Chef Brandon Jew, of Michelin-starred restaurant Mister Jiu's fame, grew up a Chinese American in San Francisco's Sunset District. For holiday dessert, he mixes the flavors of East and West in this spicy ginger molasses cake. (Photography by Aubrie Pick)

7x7 Holiday Cookbook: 5 Bay Area chefs share recipes for a globally inspired dinner at home

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As with all things in 2020, the holidays this year just won't be the same. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is not just keeping us inside but, for many of us, it means that annual trips back home or hosting the in-laws for festive feasts come Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Hanukkah will have to wait until 2021.

But since life has handed us lemons, we'll take a page from Moroccan chef Mourad Lahlou who preserves said citrus and stuffs them into chickens. His flavorful roasted bird, the ideal size for more intimate gatherings, checks the box not just for a new holiday tradition but also satisfies a bit of wanderlust as we sit back and watch all those epic flight deals go to waste.


For 7x7's Holiday Cookbook, presented in collaboration with The Spice Hunter, we've brought five top Bay Area chefs to the table. Not only do they have several Michelin stars and some very beloved San Francisco and Oakland restaurants between them, they are infusing both classic and unexpected holiday dishes with the flavors of their own family traditions and unique culinary heritages.

Here Pim Techamuanvivit (Kin Khao, Nari), Mourad Lahlou (Aziza, Mourad), Tamearra Dyson (Souley Vegan), Brandon Jew (Mister Jiu's, Mamahuhu), and Lauren Steele (Ramen Shop) share their favorite holiday recipes to compose a meal with inspiration and flavors from around the world. We hope you'll cook and enjoy them at home—and don't forget to tag your pics on Instagram @7x7bayarea.

Happy holidays, from the 7x7 family to yours. —Chloé Hennen, editor in chief

Pim Techamuanvivit's khao yum is made with turmeric, citrus, tamarind, green herbs, toasted coconut, and puffed rice.(Photography by Aubrie Pick)

The Appetizer

Wishing for better luck next year? Make Kin Khao chef/owner Pim Techamuanvivit's khao yum salad—with a turmeric-golden glow, it's symbolic of good fortune in her native Thailand. Plus, it's fun for sharing with friends and fam. Get the recipe.


Mourad Lahlou's roast chicken with preserved lemons puts a Moroccan accent on the classic bird.(Photography by Aubrie Pick)

The Main Course

Raised in Marrakesh, Mourad Lahlou, chef/owner of SF's Aziza and Mourad, never did understand the turkey thing when he began celebrating American Thanksgiving. While he'd prefer a suckling pig (!), his roast chicken with preserved lemon and root vegetables is just right for intimate holiday meals. Get the recipe.


Tamearra Dyson's pecan praline candied yams taste like home—even if you aren't from the South.(Photography by Aubrie Pick)

The Side Dish

No Thanksgiving dinner is complete without the yams. Souley Vegan chef/owner Tamearra Dyson makes them Southern-style—candied with cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg and cloves, and sprinkled with fresh pecans. Get the recipe.


Persimmons, creme fraiche, and a touch of whiskey complete Brandon Jew's spicy ginger molasses cake.(Photography by Aubrie Pick)

The Dessert

Brandon Jew was never a pie guy ("I don't know if that's a Chinese thing?"). For a sweet-but-still-savory finish to his family's Chinese-American holiday meals, he likes this pudding-like, spicy ginger molasses cake with wheels of fresh persimmon for festive fall color. Get the recipe.


Lauren Steele's Cure-All cocktail spikes a classic warm drink with rum or bourbon to lift the spirits this winter.(Photography by Aubrie Pick)

The Cocktail

In need of a healing tonic? Lauren Steele, bar manager of Ramen Shop, has a Cure-All beverage to send us into the holidays on a cozy note. Don't drink? Don't worry. It's just as satisfying without the booze on a cold winter's night. Get the recipe.


Thank you to our partners at The Spice Hunter.

The Spice Hunter has searched the globe in order to bring you the highest quality herbs, spices, and blends. From their global fusion rubs to dips and seasoning mixes, the California-based company's products enhance your cooking with delicious aromas, vibrant colors, and bold flavors. Whether you're looking to try a different cuisine or add a new twist to a favorite recipe, these premium and gourmet products provide plenty of inspiration. For all your holiday cooking needs, shop online and receive 25% off plus free shipping on orders over $25 with the code 7x725 (through Dec. 31) at spicehunter.com.

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