Described as a “love letter to the baking of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden,” it was written by Nichole Accettola, an American chef and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America who lived in Denmark for 15 years and now runs Kantine, a Scandinavian bakery in San Francisco.
These crispy-all-over, supremely decadent tasting biscuits are unlike others.
Because they have a novel ingredient that you might just guess from my cheeky photo.
Yes, duck — as in fat.
There’s no butter or shortening in these babies. Just a generous amount of lavish duck fat along with buttermilk.
This fabulous biscuit recipe is from “Still We Rise” (Clarkson Potter, 2023), of which I received a review copy.
It’s by Erika Council, creator of the Southern Souffle blog and chef-owner of Bomb Biscuit Co. in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward historic district where Martin Luther King Jr. was born.
As she writes, this book embodies the “gospel of biscuits,” the heritage and heart these rounds of little more than flour, fat, and dairy have carried over generations, especially among Black home-cooks who proudly perfected them for their families.
This was the year I returned to mostly indoor dining. That in itself was a triumph after doing nothing but takeout through fraught 2020 and opting for outdoor dining primarily in skittish 2021 and 2022. How wonderful to lean ever closer to “normalcy” again.
This is my annual list of the most memorable bites or dishes I enjoyed in 2023. It pained me to leave off a few places that have since closed (San Francisco’s Afici that will forever spoil me for its clever use of Chinese scallion pancakes instead of the usual blini for caviar service) or tragically were destroyed in the devastating Maui wildfires (Pacifico On the Beach for its imaginative mahi mahi Wellington, and Papa’aina’s dazzling and so intentional tropical fruit plate).
It’s an important reminder to really savor and appreciate the restaurants, bakeries, and other establishments that enrich our lives so much. Without further adieu, here is my Top 10, in no particular order:
Yes, the popular downtown cafe, where you can pick up a pumpkin seed dukkah-dusted chicken salad on heavenly bread baked by sister bakery Quail & Condor, transforms into Le Diner, four nights a week. That’s when it serves a French-California prix fixe worthy of blinding the radar of those discriminating inspectors.
That’s because there’s major talent behind this endeavor in the form of the husband-and-wife team that opened Troubadour and Quail & Condor, Executive Chef Sean McGaughey and Executive Pastry Chef Melissa Yanc McGaughey. They both worked previously at nearby Michelin three-starred SingleThread Farms & Restaurant. He was its chef de cuisine, and she was its hotel baker.
The couple also heads up the kitchen team at Molti Amici, founded by Jonny Barr, a former general manager at SingleThread, whose wife Tiffany Spurgeon, another SingleThread alum, runs front-of-house at Troubadour’s Le Diner.
The book is a collaborative project by the team at Zingerman’s that includes managing partner Amy Emberling, marketer Lindsay-Jean Hard, editor Lee Vedder, and marketing manager and food photographer Corynn Coscia.
The idea for this cookbook grew out of the pandemic, when people were eating out less, and desiring to cook and bake more at home. The Zingerman’s staff used that time to write down more of its best-loved recipes to share.