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Chefs & Cooks

When Life Gives you Limón's

Every once in a while I think about moving out of the Mission. Someplace quieter, I think, someplace with fewer crazies. But then I come up out of the BART station on 24th Street after work and the smell of grilled meat hits my nose and I think, nah. I can’t leave. Good things just keep happening in the Mission.

The Napa Valley: Where Meadowood Meets Mixteca

I took a trip up to Napa this last weekend. My boyfriend Joe and I stayed at Meadowood. Despite its location off the Silverado Trail, there’s not a vineyard in sight. It's kind of a wine country getaway in the heart of the wine country. I like that.

Joel Huff on the move

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!


Chef Marcus Samuelsson's Hot Hot Heat

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.

The Chef's Market

Last week—the first sweltering day of the heat wave—I headed out to the San Rafael Civic Center farmers market in order to pick up some locally-grown vegetables and fruit for a photo shoot we’re doing for 7x7’s August food issue.

Soon to Come: La Mar Cebicheria Peruana

As the economy worsens and real estate in San Francisco continues to hold steady, you’re going to start to hear a lot about the new “cool” neighborhoods. Hunter’s Point and Excelsior, I hear, are up and coming. Dogpatch is where everyone who’s been priced out of the Mission buys a house. Mission Bay? Just listen to the buzz about the light rail. But if we’re talking restaurant-wise, there’s evidence to show that no neighborhood is quite as hot right now as the Embarcadero—and we have a celebrity in our midst to prove it.

And the Winner Is: Chef Craig Stoll!




Craig Stoll will not confirm if he cried on Sunday night in New York while accepting his James Beard Award for Best Chef from the Pacific region. (But let’s just say when I asked him he didn't say no, which we all know—when you’re dealing with men—means yes.) Stoll was up against some serious Bay Area competition too, including David Kinch from Manresa, Doug Keane from Cyrus, Michael Tusk from Quince and David Meyers from Sona in LA.

New Restaurants and Blind Dates


The other night I was headed to a new restaurant, Anchor & Hope (to read a Q and A with co-owner and all-around-nice-guy Doug Washington, click here), and I mentioned to our Executive Editor that I was almost hoping that I wouldn’t like it (I did...but more on that in another post). It’s not that I relish being a crank (at least, not all the time) but just that loving all these restaurants in San Francisco can be debilitating.


Universal Cafe, one of my local favorites.

Domo Arigato


Welcome inside Hayes Valley's newest restaurant.
photo courtesy of Domo

Charlie Palmer, Pigs & Pinot Noir


One of the country's most celebrated chefs lives in
our own back yard.
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