding a bus, or playing an instrument,” Thompson said in a statement. “I never thought of having my artwork on chocolate, but I’m very excited!”

An 8-piece box is $23, with a portion of all proceeds donated to Creativity Explored.

Saturday, Sept. 8, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Recchiuti’s Ferry Building store will host a celebratory jamboree, where Thompson’s current work will be on display.

El Cajon’s Epicurean Tasting Event

For a quarter of a century, the Bay Area’s El Cajon Project has worked to give at-risk and disadvantaged high school students training in the culinary arts that includes hands-on experience at such notable establishments as Chez T.J. in Mountain View, Evvia in Palo Alto, Alexander’s Patisserie in Mountain View, and the Menlo Grill in the Stanford Park Hotel in Menlo Park.

Sunday, Oct. 21, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., it will host “An Afternoon with El Cajon,” a tasting event at The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse in Palo Alto.

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Qochon — A Hidden Gem

Even carnivores will be won over by this spectacular vegan pho at Qochon.

Even carnivores will be won over by this spectacular vegan pho at Qochon.

 

Hidden away in a business park in a commercial area of Fremont, Qochon is emblematic of this fierce new age of female empowerment that’s been long overdue.

Owners Quinn Tram and Lauren Pham took the gutsy step of opening this very personal, contemporary Vietnamese restaurant three years ago — despite neither having ever worked in a restaurant before.

Pham poured her life savings into the venture, and teamed with Tram, to follow a dream of serving Vietnamese food that had an emphasis on organics and healthfulness.

The two women met at J.P. Morgan, where they worked as commercial lenders for years. They bonded over their love of food, and soon began developing their idea for a restaurant whose name would be a playful take on the French word “cochon” for “pig.”

Owners Quinn Tram (left) and Lauren Pham (right).

Owners Quinn Tram (left) and Lauren Pham (right).

“I always believe change makes you better. So, I took a leap of faith,” says Pham, the restaurant’s head chef, who grew up cooking with her mom.

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Superiority Burger’s Blackberry Sorbet

As smooth as it gets -- home-made blackberry sorbet.

As smooth as it gets — home-made blackberry sorbet.

 

She made a blackberry sorbet.

The kind you find in a great ice cream store.

Blackberry sorbet.

And it was so good, she couldn’t brag much more.

Blackberry sorbet.

I think I love her.

With apologies to the late-great Prince, I couldn’t help but have that refrain pop into my head even though blackberry — rather than raspberry — was on my mind recently.

Dig a spoon in, and you’ll be singing the praises of this super easy “Blackberry Sorbet” recipe, too.

It’s from the new “Superiority Burger Cookbook” (W.W. Norton & Co.), of which I received a review copy. The book is by Brooks Headley, a punk rock drummer and James Beard Award-winning chef.

In 2015, he left the lauded Del Posto restaurant in New York, where he was executive pastry chef, to open a 300-square-foot basement-level vegetarian burger bar in the East Village, Superiority Burger.

SuperiorityCookbook

He hasn’t looked back since. Unlike some of the more newfangled veggie burgers try their hardest to mimic ground meat, Superiority doesn’t take that tack. It’s clearly a vegetable-based burger in texture, but wow, does it ever pack an umami punch. It’s so assertively savory tasting that you don’t miss the meat. Even my husband, aka Meat Boy, didn’t, if you can believe it, when we tried it last year.

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A Taste of MF Chicken

Roast chicken with all the fixings -- Mexican-style -- from Tacolicious' new extended delivery and pick-up rotisserie business.

Roast chicken with all the fixings — Mexican-style — from Tacolicious’ new extended delivery and pick-up rotisserie business.

 

When things start up in San Francisco, it often takes a little time for them to drift down to the Peninsula and South Bay.

Such is the case with MF Chicken, the rotisserie chicken business by Tacolicious that started in San Francisco last year, and finally made its way farther south this month.

At the downtown Palo Alto Tacolicious.

At the downtown Palo Alto Tacolicious.

The take-out and delivery-only chickens are cooked at the Palo Alto Tacolicious, where they can be picked up. Or if you live in the Palo Alto area, get it delivered through Caviar (use code MFCHIKN5 to get $5 off, too).

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