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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle


marlena spieler
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I shall be doing a digest for the San Francisco Chronicle, and am hoping that as I get better at linking etc i'll be able to do a better job.

x

marlena

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This week's San Francisco Chronicle features 5 of the bay area's Rising Chefs, 2004. Michael Bauer introduces the piece which includes contributions from the rest of the food department. Each chef is young--under 32 years, all from a wide variety of culinary sensibilities, the list includes a husband and wife co-chef team. Each chef and his/her restaurant/food style is profiled; favourite dishes are listed with a recipe for each: molasses-grilled duck breast, ratatouille stuffed calamari, malaysian lollipop lamb, for examples. a round-up of rising chefs 2003 is included in piece.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bn/article.cgi?f=/c/...3DTL&types=food

GraceAnn Walden welcomes two new restaurants to North Beach, one Argentinian, the second Basque (we old timers remember when North Beach was full of family owned Basque restaurants!).

For Graceann's and the following articles, click onto:

http://sfgate.com/eguide/food/chroniclefood

The virtues of heirloom cast iron is extoled in Shanti Wilson's piece Heavy Metal.

Carl Foronda tells us the history of cast iron, its beginnings going all the way back to ancient china, and Karola Saekel tells us how to find a good modern cast iron pan.

Olive Wu introduces a crab to a microwave, here are the results.

Carol Ness' panel of tasters evaluate nonfat yogurt.

Baker par excellence Marion Cunningham takes us through the history of cheesecake back to ancient Greece, circa 776BCE--a dish possibly fed to the athletes of the first Olympic games?

Bill Daley reviews two spicy Sichuan-Taiwan restaurants on Clement Street (a must stop on next trip there for this spice-girl)

and Karola reviews David Bouley's "East of Paris" subtitled, the new cuisines of Austria and the Danube.

wish me luck on this linking thing, meanwhile, click on to sfgate.com and catch up on the archives, too. lots of good recipes, and writing, I'm tellin' ya.

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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Raw Obsession: Georgene Brennan waxes lyrical about the renowned aphrodisiac, the oyster. Info and history of the local Bay Area oysters, plus guide to the names, instructions on shucking, as well as places to visit for oyster-nibbling at the source (ie where they are grown/caught). Recipes include: Oysters Rockerfeller, fried Oyster sandwiches, oysters gratin with chard and pancetta, oyster soup with celery and red potatoes.

Question: Is it true what they say about oysters?

Marlena's Answer: Yes.

Happy Valentines Day!

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...DGH647C3N30.DTL

The Daley Special: new column by Bill Daley, in which our Bill dishes the dirt and the gossip wherever he might find it. He had me panting with descriptions of the Valentines Day menu at raw restaurant Roxanne's. All of the perfumed aromatic sensual rose water and rubbing and skin.......whew.....dingers get sent home with chocolate body paints..........read it for yourself. also, update on Martha Stewart, Thomas Keller in NYC, dr atkins......column promises tasty reading for future.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...DGFR4NV8C33.DTL

Graceann Walden rounds em up, and lets us know whats going on behind the scenes in Bay Area restaurants, this week starting with a profile of a yummy new Peruvian place. Which Bay Area chefs are opening up in Vegas? Which Napa restaurant has gone under? and where can you get a Kobe beef burger? Graceann knows EVERYTHING and you will, too, when you read her column.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...DGM74NBLT55.DTL

Blissful Bergamot: Carole Ness tells us everything you've always wanted to know about Bergamot and then some. History, where to find it on menu, where to buy it to cook with it, how to grow, and two recipes: bergamot salmon, and bergamot bunt.

ps: bergamot malmalade is divine, if you manage to get your hands on some of the little citrus fruit.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...DGOV4P4MJ22.DTL

Beef barley soup, with chunks of beef; pasta with greens, pine nuts and raisins; two great every day recipes from Tara Duggan, The Working Cook. Dishes you can whip up without thinking too much, enjoy sniffing as they cook, then sit down to a fabulous dinner, despite your long hard day and your sore feet, and any little ones pulling at your skirt/trousers.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGEM4PMD09.DTL

Whats New: Tara Duggan, Karl Foronda, Carol Ness, Olivia Wu, Karola Saekel

Fair Trade, Milkshakes, pizzas in a vineyard, and pretty much everything you might want to know, chocolate-wise, for Valentine's Day.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...DG6L4NDKD61.DTL

Chicken Tenders: what are they? how to cook them? Carol Ness does a tasting:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGP14QQVG9.DTL

Critics Choice: capsule reviews for Valentines Day. Bill Daley and Amanda Berne

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...1.DTL&type=food

Cooks Night Out: Graceann eats out with Dennis Leary, chef at Rubicon. They go to a Turkish place and eat all of my favourite dishes. Pass the cacik please.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...1.DTL&type=food

Dining Guide: round up: Middle Eastern Restaurants: sensuous eating? (eat with your hands! but ask first)

