||Monday, June 15, 2009
Had a wonderful night at M&E’s feasting on hummus, olives, Chicken Tajine:
... couscous, and an exceptional upside down cake. Reinforcing our belief that the coolest people are often the best cooks.
||Sunday, June 14, 2009
The VIP (aka “very into pork”) reception at the Fairmont Hotel for Cochon 555 was swirling with swill-free swigs of swell swallows including a 2005 Ghost Horse Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, Patz & Hall’s cherry filled Chenoweth Ranch Pinot Noir and Chase Vineyards’ blackberried 2006 Hayne Vineyard Zinfandel.
We chewed the fat with some of the the local:
... before hoofing across the hall to the main event in which 5 chefs each attempted to make their heritage pigs the best of show. An all star line up of Chefs Nate Appleman:
... Staffan Terje:
... Ryan Farr:
... Ravi Kapur:
... and Peter McNee:
... all kicked pork butt with an amazing array of other-worldly white meat.
Chef Peter McNee of Poggio got his tots on with these hotsy trotter filled pork plugs with pea brain aioli:
... in addition to salumi:
... blood and chocolate cotechino with apricot and lentils:
... and a lucious chocolate and pig liver mousse for dessert.
We were treated to this clip on tie rack:
...of porky products circulated by the inked-up 4505 crew:
Chef Ryan Farr modified his chicharrones to create the best taco shell ever:
He dusted them with seaweed, filled them with pulled pork and topped them with nectarines for a crisp, savory, sweet and meaty mouthful.
He also gave his signature sausage a twist by using Pliny the Elder beer as the super suds battering his corn dogs:
Lard from Gloucester Old Spots were rolled into short-bred likenesses with Dirty Girl strawberries and a vanilla and yogurt sabayon:
Taylor Boetticher was unable to attend so he called in David Budworth (aka Dave the Butcher) to step in to demonstrate the deconstruction of massive amounts of muscle:
This slicing seminar was a sensation with the spectators:
We loved Magnolia’s Highwayman Ale which debuted at this event. Tomorrow till be the first day that this beautifully bitter brew will be available at the pub.
Boulevard Chef Ravi Kapur impressed with miso cured back fat cubes with padrone peppers:
...these pork picks were fat-tastic. We chomped on dense and delectable soy sauce chicharrones with a char siu sandwich:
... before tucking into bacon rice crispy treats with chocolate, peanuts and salt.
Perbacco’s Chef Staffan Terje had an array of artery obstructions including crisp trotter cakes, blood brioche butter sandwiches and little blood and chocolate cherry puddings:
A16/SPQR Chef Nate Appleman’s Japanese influenced chow:
... is in anticipation of his upcoming Asian endeavor. His green tea cake was made with lard, cracklins, azuki beans:
This light-as-a-cloud futon had the perfect level of sweetness tempered with crunchy, salty bits of pork skin, red beans and a marble of mochi. This is going to be big in Japan.
The winner of this friendly competition was determined through an expert panel of judges (who had a 49% steak) and the ballots of partygoers who had the majority of influ-ence in the outcome.
This year, the winner of San Francisco title of “the Prince of Porc” went to Peter McNee of Poggio Trattoria.
Congratulations Chef McNee!
||Saturday, June 13, 2009
A crateway snack
The oenophile and pothead can be cherry picked by what image is conjured by the words “seeds and stems” (although they are frequently mutually inclusive.) A big box of sensational stoner snacks from our pal L. was depressant-free.
These C.J. Olson Bings and Rainiers were firm fleshed, tongue tinting, spit-tacular tether balls with a perfect balance of tart to sweet making it a fruitless task to manage our munchies.
C.J. Olson Cherries
||Friday, June 12, 2009
Analog television is being cast broadly aside, but old school signals are still being transmitted at Marin Joe’s:
We were told that they had good pie so we decided to close the circuit and visited during prime time. The counter:
... offered a widescreen view of the action sequences as we tucked into slices of apple and berry pie ($5.75 each).
The apples were firmer than we prefer but the crust was flakey in this traditional triangle, while the mixed berry slice had a slightly soggy streusel surface to an otherwise decent tooth-darkening dessert.
Pickiness aside, the real reason to visit this place is to tune into the antiquated, analog, vibe.
1585 Casa Buena Dr.
Corte Madera, CA
From today’s Bunrab email, Susanna writes about yesterday's visit to the California Arts and Sciences shindig:
I'm cockroach-phobic, your cockroach picture gave me a helluva scare! I literally jumped out of my seat, never expected that from reading a food blog!
I think you’ve just cracked the code on sustainable fishing practices. All we need to do is create a close mental bond between those hissing bugs and Chilean Sea bass and problem solved.
||Thursday, June 11, 2009
The California Academy of Sciences:
... was swimming with seafood supporters during this evening’s World Oceans Day Celebration.
Steinhart Aquarium director, Dr. Chris Andrews:
... moderated a discussion on sustainable seafood practices with panelists including Acme Chophouse Executive Chef Thom Fox, Monterey Fish Market’s Paul Johnson, Fish. Restauranteur Kenny Belov, Seafood Watch outreach manager Sheila Bowman and Zeke Grader, President of the Pacific Coast Federation of Fisherman’s Association.
These panelists agreed that the complex network of responsibility surrounding this issue does not allow for any quick fixes, and that the public needs to make informed decisions.
Sheila Bowman’s Seafood Watch Cards contain guidelines that are the result of scientifically backed data, but there are instances in which the card does not apply to all fish that fall within a particular species. Kenny Belov noted that his discussions with Sheila regarding these deviations have been shut down by her retort, “we can’t write a novel about every species.”
