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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Behind the scenes with Joanne Weir

It may come as a surprise, but the best thing about being a food writer isn't the food, it's the people you meet. And Joanne Weir is certainly one of them. I met her years ago and we quickly became friends. I've given her advice on blogging and social media and she has always been there when I needed career counseling and the inside scoop on folks in our industry. She's a genuinely nice and generous person full of enthusiasm and desire to help others learn to cook and have fun. Which brings me to her new show-Joanne Weir's Cooking Confidence. It's a natural progression from her most recent shows where she takes individual students into the kitchen and in no time gets them cooking. "You stayed longer than anyone!" said Joanne as I was leaving. Despite the cramped space, I had a hard time tearing myself away. I wanted to see her at work and to share some tidbits about her new show. First of all it's shot in her home kitchen which gets transf...
Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Peach Blackberry Cobbler Recipe

Is there a more old-fashioned word than cobbler or cobbled? It brings to mind a shoemaker in a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale or those stone streets in Europe (the ones that are so treacherous if you're wearing high heels). Just the word alone is quaint, charming and feels handmade. Which of course brings me to the culinary version of cobbler. A cobbler is basically sweet biscuit dough formed into tiles and "cobbled" together on top of baked fruit. It's the kind of thing you can make year round, just varying the fruit with the season. Because it's so chilly in San Francisco in August, it's really the perfect dessert at the moment. We'll have to a while longer before making ice cream I'm afraid. My most recent cobbler combines organically grown peaches I got from my friend Gayle who annually adopts a tree from the writer and farmer Mas Masumoto , dark as night blackberries from Driscoll's and a spice I am crazy about, cardamom. I recommend ...
Monday, August 22, 2011

All about Dijon Mustard

I never expected to visit Dijon. But on my first trip to France, I asked my Parisian friends for suggestions for where to go and they said Dijon and nearby Beaune, so off I went. The historic capital of Burgundy, Dijon is a dramatic looking city with lots to do and see. It has many museums, churches, medieval buildings with gargoyles and stunning geometrically patterned roofs of green, white, yellow, black and terra cotta ceramic tiles. When most people think Dijon, they think mustard. But Dijon is in wine country, home of Coq au Vin, Boeuf Bourguinon and lots of other rich and rustic dishes including the classic preparation of Escargot in garlic, butter and parsley. In addition to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gamay and Aligoté, the region is also known for Cremant de Bourgogne and cassis. It's worth noting that you can get to Dijon in under 2 hours from Paris if you take the TGV. But let's talk mustard. If I had to choose one mustard only (currently I have 7 open jars in my ...
Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The San Francisco Street Food Festival 2011

There are so many reasons to go to the San Francisco Street Food Festival it's hard to know where to start. First and foremost, for just a few dollars (nothing is over $8) you can eat things you love like chicken wings, cheeseburgers and ice cream to things you may not have tried before like chicken mole croissants or wax moth larvae tacos(!) The festival takes place in the Mission district along Folsom Street between 22nd and 26th. It begins at 11 am and goes until 7 pm. It's also a fundraiser for the presenter, La Cocina . La Cocina is a non-profit incubator that has helped many successful local food businesses get up and running and the festival showcases many of the entrepreneurs in their program. Some of their graduates include Clairesquares maker of the highly addictive milk chocolate crunchy oat flapjacks, Azalina's luscious Malaysian food an Off The Grid stalwart (and featured in Bon Appetit not long ago), and Kika's Treats . Cristina aka Kika is current...