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...1.DTL&type=food

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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We're fat! If not the carbs, or fats, what can it be? answer: how about high fructose corn syrup. Kim Severson, who has possibly won more food journalism awards than any other person on earth, and who unmasked and explained the evils of transfat, exposes and explains the troubles of high fructose corn syrup. the biggest trouble it seems is that it is everywhere.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGS24VKMH1.DTL

There's gonna be a foodie mini-mall in berkeley right off of gourmet gulch, says Graceann Walden. stop in and have a nosh, then stop around the corner at the cheeseboard for a selection of fromage to tote home. Only problem? no parking. Inside scoop Graceann tells all:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGS24VRBT1.DTL

How one baby learns to love soy sauce with her grandpa in a chinese restaurant and pawn shop on skid row: folks that's your own marlena's Roving Feast. btw, don't miss the delicious and deceptively simple vegetable dip at the end

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGS24VRBV1.DTL

Whats New? Tara Duggan, Olivia Wu, Karola Saekel: Neapolitan pizza opens on Chestnut, and the divine Sharffenburger chocs open a cafe; local smoked sturgeon, and which bakeries are offering strawberry goodies.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGS24VRBV1.DTL

Tasters Choice: Carol Ness does low carb bread.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGOP51JKJ1.DTL

Mustard greens, beet tops, and grandma: South to North columnist Jaqueline Higuera McMahan shares her childhood memories of greens; greens and beans, as well as chipotle meatballs sound mighty good.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGOP51JOE1.DTL

Book review: Karola reviews: "Bistro Cooking at Home,'' by Gordon Hamersley with Joanne McAllister Smart. What are you waiting for? Make that confit!

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGOP51JTM1.DTL

Mardi Gras and Crab Fest! read all about it:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGOP51JTO1.DTL

Chefs cook for a cause: at the Ritz Carlton. Eat up, its for a good cause: underpriviledged children.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGOP51JTQ1.DTL

Sushi and dinosaur? Must be true,......Bill Daley says so! (you'll need to scroll down to get to the dinosaur part, though)

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGOP51K141.DTL

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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I´m eating and drinking my way through barcelona until saturday night, so review of san francisco chronicle will have to wait until my return.

for exactly WHAT i´m eating, check our my foodblog (in the general foods category).

meanwhile, the night is young, there are tapas to be eaten!

adios and buenos noches,

marlena

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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I"m late late late this week, too busy doing a long tapas crawl through barcelona; for full details on exactly what i ate, visit my food blog in the general food topics category. but i can tell you this: i ate a lot of fried artichokes, and drank a lot of wine, both usually for breakfast.

A Feast of mushrooms; Tara Duggan interviews jardiniere executive chef, robbie lewis, as they explore the world of funghi. What to choose--descriptions, qualities, etc and where to buy them, as well as a warm chicory salad with wild mushrooms and pancetta vinaigrette from Jardiniere.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGOV53E6B1.DTL

GraceAnn Walden lets us know whats going on in the constantly changing world of bay area restaurants: this week, George Morrone is baaaaack, and he's opening a new restaurant sooooooon. details to follow, and with graceann, we're sure that it will be before the ink on the lease has even dried!

more comings and goings on of restaurants: openings and closing, and movings around. keep up to date with whats going on in bay area with graceann:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGOV53E651.DTL

Bill Daley inspects chef Mitch Rosenthal's tatoos, including the one that runs down his thigh! also details about the "curse" said to be on new yorks time warner building which caught on fire recently.........but as Thomas Keller says of his new and now charred restaurant Per Se, paraphrased, "a fire is a good luck omen" and that is what i call being positive! my kinda guy.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGOV53E671.DTL

What makes the best take away roast chicken, and where do you find it? Carol Ness finds out for us. my mouth was watering by the time i finished reading this, and since i'll be in bay area later this week, i'm planning my chicken eating right this minute.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGOV53E691.DTL

Whats New? Michael Bauer, Tara Duggan, Rene Caparros, Carol Ness, Karola Saekel, report:

lots of foodie goodies for oscar night, and though i'm a little late with this update.....they're delicious at any time. i can vouch for the truffle popcorn with champagne at san franciscos restaurant aqua, which i nibble regularly when given the opportunity.

there are ice creams, cookies, too, plus a book about movies and menus, "Movie Menus" by Francine Segan, (Villard, 222 pages paperback, $16.95).

and an update on what is freshest and arriving in the markets, even as we speak.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?

f=/chronicle/archive/2004/02/25/FDGR656JBL1.DTL

Carl Foronda provides us with an essay on food in the movies:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGSF57AAR1.DTL

Soup contest: a soup company sponsors it. enter now while there is time!

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGU9560R81.DTL

Now we have loads of chickeny stories:

The Best of the Birds, by Carol Ness, a virtual chicken-crawl, including chinatown and i know that the bird crawl will focus on duck, then.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDG5Q55A6M1.DTL

Amanda Berne reports on the best way to reheat a storebought chicken. so i hear the m word (micorwave.....).

