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Scenes From SF Chefs 2012

Monday, 6. August 2012 5:24

Chef Mark Dommen (R) and Chef David Bazirgan (L) begin to plate their lamb dish in the first chef's challenge at SF Chefs.

If you spied the huge white tent pitched in the heart of San Francisco’s Union Square this past weekend, you knew it could only mean one thing:

The arrival of SF Chefs, the annual food-wine-cocktail extravaganza that celebrates the Bay Area’s home-grown culinary culture.

Top chefs, vintners, sommeliers and mixologists descended upon downtown to put on a series of special dinners, wine seminars, panel discussions, and culinary battles before setting up inside the tent to dole out gourmet eats and drinks to throngs of attendees.

Chef Joey Altman’s all-chef band, the Soul Peppers, entertained the hungry crowd.

On the opposing team, Chef Omri Aflalo of Bourbon Steak, readies his dishes.

Earlier that afternoon, the first round of the Eater Chef Challenge took place at the Westin St. Francis Hotel, pitting the team of Mark Sullivan of Spruce in San Francisco and Omri Aflalo of Bourbon Steak in San Francisco against the team of Mark Dommen of One Market Restaurant and David Bazirgan of the Fifth Floor in San Francisco. With an hour on the clock, the two teams had to incorporate lamb and Guittard chocolate into two dishes, which were presented to a panel of judges.

The Sullivan-Aflalo lamb dish.

The Dommen-Bazirgan lamb dish.

As the clock ticked down, the Dommen-Bazirgan team plated their lamb dish with mole flavors, along with chocolate ice cream created with liquid nitrogen. On the opposing side, Sullivan and Aflalo put up their lamb dish with a Moroccan influence, along with chocolate mousse with caramel.

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Two Chefs Plus Three Goats at One Market Restaurant

Friday, 6. July 2012 5:25

My first taste of goat tartare -- and hopefully, not my last.

What do you get when you put two chefs together with three goats?

The makings of a deliriously delicious evening.

Such was the case last week at One Market restaurant in San Francisco, when resident Chef Mark Dommen invited Chef Staffan Terje of Perbacco in San Francisco to cook with him on a multi-course feast that was all about goat.

The event was part of the “Dinner Party Project,” a series of dinners throughout July hosted by SF Chefs, the food and wine extravaganza that officially takes place July 30-Aug. 5. The dinners bring together two or more chefs to collaborate on a themed dinner. A portion of proceeds of each dinner benefits the Center for Urban Education and Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA), which operates the Ferry Building farmers market.

I was lucky enough to be invited as a guest to the dinner, which kicked off with Terje’s spectacular goat leg tartare. The mild red meat got a hit of crunch from diced celery heart, a pop of salinity from Cantabrian anchovy and floral acidity from preserved Meyer lemons.

Mark Dommen's goat charcuterie with apricots and pistachios.

Dommen lobbed with goat liver terrine and goat mortadella with fresh apricots and apricot mustardo. It was the type of food that made you wish you were on a picnic in the south of France.

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Category:Chefs, Enticing Events, General, Meat, Restaurants | Comments (13) | Autor:

Posh New Look for Carmel Valley’s Marinus, Williams-Sonoma Chef Demos & More

Friday, 8. June 2012 5:25

Spring risotto at Marinus restaurant. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Marinus Restaurant at Bernardus Lodge Gets A Modern Redo

Marinus, the signature restaurant at the luxurious Bernardus Lodge in Carmel Valley, debuted a brand new look late last month.

Gone is the Old World-feel. In its place, a new, elegant, coastal California look with an over-sized farm table with a profusion of flowers underneath hand-forged iron chandeliers and French sconces.

Chef Cal Stamenov remains at the helm with a new menu, emphasizing the bounty from the enlarged on-site organic garden that includes more than 250 varieties of fruit-bearing trees, bushes and vines.

The elegant new dining room at Marinus. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant

The menu is divided into the categories of: “Farmed & Forged,” “Seasonal” and “Traditional.” Both a la carte dishes and a five-course prix fixe ($125) are available. Enjoy such dishes as black chanterelle risotto, and Monterey Bay wild King salmon with English peas and celery root puree.

Save room for desserts by Pastry Chef Ben Spungin that includes a “Chocolate Terrarium” of chocolate mousse, hazelnut cake, chocolate streusel and strawberry sorbet.

Gear Up for SF Chefs

The annual San Francisco extravaganza of food, wine and spirits known as SF Chefs doesn’t roll around until July 30-Aug. 5. But tickets are already on sale to the multifaceted event that takes place in and around Union Square.

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