May the best student-chef bag fame and (scholarship) fortune! That's the premise of an upcoming Culinary Clash happening this weekend at the Michelin-starred Luce at the Intercontinental SF. Local culinary students from The Art Institute of California - San Francisco (Ai), and the California Culinary Academy Le Cordon Bleu (CCA) will compete for a top prize in a series of Sunday dinners in collaboration with Chef Daniel Corey. Sunday's dinner is the creation of Maree Garcia, an Ai student: pan seared scallops with broccoli puree and vegetable salad; braised pork shoulder with chilies, poached egg and crispy Brussels sprouts; and a sweet ending of pear sorbet with lemon tuile.
We're still heavy in New Year's Resolution-making mode over here at SFoodie. But instead of the usual ones about eating more vegetables, drinking less, and working out more -- all well-intentioned, but boring -- we've decided to make some food and drink resolutions this year that will actually be a pleasure to work toward. From exploring historic S.F. restaurants to organizing our booze collections, see what our editor and a few regular contributors want to do food-and-drinks-wise in 2013.
Man, it's hot right?! Now that we're closing in on Day Three of this heat wave, we've rounded up some recent SFoodie posts guaranteed to help you cool off. We've got one more addition: Walking over to Arlequin's patio in Hayes Valley where we're writing this, we passed and couldn't resist Smitten Ice Cream's crème fraiche and Ukiah pear ice cream flavor, served with a drizzle of caramel. It was tart, fresh, and totally hit the spot. Just so you know, they're open until 10 p.m. tonight.
As the author of yesterday's top ten list of the best fried chicken in the city, I wanted to discuss the findings of my arduous journey completing what shall henceforth be known as Operation Fried Chicken.
During OFC, I went from Bayview to North Beach, Hayes Valley to the Richmond, all to taste fried chicken. And though an assignment to eat a copious amount of the stuff might initially sound like a dream come true, I assure you, tasting my weight in chicken was no easy task.
7x7's list of S.F.'s best breakfast burritos hit our social media stream over the weekend, which thrilled us, because breakfast burritos are our hangover cure of choice. But unfortunately we can't sign off on The Little Chihuahua, which we'd been disappointed by only the day before. The burrito's ingredients were nicely fresh, but all the veggies made the thing way too watery for our taste (7x7 described it as "wet-style"; we'd use the word "soggy"). We wanted crispier potatoes, more cheese, and fewer onions.
Co-owners David Potash and Sarah Knoefler have been getting some attention of late for their Southpaw Kitchen hand-prepared, small-batch, jarred sauces made here in the city. We thought we'd give them a taste, and see how they went with cheese, specifically our favorite of the moment, Casa Madaio Caprotto, a firm, limited-production, goat-milk cheese from Italy.
Here's how they performed:
Red Wine, Port and Onion Spread: reminded us of a lightly sweet onion chutney. The port and red wine come through mildly, like the hint red wine leaves behind when used to deglaze a pan for sauce or gravy.
with the Caprotto: a reasonable pairing. Takes the cheese down a notch; the sweetness mutes and covers some of the cheese's fine grain and firm pepper flavor. It could be great on a high-end burger fresh from the summer grill.
Citizen Chef launched last week in Whole Foods and Mollie Stones with a line of pre-arranged, ready to cook, healthy meals for about $10. The meals come boxed with pre-cut veggies, a grain and a sauce, and recipes for preparation in 15 minutes or less, with or without the addition of the protein of your choice.
These healthy meals on training wheels are the creation of two San Franciscans: Drew Taylor, great grandson of a lettuce grower, and Adam DeVito, an executive chef. The simplistic pre-packs are meant to take the time, fear, and planning out of getting a healthy meal on the table out of the equation, and get more people eating better.
"We want to make it easy to cook delicious meals at home," says Drew. "In our generation people just don't cook any more." Fifty percent less than in 1977 anyway, according to Drew's stats. The "reality is, people don't have enough time, and or enough confidence, in the kitchen."
I tried a meals and, since I do cook, and my tastes run toward a bit less vegetarian than the base meal provides, so I enlisted Michael Weiler, a friend and vegan from Berkeley, to try a meal as well and report back. Here's what we found:
When we wrote up the Battle of the Bay for Chocolate Supremacy some time ago, one of our readers wrote in with a suggestion of their favorites. We tasted them all and have written up some, but one of our favorites, Palo Alto based Gâteau et Ganache wasn't yet available in SF so we held off. Owner Anni Golding recently e-mailed to tell us she'd landed some space at one of our favorite chocolate shops, CooaBella, as of June 18th, which is a perfect excuse for us to taste test some bonbons. Here's what you can expect:
Clif Bar turned twenty this year, and they are pouring on the new products. We recently told you about founder and co-CEO Gary's limited edition Panforte Bar, and now the other half of that co-, wife Kit, has her name on a whole line of bars: Kit's Organic Fruit & Nut Bar. Seems like the family is looking for a bit more name recognition?
Kit's bars are halfway between traditional thick and dense-to-chewy energy bars and the fruit-and-nut-chunky profile of Kind bars (still our favorite). Here's how the line tastes to us:
Cashew - Thick, almost fudgy, with modest notes of the nut and a bit of grainy-to-raw-spelt-flake texture and flavor. The use of dates is medium-noticeable both in texture and flavor. Overall, a mild and reasonable bar, far more enjoyable than many of the drier type.
Peanut Butter - Again the signature flavor, peanut butter in this case, is relatively mild, while the rolled flake, and ground nut and date base, are the predominant flavors. Still reasonable.