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGQT55BUC1.DTL

Carol Ness revisits The Best Way to Roast a Chicken and which type to choose for the roasting.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGQT55BUE1.DTL

And finally, Tara Duggan writing as The Working Cook offers several things to do with take away chickens, including two recipes from chronicle intern Carl Foronda, a chicken with shiitake and bok choy, and another with andouille......eat up!

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGU9560J41.DTL

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

ah, i'm falling down at my job linking the chron food pages to egullet.com. my excuse is that i'm travelling around right now, and at this moment am sitting in a kinkos in sacramento california after having eaten a gorgeous greek salad for lunch.

Its all about the culture: yogurt culture that is. janet fletcher writes about how to make it, recipes to eat it with. and you know, it would have been good with my greek salad lunch!

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file...FDGVA5909L1.DTL

Julia's restaurant has closed, and there is a story to tell behind the whole deal. Graceann Walden, as usual, tells it all. and then some.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c...FDGVA5909J1.DTL

endive endive endive. its good, its delicious, i have eaten a lot of it. and you might want to as well, once you are addicted. here is my story:

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c...FDGVA5909H1.DTL

heavenly tapioca, by carol ness.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c...FDGPL5BG6Q1.DTL

Whats New? Tapas tapas tapas! Lluna Basque, newly opened in north beach! bill daley, carol ness, lynn char bennett report on it.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c...FDGS25BGHR1.DTL

Easy bar cookies Flo Braker. her cookies are nearly as sweet as she is.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c...FDGPV5B2N21.DTL

north beach tavern: pizza is the thing, writes bill daley.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c...DGE156LRM26.DTL

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

Marlena~

I sent you an email a couple of weeks ago regarding San Francisco baseball (Pacific Coast League). I was curious to know if you received it as some of my emails go right to spam folders if my address is not recognized by the receiver. Sorry to go off topic here, please find my email address here and let me know if you got it. Thanks and I apologize to readers for this inconvenience. ~tirgoddess

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eeeek! I missed a week. with promises that i will catch up in a few days--and i really mean this, cause this is a week that my own column appears--i am nonetheless giving a quickie report on this weeks chron food pages. by the way, if anyone is interested, the chronicle is instituting a new weekly foodie newsletter, so get in touch

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c...FDGRO5NJR31.DTL

GraceAnn Walden gives the lowdown on all thats going on, including fancy-schmanzy Greek dazzler REstaurant Kokkari, whose chef has just left. Who's taking over, read all about it below.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c...FDGC85OVUA1.DTL

Olivia Wu, freshly back from Thailand, is wrapping spicy-paste fish in banana leaves and barbecuing them. And are they delicious? I've tasted them, they are!

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c...FDGRO5N6TM1.DTL

Goldfish, Frito-Lay, Chips and cookies galore, are climbing the no transfat bandwagon, reports Kim Severson.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c...FDGRO5N6TO1.DTL

Its artichoke season in northern california, be still my heart! Janet fletcher writes about the central coast's harvest, and history from the late 1800s when italian immigrants planted the silvery grey and delicious thistles. pickles artichokes, artichokes with serrano ham and peas, and stuffed baby artichokes from chez panisse's vegetable book are the recipe offerings.

(as for marlena? I trim down their rough leaves and toss them into hot olive oil until crisp. sprinkle with salt and garlic, this is breakfast--lunch or dinner--of champions.)

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c...FDGRO5N6TQ1.DTL

carol ness' tasting panel samples rice vinegar this week. which one did we like, and which one gets a thumbs down. read about it here:

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c...FDGC85OVFE1.DTL

Whats new?

Chocolate galore, kaiseki at masas, and a new italian restaurant. Carol Ness, Tara Duggan, Lesli Neilson, and Kim Severson report.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c...FDGFO5PHUD1.DTL

Tara Duggan whips up a batch of chimichurri, which not only is delicious but is lots of fun to say. chimichurri chimichurri, it rolls off the tongue just like, well, like a lovely sauce of parsley and onions and chillies and garlic, or should i say, rolls right into your mouth. and its great with asparagus, which is coming into season big time, growing inch by inch even as i tap this in.

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c...FDGC85OVGA1.DTL

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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  • 1 month later...

Shame on Marlena, who's been too busy travelling and eating to keep up with reviewing The San Francisco Chronicle for egullet! Back home, here we go: this week's goodies:

Early morning in San Francisco's Mission District......warm baking smells snaking their way through the fog........the city may be just waking up, but the Mexican and Salvatorean bakers are already offering their sweet rolls, Latin American style. Tara Duggan reports:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDG136AE4E1.DTL

Carol Ness investigates whats going on in the world of salmon: wild, farmed, or organic?

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDG136AE4I1.DTL

George Morrone, chef-extraordinaire, opens with Tartare; GraceAnn tells all.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDG136AE4K1.DTL

Happiness is a warm potato........who could disagree. This girl is busy chopping and frying, 24/7. I mean, I gotta get that Atkins out of my system says Marlena Spieler. Read The Roving Feast, below:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDG136AG2V1.DTL

Kikkoman voted best soy milk in Carol Ness' tastings.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGJ96AVIV1.DTL

Whats new? lots, read all about it: restaurants, goodies, and whats this? the most delicious cookie ever and fabulous frozen scones! (I've eaten my way through boxes of them, order yourself a boxful by mail order).

