Eat + Drink
By root on June 30, 2008 5:22 PM
It’s hard to keep up, that’s for sure. The perennial San Francisco chef-shuffle is a source of both amusement and aggravation for me, keeping me perpetually on my toes. Who, after all, wants to be the last to know? So it’s always nice when a bit of information lands in my lap, as was the case today. My editorial assistant had just finished fact-checking a bunch of our restaurant listings (like painting the Golden Gate Bridge, this is a never-ending task—you complete it, only to begin again) and dropped the sheaf of papers on my desk, noting casually, “Oh, by the way, Joel Huff is leaving Silks. But you knew that, right?” Uh…no!
Last week, Serge Hochar (above right), proprietor of one of the world's most unusual wineries, was in town to do a vertical tasting. His winery is Chateau Musar, improbably located in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. About 7,000 years ago, this area was perhaps the world's first fine wine region, as its products were exported around the Mediterranean, even to Greece, which already bustling with wine. Hochar has managed to steer the winery out of trouble, miraculously guiding it through Lebanon's 15-year civil war of the 1970s and '80s while losing only one vintage (1976).
There are ups and downs to ultimate eating experiences. The up is in the moment. The down is when you start to compare every similar dish to that moment.
Marcus Samuelsson, the wunderkind chef from NYC's Aquavit and award-winning cookbook author, was in SF last night to promote BlueStar ranges, powerful (and expensive) gas stoves that put out 22,000 BTUs of restaurant-level heat. Turns out Samuelsson himself owns a BlueStar and moonlights as a spokesman of sorts. We thought we'd be sitting down to a Samuelsson-prepared dinner, but instead got a cooking lesson in which he demonstrated the fine art of searing and sitr-frying, which, he repeated several times, is not the same as sauteeing. And if you're trying to sear something with a regular at-home stove, it's likely you're just sauteeing it instead.
I’ve been slow to join a CSA, mostly because I’m loathe to give up the pleasure of roaming the aisles of my local farmer’s markets. But I might change my ways for a community supported kitchen, however. Recently I came across Three Stone Hearth, which is, as owner Larry Flynt (no, not that Larry Flynt) tells me, a worker-owned food delivery service out of the East Bay. The difference about Three Stone Hearth is that they deliver fully-prepared meals, ready to be heated and served.
By root on June 23, 2008 5:09 PM
Remember how I told you about the cheap eats bonanza we’ve been cooking up over here at 7x7? Well, it hasn’t been easy, sussing out the 31 best places in the city for an affordable, delicious meal. Because, of course, to find the best 31 we’ve had to visit many, many more—and let’s face it, not all of them were good. Such was the case last week, when I drove out to the avenues to visit a Chinese restaurant (which shall remain nameless). After a giant meal of sub-standard fare, I found myself craving something fresh and delicious.