There are people who stalk actors or politicians.
Me? I stalk chefs.
Not in the scary, restraining-order way.
But I admit to keeping my eyes peeled for them whenever I’m out and about.
So, it was with great pleasure that a few years ago while in New York, my husband and I spotted chefs Lee Hanson and Riad Nasr waiting for a table at the same restaurant we were dining in. Hey, it’s a sure sign that a place must be good if other chefs are dining there on their nights off, right?
And Hanson and Nasr do have exquisite taste. After all, the co-chefs earned untold respect at Balthazar and Minetta Tavern. This month, they opened their new Frenchette in Tribeca.
Given their pedigree, when I spotted their recipe a months ago for “Lamb-Ricotta Meatballs Braised in Tomato Sauce” in the Wall Street Journal, I knew it had to be a sure-fire winner.
It hit it out of the park in every which way.
A bountiful smoked chicken wrap, coleslaw, Brussels sprouts and pasta salad from Luke’s Local.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been eight years since I first met Luke Chappell, when his nascent Luke’s Local was a charming little kiosk inside the San Mateo Hillsdale Caltrain station, selling fresh produce, coffee and meals-to-go.
Today, it’s a much larger San Francisco-based operation, which partners with local farms and food companies to deliver gourmet groceries and freshly prepared provisions to homes and offices around the Bay Area.
The entrepreneurial spirit runs deep in his family. After all, his family founded Tom’s of Maine.
Recently, I was invited to try out gratis his expanded family-style catering delivery service. It’s an option for when you want to feed a crowd, whether for an Oscars viewing party or a business lunch.
What is noticeable first and foremost is how fresh and vibrant the food is. All of it tasted as if it were just made, not sitting around for hours.