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGJC6BH201.DTL

Farmers Markets listings: where to find the freshest, and what day they are there!

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGJC6BFT81.DTL

Amanda Berne tells us about a new restaurant in the neighbourhood: BlueJay.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGJ96B07S1.DTL

Meals on Wheels, and Stop Aids benefits: details here. Come, eat, give to a good cause:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?...FDGJ96B08I1.DTL

Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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  • 1 month later...

Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Food Section -- June 2, 2004

[Note: Since the last digest post, the SF Chronicle and Food Editor Miriam Morgan won the 2004 James Beard Foundation Journalism Award for Newspaper Food Section. The Chronicle's Kim Severson also won for Newspaper Feature Writing Without Recipes for her article "A Lot of Cooks in the MRE Kitchen". Congratulations!]

Feeling dull? Sharpen up with Janet Fletcher as she goes through the basics of choosing and maintaining kitchen knives.

And if you "Shun" the ordinary, Olivia Wu walks you through the cutting edge of high-end and limited edition artisan knives.

Creative chef Eric Torralba gets ready to cure the Bay Area with Antidote in Sausalito; everyone from the WashBag to Roxanne Klein is coming up with wallet-friendly deals; and the newly-tabloid Examiner's makeover apparently includes an eponymous restaurant! Check it all out in GraceAnn Walden's Inside Scoop!

Kim Severson tells us what's new, including Clementine's baby Bistro, yet another attempt at NY-style pizza (this time in Berkeley), and a whole pound of fat-and-calorie-full beef in one burger, courtesy of Carl's Jr.

The tasters of the Taster's Choice feature try their buds on, er... canned chicken, a product yours truly had been blissfully unaware of heretofore. Their mileage varied.

Tara Duggan, The Working Cook, explores quinoa and lentils, including two recipes complete with wine pairings.

In the "Seasonal Cook" feature, Carol Ness digs up the dirt on one of my favorite veggies ever, French Breakfast radishes, along with other varieties, and offers a recipe for a delightful-sounding spring minestra.

Finally, Amanda Berne gives the low-down on the low-carb recipes in The South Beach Diet Cookbook. Not surprisingly (to me at least), not all of them work out so well, but she gives tips on finding the ones that do, and even includes one for a tasty-sounding Bolivian Spiced Pork Chop.

Cheers,

Squeat

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Food Section -- June 9, 2004

This week Karola Saekel headlines an introduction to Portuguese island cuisine. She focuses on annual northern California festas (traditional Azorean community food celebrations) and profiles cookbook author and Palo Alto resident Deolinda Avila.

Recipes in the article include 'Holy Ghost Soup' (a typical 'sopa' of beef and cabbage) and Fava Bean Stew with Linguica. A sidebar lists a schedule of this year's annual northern California festas, and a separate sidebar cites Bay Area sources for ingredients.

Kim Severson reports on the 'celebrity-chef' brunch Monsanto, Dow et al. congratulated themselves with at the beginning of the week to kick off the bio-tech trade show, BIO 2004, featuring (or trying to feature -- see article) genetically modified or otherwise scientifically 'enhanced' foods. (Over 100 protesters were arrested at the show.)

Ron Siegel leaves Masa's for the Ritz. Rocco de Spirito bails on Napa's auction and no one cares. GraceAnn Walden has this and more in the Inside Scoop on Bay Area chefs on the move.

Amanda Berne reviews Pizzetta 211, granting the Richmond district pizzeria 2 1/2 stars.

In the print edition, a 'roundup' gathers recently-published reviews from the Chron's various Bay Area regional editions, including looks at Oakland's Parkway Theatre and First Crush bistro/wine bar in Mill Valley.

The Taster's Choice group checked out cheese-garlic croutons this week. If you're going to buy these, they say Whole Foods' Chatham Village Large Cut are the way to go.

In What's New, Kim Severson, Linda Murphy and Amanda Berne report on three new Bay Area openings: Roe in the City, featuring whatever Asian/fusion is called these days; Monti's in Santa Rosa; and John Bentley's Redwood City offshoot of its Woodside original. In addition, Carol Ness gives a list of what to look for in the markets as a result of this year's unusually early warm weather.

Finally, Marlena Spieler walks a Paris market with local Parisian culinary educator Paule Caillat, sharing recipes for a Pear, Cheese and Cumin Tart; a Paris Springtime Appetizer of radishes with butter, salt and green onions; and 'Pate Caillat', a simple and forgiving pastry shell.

Cheers,

Squeat

Edited by Squeat Mungry (log)
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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Food Section -- June 16, 2004

Let's go get stoned! Yes, due to the freakishly warm spring weather, the stone fruits are already rolling into the markets. Headlining today's Chron food section is Janet Fletcher on (my favorite) Blenheim Apricots. Also known as 'Royals', they may soon join other lines of royalty in extinction (at the markets at least) and become home-garden 'heirlooms'. These fragile little guys (hard to transport, so look for them at farmers' markets rather than supermarkets) may be ugly ducklings to look at, but they are prized swans of flavor. Get 'em while you can. Recipes are included for Blenheim Apricot Sorbet, Apricot Frangipane Galette, Apricot Almond Upside-Down Cake, Apricot-Cherry Cobbler and Brandy Apricot Sauce for Ice Cream.

