Category Archives: Food TV

Juhu Beach Club’s Desi Jacks

Sweet, savory, and spicy -- these aren't your childhood Cracker Jacks by any stretch.

Sweet, savory, and spicy — these aren’t your childhood Cracker Jacks by any stretch.


Juhu Beach Club in Oakland may be shuttered now, but its spirit lives on in “The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook”
(Running Press) by Preeti Mistry with East Bay food writer Sarah Henry, of which I received a review copy.

Mistry has vowed that Juhu Beach Club, which she ran with her business partner and wife Ann Nadeau, will rise again in some form, though details are scarce at the moment.

In any event, you can still enjoy her cooking at her very fun Navi in Emeryville with its unique pizzas, toasts and cocktails.

Born in London and raised in suburban Ohio, Mistry, a former “Top Chef” contestant, is an inventive, inspired cook who is adept at remastering comfort food with bold Indian flavors and flair. On her trips to her ancestral country of India, she fell in love with street food. There’s a playfulness in her food that reflects that.


That’s evident in recipes such as “Shrimp Po’Bhai,” “JBC Fried Chicken & Doswaffle,” “Chai-Spiced Bacon,” and “Bloody Meera.”

Take her “Desi Jacks.” This revved up version of caramel corn is featured at Navi. It’s even free during the daily Happy Hour, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

This is a snack that’s sure to get the party started.

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Gail Simmons’ Pastrami-Style Roast Turkey

Turkey perfect for a small holiday gathering.

Turkey perfect for a small holiday gathering.


Tea for two?

How about Thanksgiving turkey for four?

It can be done — beautifully, and without a lot of hassle, too.

Thanks to Gail Simmons’ recipe for “Pastrami-Style Roast Turkey.”

It’s from her new cookbook, “Bringing It Home: Favorite Recipes from A Life of Adventurous Eating” (Grand Central Life & Style), of which I received a review copy.

“Top Chef” fans, of course, will recognize Simmons as a regular judge on that popular Emmy-winning TV show. She’s also the special projects director at Food & Wine magazine, as well as a wife and mother.


Cooking chops runs in her family, as her mom was a freelance food writer and a part-time cooking teacher. Simmons followed in her footsteps, graduating from culinary school and apprenticing at some of New York’s top restaurants.

Which means, in short, that she knows her stuff. These are recipes that she cooks at home for family and friends, so nothing is overly fussy.

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Little Star Pizza South Bay News, Taste & Tribute, And More

Deep-dish and salad from The Star via DoorDash. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

Deep-dish and salad from The Star via DoorDash. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

Little Star Pizza

What happens when Little Star Pizza teams with DoorDash?

Easier deep-dish delivery for South Bay folks.

Delivery app DoorDash recently launched a 2,000-square-foot commissary kitchen in San Jose for four different delivery-only restaurants. It represents an option for restaurants that want to expand their delivery reach without having to invest in their own brick-and-mortar facility.

The first tenant-partner in the DoorDash Kitchens is The Star, an off-shoot of San Francisco’s Little Star Pizza, famed for both deep-dish and classic thin-crust pies.

I was invited to try a sample delivery from the commissary kitchen, which now services the San Jose-Santa Clara area.

You can order either on the app or Web site, and choose what day and what time-frame you want it all delivered. DoorDash also lets you add a tip on the order electronically, so you don’t have to fumble with your wallet when you answer your door.

I chose the Classic Small Deep Dish Pizza ($22), Mediterranean Deep Dish Pizza ($22), and small Goddess Salad ($6).

The driver texted me when he picked up the food, and noted he’d arrive at my house in about 25 minutes. Sure enough, he was there at the pre-scheduled appointed time, bearing pizzas that were still hot.

The sausage deep-dish, delivered freshly baked and hot. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

The sausage deep-dish, delivered freshly baked and hot. (photo by Carolyn Jung)

The crust on the pizzas are beautifully golden. They’re crisp on the outside and slightly chewy within, rather like olive oil-brushed focaccia.

The Classic is piled high with a generous amount of chunky tomato sauce, nubbins of fennel sausage, mushrooms, onions, and green bell peppers. The Mediterranean is even more flavorful with its loaded mix of tomato sauce, roasted chicken, artichoke hearts, green olives, onions, red bell peppers, and feta.

