Tag Archives: tiramisu

Dining Outside at Bookie’s Pizza

The unique 'nduja, pineapple and anchovy Detroit-style pizza at Bookie's.
The unique ‘nduja, pineapple and anchovy Detroit-style pizza at Bookie’s.

When a fine-dining chef who graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and worked at Michelin three-starred Manresa pivots to making pizza, you know those pies are going to be damn fine.

And at Bookie’s Pizza in Santa Cruz, they absolutely slay.

Tucked inside Sante Adairius Rustic Ales tasting room at 1315 Water St. in Santa Cruz, Chef Todd Parker has set up shop, turning out Detroit-style pizzas with California farm-to-table panache.

Parker was the chef at Manresa Bread’s Campbell location when it first opened, which is where I first met him. The plan was for him to become the head chef at sister business, Mentone, when it was to open in Aptos.

Chef Todd Parker.
Chef Todd Parker.

But the pandemic had different ideas, delaying the debut of the pizza-centric Mentone, and leaving Parker to contemplate what the near future held.

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Dining Outside at Eataly’s Terra

Chitarra alla Nerano (spaghetti with zucchini) at Terra at Eataly.
Chitarra alla Nerano (spaghetti with zucchini) at Terra at Eataly.

Ever since its doors opened in June, Terra restaurant at Eataly in the Westfield Valley Fair mall has been a tough reservation to land.

So when farmer Fred Hempel invited me to join him there for dinner last week, I jumped at the chance. Being one of Eataly’s local purveyors obviously has its perks. Indeed, most of the tomatoes and squash blossoms that Hempel grows at his Green Bee Farm in Sunol have been allocated to Eataly’s San Jose-Santa Clara location. You’ll find his farm’s name listed on Terra’s menu, and its tomatoes and squash blossoms not only spotlighted in dishes, but sold fresh in the produce section of Eataly’s market, as well.

That includes his newest creation, the Benevento tomato. A plant geneticist and breeder, Hempel has created new varieties of tomatoes for more than two decades. This gorgeous red beefsteak streaked with green and yellow was bred with greater disease resistance and a longer shelf life. With a deep, full, lingering flavor of sweetness and umami, it’s the tomato that will make your BLT shine.

Green Bee Farm's new Benevento tomatoes available at Eataly's market.
Green Bee Farm’s new Benevento tomatoes available at Eataly’s market.

If like me, you’re limiting yourself to primarily dining outdoors these days, then Terra is right up your alley.

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Crepe Cake Perfection at Anton SV Patisserie

Anton SV Patisserie's tiramisu crepe cake.

Anton SV Patisserie’s tiramisu crepe cake.

 

It is a different kind of Silicon Valley engineering feat.

Slathering delicate crepes with a luscious cream filling, then placing them perfectly level, perfectly straight, one on top of the other until the stack rises a majestic 20 layers or higher in complete precision.

Anthony Tam not only possesses the skills to do this, but the business acumen to have turned this into a delectable phenomenon.

The former supply chain manager at a Fremont tech firm started his Anton SV Patisserie just over two years ago out of a Milpitas commercial kitchen.

Anthony Tam traded tech for cakes.

Anthony Tam traded tech for cakes.

Now, his handmade $88 crepe cakes have become a sensation, gracing special events at some of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies. He now even offers delivery of whole cakes to select Bay Area cities. The crepe cakes also can be enjoyed for about $10 a slice at six cafes in the South Bay and San Francisco.

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