It's goodbye to Timo's and La Tasca, reports GraceAnn Walden in Inside Scoop. Timo's owner Carlos Corredor is moving on to open a fast-service tapas place called Taperia. I (and apparently GraceAnn) have fond memories of the La Tasca space when it was Carta, featuring a different global cuisine each month. She's got other dish as well, including what's going on at Nordstrom.

Returning Japanese: Linda Furiya reminisces on food, family and communication in a touching recipe for Jya-Jya Men, Sauteed Ground Pork & Green Bell Peppers over Linguine.

Cosmic Cukes win the Taster's Choice for dill pickles.

Tara Duggan reviews The Working Parents Cookbook and, as a working mom herself, finds the recipes and advice worthwhile on the whole.

And Karola Saekel visits chef Victor Scargle at Copia, and shares his recipe for Garden Beet Salad with Dry-Aged Goat Cheese & Mache.

Cheers,

Squeat

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Food Section -- June 23, 2004

Java: No Jive! Carol Ness headlines with a look at home coffee roasting in the Bay Area. She talks to several Bay Area home roasting enthusiasts:

It would be premature to call home roasting a trend. This is still extreme coffee. Consider the San Francisco man who spends his days scouring eBay and junk shops for '70s-era air popcorn poppers that double as bargain roasters. Or one in Ohio who's figured out how to run his roaster off his PC to give him pinpoint control of the roast.

A sidebar walks through the steps of home roasting and takes a look at some of the equipment available. Recipes are included for Judy Rodger's Espresso Granita with Whipped Cream from the Zuni Cafe Cookbook, and Coffee Cake with Cracked Coffee Beans.

Self-proclaimed "strawberry girl" Marlena Spieler is more than willing to switch when summer's blackberries arrive. Along with her paean to these "dark little jewel", she gives a list of ideas for using fresh blackberries, and offers recipes for Fromage Blanc with Blackberry Coulis and Spice-Marinated Duck Breasts with Blackberries.

Olivia Wu proclaims good news for wild salmon fans. Not only is the quality of this year's salmon as good as or better than last year's, but anticipated larger catches are likely to lower the price. She gives recipes for Cold Cured Salmon (Gravlax), Gravlax & Salad, and Cured Salmon Over Cold Buckwheat Noodles.

Karola Saekel gives Patricia Wells' latest book, The Provence Cookbook a favorable review, and excerpts recipes for Tuna Fillet with Meyer Lemons and Summer Savory, and Potatoes with Olives, Herbs & Bacon.

The Taster's Choice crew chose Safeway Select as the best brand of barbeque sauce.

Flo Braker, The Baker, takes a new look at a classic dessert with her innovative Banana Split Cake.

Amanda Berne reviews Chouchou in Forest Hills, and awards it 2 1/2 stars.

And finally, the 23rd annual Mill Valley Wine & Gourmet Food Tasting is scheduled for this coming Sunday afternoon.

Cheers,

Squeat

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  • 2 weeks later...

Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Food Section -- June 30, 2004

Complex Simplicity: Kim Severson gives us a look at the collaboration between celebrated designer Barbara Barry and Chef Michael Mina as they overhaul the former Compass Rose to prepare for the July 9th opening of Restaurant Michael Mina in the St. Francis Hotel.

Karola Saekel reports that Remi Hayashi (whose resume includes Stars, Splendido, and Acquarello) has taken over the Cafe at the Bay Area Discovery Museum, a museum in the Marin headlands geared towards kids:

Hayashi sees it as a challenge, a chance to guide youngsters toward a healthier diet. However, the chef, who leased the museum's cafe in February, doesn't get on a soapbox. She doesn't preach; in fact, she doesn't teach in the conventional sense. Rather, she has embarked on re-educating taste buds through the enticing flavors of well-prepared, top-notch natural ingredients, such as luscious boysenberries.
A recipe is included for Minted Berry Panna Cotta Parfait.

In The Working Cook feature, Tara Duggan gives a "Latino-inspired" twist to Fourth-of-July grilling, with recipes for Rib-Eye Steak & Corn With Chipotle-Lime Butter and Grilled Mango Salsa.

Berries and cake are also theme throughout What's New, from the folks at greenbelt.org showin' you where it's growin', to the olallieberries at the markets (and did you say 'tomato'?), to Citizen Cupcake upcake (er, upstairs) at the Virgin Megastore and Earthbound Farms down Carmel way, winding up back at Le Cheminee in Palo Alto in the old L'Amie Donia spot.

The Tasters taste grapefruit soda.

Rene Caparros likes Victoria Wise' new book The Armenian Table, and quotes very interesting (including microwave) instructions for a Yogurt Bechamel and an Armenian Moussaka, combining the bechamel with potatoes and lamb or beef.

