Remember micro-herbs? About two years ago miniscule strains of cilantro and basil were sprouting up on the most progressive menus around town. "Now the movement is towards more of a modern naturalism," says Ravi Kapur of Prospect. He's talking about flowers. Edible petals, blossoms, sprays and shoots are sprouting up everywhere.
They might look rare, but some of these blooms are about as easy to find around town as rosemary. David Barzelay of the Lazy Bear underground restaurant sees the current uptick as a result of our ever-tightening bond with local farmers coupled with chefs' growing desire to get out in the field and forage for themselves. Here's a handy guide to the most popular edible blooms of San Francsico and where to find them.
I just finished reading Andrew Friedman's food geeky book, Knives at Dawn, which chronicles last year's bid by an American team—led by Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller—to win the international Bocuse D'Or cooking competition. Never heard of it? Though Americans seem to have an endless appetite for cooking competitions (witness the success of Top Chef and Iron Chef), this one has largely flown under the radar, though it has a long and storied history and a distinguished pedigree, having been founded by none other than legendary French chef Paul Bocuse.
I like to consider myself somewhat hard to get, at least culinarily speaking. But at Cane Rosso, the collaboration between Coi's Daniel Patterson and Lauren Kiino, formerly of Delfina, I turned to putty. Because this little Italian-style rotisserie/sandwich shop just gets it all right. First of all, the Ferry Building space—formerly occupied by Mistral—is beautiful and breezy, and while you're ordering you can watch meat turning on slowly on a spit, see cooks assembling salads and otherwise geek out by looking at dishes of cherry tomato conserva, spouted copper cans of olive oil and bountiful displays of farm-fresh peaches. You know, if you're into that kind of thing.
I just got back from a four-night trip to NYC. Although I was there with Joe for his birthday, it just so happened that the Beard Awards were last night. The Twitter board was jumping with SF chefs tweeting about their flights out to NYC (Coi's Daniel Patterson is apparently no longer a virgin on Virgin America).