Happenings on the Peninsula: New Bakeries and More

Monday, 29. September 2014 5:26 | Author:

The "chocolate burger'' at Alexander's Patisserie. (Photo courtesy of the bakery)

The “chocolate burger” at Alexander’s Patisserie. (Photo courtesy of the bakery)

Alexander’s Patisserie to Open In Mountain View on Oct. 16

The folks behind Alexander’s Steakhouse in Cupertino and San Francisco, as well as The Sea by Alexander’s Steakhouse in Palo Alto, are expanding their mini empire by opening a patisserie in downtown Mountain View on Oct. 16.

Led by Executive Pastry Chef Dries Delanghe, the new Alexander’s Patisserie will offer breads, sandwiches, cakes, tarts, cookies, macarons, chocolates and other confections, as well as Equator Coffees.

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Category:Bakeries, Chefs, Chocolate, General, Restaurants | Comments (6)

Hult’s — A Fine Additition to Downtown Los Gatos

Friday, 26. September 2014 5:26 | Author:

A gorgeous tuna tartare at Hult's in Los Gatos.

A gorgeous tuna tartare at Hult’s in Los Gatos.


Coffee cake and home fries have given way to octopus carpaccio and “A7 Wagyu beef” ribeye.

The venerable Hobee’s spot in downtown Los Gatos was transformed late last year into the fine-dining Hult’s restaurant.

It’s a family affair owned by Alexander Hult, a former pro hockey player who was drafted by the San Jose Sharks, but spent most of his career playing in Europe. During the hockey off-seasons, this native of Sweden would help his mother in the restaurants she managed there. His wife and co-owner of the restaurant, Sarah, a San Jose native, was crowned Miss Nevada 2011 and now works as a vice principal at a local private school.

The kitchen is overseen by Chef Jose Esparza, a veteran of Viognier in San Mateo, Madera in Menlo Park, LB Steak in San Jose’s Santana Row, and The Grill on the Alley in San Jose.

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It’s All In the Sauce: Linguini, Red Snapper and Agliata

Wednesday, 24. September 2014 5:26 | Author:

Crisp red snapper and a creamy, nutty Italian agliata sauce make this pasta something special.

Crisp red snapper and a creamy, nutty Italian agliata sauce make this pasta something special.


I think of sauce as jewelry.

It adds that extra bling to lift something from ordinary to extraordinary.

Like fastening a bold, statement necklace over the neckline of a plain black dress, adding a fabulous sauce to a mundane chicken breast or steamed broccoli turns it into something special and worthy of taking notice.

That’s what I love about “The Sauce Book” (Kyle) by Paul Gayler, former executive chef of the Lanesborough Hotel in London. The book, of which I received a review copy, includes 300 sauces from all over the globe. Find everything from the classic Bearnaise (for steak) and Porcini Cream Sauce (for veal or chicken or gnocchi) to Peruvian Aji Sauce (for shrimp), Wasabi and Ginger Dressing (for shellfish), and Toffee Sauce (for ice cream).

I was drawn to the Agliata, an Italian sauce that is sort of like pesto’s distant cousin.

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Category:Chefs, General, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (6)

A Taste of Bently Ranch Beef

Monday, 22. September 2014 5:26 | Author:

Bently Ranch New York steak right off the grill.

Bently Ranch New York steak right off the grill.


Bently Ranch of Minden, NV aims to do things the right way.

It started out in 1997, raising cattle for the commodity market. But two years ago, family member and San Francisco local Christopher Bently started raising the cows on pasture to create premium grass-fed, dry-aged beef.

Today, the farm also produces hay for other regional farms, and takes in for no charge everything from yard debris to leaves and grass from its neighbors that goes into creating compost for the ranch.

As noble as those efforts are, the real test, of course, is in the taste of the beef.

Now, it’s a lot easier to try it for yourself, as Bently Ranch just launched a new online store last month.

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Category:General, Meat, New Products | Comments (2)

A Most Excellent Chicken Dish from the Wife of Andrew Zimmern

Friday, 19. September 2014 5:25 | Author:

This will become your new favorite chicken dish. It is mine!

This will become your new favorite chicken dish. It is mine!


Have you ever endured the frustration of cooking a recipe with a mile-long ingredients list, only to wonder at the end why flavor is thoroughly missing in action?

This is not that recipe. Not at all.

Instead, “Rishia Zimmern’s Chicken with Shallots” boasts a quite modest number of ingredients. But the payoff is a dish that is so swaddled in big French country flavors that you will end up craving it again and again.

You may have heard of Rishia’s husband — Andrew Zimmern. Yes, that Andrew Zimmern, the host of the Travel Channel’s “Bizarre Foods” show. It’s kind of a relief to know that when he’s at home, he’s not chowing down on scorpions on a stick like he does while on the road.

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Category:Food TV, General, Great Finds, Recipes (Savory) | Comments (7)