Hurley leaves Home to go to the JCC, Sears re-"Fine"s, and at long last the Castillo family expand Limon to the former site of Tannour on Valencia: this and more in GraceAnn Walden's Inside Scoop.

Karola Saekel takes what seems (to me at least) to be a new tack for the Chronicle in a kind of readers' exchange of recipes. I have a friend who sends me clips of such a feature in a Columbus, Ohio paper and I have often wished for one here. Yay!

Cheers,

Squeat

Edited hopefully before anyone noticed that the "Tasters" link mistakenly led to a Google search on "chicken pomegranate".

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Food Section -- July 7, 2004

Georgeanne Brennan looks at home-ground meat, outlining its benefits not only in safety and hygiene, but also in control over the final product. She includes no less than six simple, basic, essential and quite well-presented recipes (including Judy Rogers' burger!) and a concise summary of why doing it for yourself is best (the grinding, that is).

Recipes:

Home-Ground Hamburger the Zuni Cafe Way

Old-Fashioned Meat Loaf

Italian Ragu

Sage & Rosemary Breakfast Sausage [bulk]

Veal & Caper Meatballs in Lemon-Infused Broth

Pork & Chile Verde Burritos:

Chile Verde is usually made with chunks of pork, but I like this ground version, which is more like a very thick sauce than a stew.

Informative sidebars review tips for choosing cuts of several animals for their ground meaty promise, as well as sources and instructional guidance for the various types of equipment used by home grinders.

Marlena Spieler offers a reminiscence of Turkey (via Nottingham), along with recipes for:

Cacik (a wonderful version of a Mediterranean classic)

Turkish Vegetable & Herb Salad, and

Turkish Cypriot Green Olive Spread

Continuing the Turkish theme, Amanda Berne travels to West Portal to review Bursa Kebab, which she thinks shows promise.

Ron Siegel makes his move today. GraceAnn Walden has this and more in the Inside Scoop.

What's New includes the Antidote (Eric Torralba's new place in Suasalito) for what ails ya, fancy garbanzos (ceci) from A. G. Ferrari, and (summer, anybody?): apricots, grapes, melons and yes even white corn at the markets!

Cheers,

Squeat

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Food Section -- July 14, 2004

Olivia Wu headlines with 'Thai salsa', nam prik:

Unlike curry, which is influenced by Southeast Indian cookery, nam prik is native Thai. "Ingredients are combined using the primitive crucible of this cuisine -- the pestle and mortar -- to create a textured puree," Thompson writes. "They are at the very core of Thai cooking and have fed the Thai from their distant past to the present."

She includes recipes for nam prik Green Chile, Smoked Fish, Tomato & Pork and something called 'Redeye Nam Prik', as well as Shrimp Nam Prik and Shrimp Paste Nam Prik.

A 14-year-old writes his own cookbook!

Karola Saekel talks to the owners of Foreign Cinema about stone fruit, with a recipe for Nectarine and Soppressata Antipasto and Nectarine & Blackberry Crisp.

Jacqueline Higuera McMahan travels to New Mexico just to make us jealous, and in addition to the Santa Fe fare, even offers a suggestion at the Albuquerque Airport! There's a recipe for her own version of the find: Carne Adovada.

As always GraceAnn Walden has all of the Inside Scoop, but my favorite tidbit this week is Green's 25th Anniversary and Annie Somerville's 23rd year there. Building A.

Cheers,

Squeat

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Food Section -- July 21, 2004

(Sorry for the delay, folks. It's been a heck of a week!)

Amanda Berne tells why, when it comes to ice cream, nothing beats homemade. She includes recipes for the custard base, and five flavors, including the very interesting Saffron Rosewater Ice Cream.

Marlena Spieler tells of how she learned to love eggplant. She compares several methods for preparing it (including Paula Wolfert's soaking and browning technique), then gives recipes for Browned Eggplant With Aioli & Basil, Garlicky Greek Eggplant With Tomatoes & Vinegar, and Lagane Noodles With Eggplant & Tomato Sauce.

GraceAnn Walden has the Inside Scoop: George Morrone, having just opened Tartare, is about to open an Argentine steakhouse in Novato. PlumpJack Cafe chef James Ormsby is to oversee the new Jack Falstaff, set to open in September. GraceAnn also keeps tabs as Bay Area chefs play musical kitchens, and has the buzz from the openings at Restaurant Michael Mina and Tartare.

The Taster's Choice crew take on frozen fruit bars.

What's New: Tartare, of course, plus frozen pizza that doesn't taste like it, How to Eat Like a Republican, cheap peaches at the markets, and Lime, a small plates restaurant and lounge in the Castro.

Karola Saekel has another readers' recipe exchange column, and includes recipes for Rhubarb Chutney and Rhubarb Relish.

Amanda Berne reviews the new, second location of Marnee Thai in the inner Sunset. She awards two stars.

Finally, Amanda and Lynne Char Bennett try out ice cream machines. They like Cuisinart.