Paul Johnson discussed the challenge of changing customer behavior, the overfishing from the top of the food chain and how local fishermen with small boats and sustainable gear are the way to go.
A delicious Chilean Sea bass with a panda reduction over kitten tail tagliatelle in boxes constructed of old growth redwoods harvested by KKK members didn’t make it to the final menu this evening, but there were some nifty Acme Chophouse boxes:
... of Oregon pink shrimp salads with radishes and a fava and anchovy crostini as well as Loretta Keller’s:
... kombu poached wild Alaskan salmon over a cucumber salad:
Both were so good that we didn’t miss the panda.
The entire academy was overflowing with aquatic action:
... cooking demonstrations:
... hissing cockroaches:
... (but in their own terror-ium away from the food) as well as dancing:
... and drinking.
This event was part of a Thursday night music and science series and the 21+ age restriction ensures that you don’t have to elbow your way through a sea of shorties to check out the penguins.
California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Dr.
San Francisco, CA
||Wednesday, June 10, 2009
The Nouveau Ritch gathering spot, Little Skillet, was sputtering with elite meat at this popular poultry portal.
After a peckish wait, they hollered our name and our chicken crossed the road where we utilized the carbo-loading dock as a dining destination.
We requested two thighs for our 2 pieces of chicken and waffle box ($7.00):
... and loved the crisp crusted, juicy, top flight, organic, Petaluma Poultry portions. The sugar dandruffed waffle was good, but we regretted overlooking the maple syrup upgrade that we could have ordered for an additional buck (since we prefer tree syrup to “house syrup”.)
A big pulled pork po’boy sandwich ($9.00):
... came with thin, crisp, house made potato chips and pickle slices. The bbq sauce pulled towards the sweet side in this meaty missile of slow roasted swine. This was fine, but the chicken ruled the roost.
The crowd contained neighborhood people, local workers and Apple developers who kept ichatting as they filled their cereal ports with their laptop lunches.
There were a few who experienced windowpane during a wait that exceeded their schedule, but preorders can be phoned in (for those who want to keep frustration at bay.)
Farmerbrown’s Little Skillet
330 Ritch St.
San Francisco, CA
415.777.2777 for preorders
Mark you Calendar
The World Oceans Day Celebration at the California Academy of Sciences will include chef demos from Craig Stoll and Loretta Keller as well as a discussion with panelists including Chef Thom Fox, Paul Johnson and Kenny Belov on the topic of sustainable seafood practices.
Food and cocktails will be available for purchase with DJs providing the BG at this sustainable soiree.
World Oceans Day Celebration
Thursday, June 11, 6-10 p.m.
21+ with valid ID
California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Dr.
San Francisco, CA
We received many responses to our Farmers Market thoughts including Caroline’s comment:
Am a long time lurker and really enjoy your daily/nightly culinary adventures. Had to write to agree with you on Metreon's "farmers market" venture. We checked it out last week, and the thought of "bad feng shui" definitely came to mind. The place feels claustrophobic and is more like a food court in a second rate mall than a farmers market.
As well as a note from Cali:
I had to add a thought to the farmer's market discussion. The thing about some farmer's markets being as much a craft fair as a farmer's market is that it rents spaces that may otherwise go empty. This time of year most produce (other than what's left of the cool weather stuff) isn't producing much yet. People don't really want to shop in a market with sixty empty booths and only a dozen sellers. Besides, that artsy-crafty stuff sells. I ought to know, I sold tie-dyes at a farmer's market for a long time.
You are right of course, that the people renting spaces have no interest in turning away good money and non-food vendors wouldn’t participate unless there was support from the tie-dye-buying public, but for me, it’s like going to a crafts fair and being presented with a stand selling carrots. I love carrots (and might even buy some) but I would also suffer from an irreconcilable thematic dissidence (which I would recover from if the carrots were delicious.)
||Tuesday, June 9, 2009
DreamFarm sounds like a subcontractor for subliminal deceptive tractor work or a hotspot for a hibernation hoedown but it’s really a place to lazily pitch forks at farmilar food. We checked out their burger and chicken and dumplings on our previous visit and tried their dumpling-free bird today. The roasted chicken ($14.95):
...was served on a potato pedestal with asparagus rebar which was structurally sound. The breast was dry and needed a soak in the jus, but the sturdier dark meat maintained its moisture.
The salmon ($15.95):
...was a superior selection since it was simply seared to show off its fresh flesh. This sparkling seafood was topped with a cucumber salad, supported by tender crisp green beans, rice with sliced almonds and a dill yogurt sauce.
We plowed through our chow leaving nothing in our wake before hitting the hay.
198 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.
San Anselmo, CA
From our Bunrab email, Adam writes about our Farmers Market impressions:
I love your blog but on the June 8th post I read something that irked me just a little bit. You said, "Crafts seem an etsy [cute pun] bit out of place since they aren’t farmed (unless Monsanto came up with a new, patented, crop that I haven’t heard of)".
While generally speaking that's true (I doubt my mom's beading supplies are animal based), it isn't true for everything. Wool is farmed and it is not at all uncommon for a spinner to get a fleece from a farmer that came directly off a sheep (unwashed, with the only processing prior being that it was sheared off the sheep).
Basically I think that if yarn was handspun by the farmer who owns the sheep (or even spun in a small mill from the fleece of the farmer's sheep) then it could belong in a farmer's market (same goes with fleeces), but I do agree that most other crafts (beading, sculpting, glass blowing) are more than a little out of place at a farmers market.
You make a good point about wool and yarn (and I have to admit there are non-food items that I actually enjoy at the Farmer’s Market because of that sort of connection) but things get wooly for me when the link takes it much further, since for the most part, I go there to check out the chow (although the beeswax candles for sale near the honey are pretty cool...)