They were as satisfying as if I had eaten them at the restaurant, only I got to enjoy them in the relaxation of my own home.

There wasn’t a whole lot to the Gem salad, owing to the fact that the toasted almonds mentioned on the Web site were nowhere to be found. Still, the greens were fresh and flecked with a few minced chives.

I appreciated the salad was composed of Little Gem leaves, too, rather than mundane iceberg or spring mix. The accompanying creamy pesto dressing was full of tangy, piquant and herbaceous flavors. I ended up cutting up a cucumber in my fridge to round out the salad a little more.

If you’re craving pizza in the South Bay — particularly deep-dish — you’ll definitely be glad to know it’s a mere delivery away now.

Taste & Tribute

Help preserve ancient Tibetan culture, while enjoying one of the most unique chef galas around.

The 17th annual Taste & Tribute takes place Nov. 17 at the Four Seasons in San Francisco.

Chef Peter Armellino of The Plumed Horse. (photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Chef Peter Armellino of The Plumed Horse. (photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Founding Chef Laurent Manrique, owner of Cafe de la Presse in San Francisco, will be joined by 21 other top chefs, including Jennifer Sherman of Chez Panisse, Rogelio Garcia of The Commissary, Anjan Mitra of Dosa, Khai Duong of Kai restaurant, Daniel Corey of Luce, and Gerald Hirigoyen of Piperade.

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Eating My Way Through New York: Chef-Tastic

The whole duck confit at Cosme that takes four days to make.

The whole duck confit at Cosme that takes four days to make.


When planning this trip to New York, one of the places highest on my list to dine was Cosme.

A couple of years ago, while attending the “Worlds of Flavor” conference at the Culinary Institute of America Greystone campus in St. Helena, I had a chance to try a little of Mexico City-chef Enrique Olvera’s innovative cuisine.

Ever since, I have been hooked. And craving more.

Herb guacamole.

Herb guacamole.

Complimentary purple tortillas and Marcona almond dip.

Complimentary purple tortillas and Marcona almond dip.

This is not your standard tacos and burritos taqueria. This sleek establishment is all about modern Mexican cuisine with star power. The prices reflect that. Yes, guacamole is $17 here. It’s a beautiful bowl of deeply rich smashed avocados strewn with micro herbs and served with huge purple tortilla chips that you break apart to scoop.

If you’re already balking at that price, then this isn’t the place for you. When you walk through the doors, you have to vanquish the notion that Mexican food has to be cheap in order to be worthwhile.

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Tacolicious School Project Starts Up, Santana Row Welcomes “Top Chef Mexico” Winner, And More

Visit Tacolicious on a Monday to help local schools. (Photo by Eleanor Palmieri)

Visit Tacolicious on a Monday to help local schools. (Photo by Eleanor Palmieri)

Tacolicious School Project

You probably already know that the Bay Area’s Tacolicious turns out delectable tacos. But what you might not know is that the restaurant company is now in its fifth year of raising funds for local schools.

In fact, its Tacolicious School Project has now raised $852,000 for local public schools, and is closing in on its goal of raising $1 million.

Every Monday from now through May, all Tacolicious restaurants in San Francisco, as well as the Santana Row San Jose location, will donate 15 percent of a month’s proceeds to 36 neighboring public schools.

To see which schools will benefit each month, click here.

What’s more, this year Tacolicious will donate proceeds from its sixth annual Taco Open golf tournament to Parents for Public Schools and the San Francisco Education Fund. The tournament will be held Oct. 19 at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco.

Tacolicious owners Joe Hargrave and Sara Deseran started the school project in 2012. With kids of their own, they knew all too well how public schools struggle these days for enough funds to operate properly.

So if you’re hankering for tacos, be sure to visit Tacolicious on a Monday, when you’ll satisfy not only your hunger, but put your dollars to work for local schools.

Santana Row’s Chef Table Dinners with A “Top Chef” Winner

Las year’s “Top Chef Mexico” champ Chef Rodolfo Castellanos will headline two chef table dinners at Santana Row this month.

Sept. 13, he will cook a $99 four-course dinner at LB Steak, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Guests for this special Oaxacan-influenced dinner will be seated on the patio to enjoy dishes such as Chilhuacle pepper crusted seared Ahí tuna, and pan-roasted duck breast with flying ant mole manchamanteles.

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