Cheers,

Squeat

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Food Section -- July 28, 2004

Carol Ness takes a look at the various specialty garlics showing up in area farmers markets. She discusses a few of the many varieties, and gives a list of growers you can buy from directly. She reveals the best way to roast garlic, and gives recipes for Garlic & Potato Farmer's Lunch and Fish With Fried Garlic Vinaigrette.

Lynne Char Bennett describes the best techniques for making summer sorbets. Recipes included for Mango, Ginger & Lemongrass Sorbet, Hibiscus-Mint Sorbet, Kiwi-Ginger Sorbet, Ruby Grapefruit-Rosemary Sorbet, and Watermelon, Cinnamon & Star Anise Sorbet.

GraceAnn Walden has the Inside Scoop: After 25 years North Beach's Basta Pasta has been sold and will morph into not one but two Thai restaurants. Will Ed Moose sell Moose's or not? And, very sadly for yours truly, Caffe Malvina on Washington Square, after a 35-year run, has fallen victim to rising rents. All this and more.

What's New? Housemade mozzarella the rage in restaurants. Citrus the rage in olive oils. A new chip for the Mission -- potato! Figs are in the markets.

Taster's Choice: Safeway brand is best for tonic water.

Scott Rostal looks at all the garlic gadgets you could imagine, and more.

The Working Cook (Tara Duggan) offers a Summer Pasta Salad that started off as improv, and Cornmeal-Crusted Salmon Sandwiches. Diane Teitelbaum has wine pairings.

Cheers,

Squeat

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Food Section -- August 4, 2004

The Chronicle folks look for great pasta in North Beach. Tbey actually find some.

Marlena's island-hopping in Greece. She finds the traditional Pretza.

Olivia Wu talks to Oliveto's fishmonger, with recipes for Alaskan Halibut Cooked on the Plate With Tomato Confit and Polpettini of Local King Salmon.

What's New? The Mission adds a Lounge, Sausalito a garden. Grapes, peaches, nectarines and heirloom tomatoes at the markets -- all at once!

The Tasters taste frozen vegetable potstickers, so we don't have to.

Corn season has everyone going simple, including Linda Furiya, who simply combines Corn, Pine Nuts & Roasted Red & Yellow Bell Peppers.

There's also a great Plain & Simple Jam-Filled Butter Cake from Flo Baker.

Cheers,

Squeat

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Food Section -- August 11, 2004

Janet Fletcher takes an in-depth look at feta: Greek, Bulgarian, French, Israeli -- it's all good! Recipes included for Spicy Whipped Feta (Htipiti), Beet Salad With Arugula, Feta & Walnuts, Roasted Feta With Sweet & Hot Peppers, Greek Bread Salad, and Bulgur With Chickpeas, Tomato & Feta.

Tara Duggan, The Working Cook, reconstructs Chinese Eggplant with Garlic in a "fast and fresh" version of the restaurant dish for home cooks using less oil. She throws in a "now and later" recipe for Vichyssoise. Diane Teitelbaum has Wine Recommendations

Judy Wu reviews The Sustainable Kitchen: Passionate Cooking Inspired by Farms, Forests and Ocean, by Stu Stein with Mary Hinds and Judith Dern, and wonders how sustainable their guidelines are for wallets and pocketbooks. Recipes for Olive-Orange Salsa and Crisp-Skin Breast of Duck With Watercress & Olive-Orange Salsa.

Amanda Berne reviews Geranium, the new Bernal Heights vegetarian opening. Two stars overall, but just one and one-half for the food, which along with the service, lacks "polish".

Chez Panisse turns 33.

Daniel Patterson, formerly of the defunct Elisabeth Daniel, opens Frisson: small plates in Jackson Square. This and more in What's New.

Finally, the the Tasters taste packaged bagels. Guess what.

Cheers, and sorry this one's so late: last week was a killer. Today's digest coming up.

Squeat

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Food Section -- August 18, 2004

Olivia Wu celebrates the wonderful heirloom tomatoes that are pouring into the markets like manna from heaven. She talks to several Bay Area heirloom farmers and chefs about these delicious gifts, and provides details on three separate upcoming tomato festivals. Recipes for Roasted Tomato Bisque, Heirloom Tomatoes With Summer Squash Ravioli, and Japanese Cucumber & Heirloom Tomato Salad With Shiso-Mustard Vinaigrette.

Scott Hocker runs down Oakland's soul food renaissance, with recipes for Heirloom Tomatoes With Black-Eyed Pea Relish & Basil Dressing and Red Beans & Rice -- get ready for some serious chin-wipin'!

Karola Saekel pens yet another touching memorial to our beloved Julia, citing familiar Chron Food contributors on their personal takes on this unique woman, culinary phenomenon and humanitarian. Marlena Spieler:

With Julia, you got respect. You were already a serious cook simply because you had the book open and were following along. And as you followed, all was explained.

Carol Ness has more Bay Areans' memories of Julia. Boulevard's Judy Rogers:

I've known her since she came into L'Avenue 15 years ago. I think any of us who cook in the U.S. now have been influenced by Julia. Something about her humor gave you permission - [she made] the doing and the trying in itself just fine. At a certain point you have to let go of being perfect. The doing is of itself an achievement.

The Castro's Home spawns two new restaurants; the classic Sear's Fine Foods is back, this time with dinner, too; even more in What's New.

Linda Furiya reminisces with Olympic memories of a stand-by San Francisco favorite snack, and even includes a recipe for making your own Wasabi Peas.

Wow. After 50 years and two incarnations under the Cipollinas, the North Beach institution U.S. Restaurant has been sold to Trinacria Corp., to reopen with little refurbishing, except for some Sicilian additions to the menu. Former manager and Cipollina-family-member Alberto says he can no longer stand 18 hours a day after his recent accident. As always, GraceAnn Walden has more in The Inside Scoop.

Finally, and against what even she thought were all odds, Karola Saekel's recipe exchange has yielded a definitive recipe for Nanaimo Bars. There's more advice and tips from this interactive feature with readers who both think and cook.

Cheers,

Squeat

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Food Section -- August 25, 2004

Karola Saekel profiles Eric Lee, chef at Simi Winery in Healdsburg.

Don't tell Eric Lee that artichokes, eggplant and asparagus don't go with wine, or that you can't have red wine with fish. Such caveats stymie creativity. They are also just plain wrong, says Lee, 36, who is chef at Simi Winery in Healdsburg.

A recipe is included for Rack of Lamb with Moussaka & Herb Oil, which Lee developed to complement Simi's new 2000 Alexander Valley Landslide Cabernet Sauvignon.

Georgeanne Brennan recreates a Mediterranean BBQ she remembers from a vacation on Crete. Recipes are given for Fresh Peach Flan, Grilled Toasts with Garlic & Smeared Heirloom Tomatoes, Lamb Shoulder Chops with Lavender, Rosemary and Sage Rub, Warm White Bean Salad with Arugula and Lemon. Grilled Calamari with Persillade. Barbecued Oysters, and Ratatouille of Grilled Vegetables. Whew!

Janet Fletcher looks at Ted Hall's family produce farm, bucking the vineyard trend in Rutherford.

Convinced that a diversified operation is more environmentally friendly and sustainable, they are lone missionaries in a valley that seems to sprout ever more vines.

What's New introduces Traci des Jardins' new pet project, Mijita, just opened in the San Francisco Ferry Building.

At Mijita, which means "my little daughter," Des Jardins uses recipes based on some of her favorite childhood flavors for a small menu of tacos, quesadillas, salads and soups. All of the food is made from sustainable ingredients, including organic masa for the tortillas and Niman Ranch pork for the crispy braised carnitias.

The biggest buzz in the Inside Scoop is the definite word that Charles Nob Hill is no more as of Sunday. Manrique and Condy will reopen the space in six weeks as C.A.L. Steak House. Also, Mission stalwart Bruno's endures yet another makeover. There's more, of course.

Tara Duggan, the Working Cook, perks up panzanella with a recipe for Bread Salad with Chicken and Arugula, This week's "Now & Later" is Beaucoup Sherry Gumbo. Diane Teitelbaum has wine pairings.

In a feature called South to North, Jacqueline Higuera McMahan explores squash blossoms and young zucchini. Recipes are provided for delicious-sounding Oaxacan Well-Dressed Squash Blossoms, Zucchini Cakes, and Poblano Chiles Filled with Grated Zucchini.

Finally, Amanda Berne reviews the cleverly-named Vietnamese restaurant Bodega Bistro, which is heavy on the French influence:

"My menu is very much colony cuisine," says Kwok. "It is Indochine, influenced by Vietnamese and French."
Sounds like this one will be worth at least one visit. Berne awards 2-1/2 stars overall, and 2-1/2 to the food.

Cheers,

Squeat

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Digest: San Francisco Chronicle Food Section -- September 1, 2004

This week, Karola Saekel takes a close look at that picnic staple, potato salad, offering five different recipes for different styles.

Marlena Spieler is off to Versailles, where she and her husband indulge in a little old-fashioned San Francisco-style cross-dressing. She offers two recipes from their lunch: Tarte a la Moutarde and Leeks With Tarragon-Beet Vinaigrette.

Announcement: The Chronicle Cooking School moves to the Ferry Building next month. A partial schedule is provided.

The Tasters brave packaged sliced ham. If you need it for school lunches, check out their comments and caveats.

Pascal Rigo expands his Bay Breads with Rigolo in Laurel Village. Yountville's Diner is replaced by Michael Bilger's eclectic Wine Garden. All this and more is What's New.

Hillary Ball reviews Cook's Illustrated's Steak, Chops, Roasts, and Ribs and offers their recipe for Beef Chili With Kidney Beans.

Karlinsky's out at Moose's after only a month, and Ed's next move is anyone's guess. Der Bingo lives on in a new restaurant in Walnut Creek. I'm not making this up, folks. GraceAnn Walden, as ever, has it all in her Inside Scoop.

Cheers,

Squeat

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