Show 405, December 26, 2020: Chef & Author Deborah Madison with her Memoir, An Onion In My Pocket Part One

Cookbook Author Deborah MadisonChef Deborah Madison’s new memoir, An Onion in My Pocket – My Life With Vegetables is from the celebrated author of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and 13 other cookbooks. (Described as “The Queen of Greens” by The Washington Post.) It’s a warm, bracingly honest memoir that also gives us an insider’s look at the vegetarian movement.”

“Thanks to her beloved cookbooks and groundbreaking work as the opening chef at Greens Restaurant in San Francisco, Deborah Madison, though not a vegetarian herself, has long been revered as this country’s leading authority on vegetables.”

“She profoundly changed the way generations of Americans think about cooking with vegetables, helping to transform “vegetarian” from a dirty word into a mainstream way of eating. But before she became a household name, Madison spent almost twenty years as an ordained Buddhist priest, coming of age in the midst of counterculture San Francisco. In this charmingly intimate and refreshingly frank memoir, she tells her story—and with it the story of the vegetarian movement—for the very first time.”

We’re walking the local Farmers Market with Chef Deborah Madison.

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Show 402, December 5, 2020: Grace Young, James Beard Award-winning Author with “Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories” Part One

Stir Fry Queen Grace Young“Dubbed “The Stir-Fry Guru” by the New York Times, Grace Young has devoted her career to celebrating wok cookery through her cookbooks and videos. On March 15, 2020, she began Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories, an oral history project with videographer Dan Ahn, in collaboration with Poster House, documenting the stories of how Manhattan’s Chinatown has been impacted by COVID-19. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History featured Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories in their 2020 Youth Summit for middle and high school students as an exemplar of how one person is addressing the challenging question of how we choose to strengthen a community in the middle of a pandemic.”

“Grace Young has partnered with the James Beard Foundation on an Instagram campaign to support Chinese restaurants all across the country. All independent restaurants are in danger of closing, and Chinese Americans have faced additional hardship as racism connected to COVID-19 rhetoric has threatened businesses even further.”

Grace is on an important mission to spread the word that Chinese restaurants are integral to America’s food culture and need our support right now. She is our guest.

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Show 402, December 5, 2020: Grace Young, James Beard Award-winning Author with “Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories” Part Two

Stir Fry Queen Grace Young“Dubbed “The Stir-Fry Guru” by the New York Times, Grace Young has devoted her career to celebrating wok cookery through her cookbooks and videos. On March 15, 2020, she began Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories, an oral history project with videographer Dan Ahn, in collaboration with Poster House, documenting the stories of how Manhattan’s Chinatown has been impacted by COVID-19. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History featured Coronavirus: Chinatown Stories in their 2020 Youth Summit for middle and high school students as an exemplar of how one person is addressing the challenging question of how we choose to strengthen a community in the middle of a pandemic.”

“Grace Young has partnered with the James Beard Foundation on an Instagram campaign to support Chinese restaurants all across the country. All independent restaurants are in danger of closing, and Chinese Americans have faced additional hardship as racism connected to COVID-19 rhetoric has threatened businesses even further.”

“Help spread the word that Chinese restaurants are integral to America’s food culture and need our support now.”

How to participate:

  • Post a photo of your favorite dish from your local Chinese restaurant (takeout or dine-in) on Instagram with the hashtag #SaveChineseRestaurants and nominate your friends and followers to do the same.
  • Tag @beardfoundation and The James Beard Foundation will repost some of their favorites.

“In New York and San Francisco’s Chinatowns, the pandemic wiped out a steady customer base of both tourism and walk-in traffic from office workers. Now facing back rent and mounting bills, and with the onset of cold weather and limited indoor dining, barely surviving establishments are hanging on by sheer grit. We urgently need the #SaveChineseRestaurants campaign, launched together with the James Beard Foundation, which asks each of us—including family and friends—to support these restaurants just by showing up, either for takeout or dining in. This is a crisis and without steady patronage, these businesses will not survive. I truly believe if we all pitch in we can save these eateries and treasured ethnic neighborhoods everywhere.” — Grace Young

Grace Young continues with us.

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Show 292, September 29, 2018: Celebrity Designer Nathan Turner – Nathan Turner’s I Love California: Live, Eat, And Entertain The West Coast Way

Nathan TurnerCelebrity Designer Nathan Turner’s style is synonymous with the easy glam of California living. His new book (a love letter to his home state,) Nathan Turner’s I Love California: Live, Eat, And Entertain The West Coast Way (Abrams; 2018) is a journey up and down Highway 1 that takes readers from the redwoods of northern San Francisco to the mountains of the Sierra Nevada to the beaches of Southern California.

Simple recipes and tips for entertaining are featured alongside never-before-seen interiors. Lavish photographs capture the homes, people, and food of each unique location in glorious, sun-drenched detail. This book even includes Turner’s signature recipes for California comfort food, like his family’s Cioppino, Marinated Tri-tip Steak, Mexican Chocolate Cake, and more.

Nathan’s Mother had a cattle ranch in Northern California so there is a great authenticity to this book along with genuinely useful insider’s travel tips for Northern California, Central California / Sierra Nevada and Southern California.

“The recipes and decor here are inspired by my home state, but really it’s a state of mind. Whether you are entertaining friends and dining with family, or just wishing to visit the sun-dappled coast, now you can create this dreamy California lifestyle anywhere.”

Nathan Turner is also the author of Nathan Turner’s American Style (Abrams 2012). Turner is a regular entertaining expert on The Today Show, and his designs, parties, and products have been featured in major publications including Architectural Digest, ELLE Decor, Vogue, Domino, Town & Country, House Beautiful, Food & Wine, and more. He lives in Los Angeles and Ojai, California.

Nathan Turner joins us.

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Show 201, December 10, 2016: Mourad Lahlou, Owner / Chef, Mourad and Aziza, San Francisco

Mourad LahlouConsidered by many as the pioneer of modern Moroccan cuisine in the United States, the James Beard award-nominated Mourad Lahlou (San Francisco’s Aziza and Mourad) never envisioned becoming a world-famous chef. Chef Mourad is one of the celebrity chefs preparing a course for The Grand Banquet of Ultimo Weekend at The Venetian. He’ll lift the lid on the tagine for us.

Aziza is currently under renovation. The plan is for it to reopen in February.

The Marrakesh native immigrated to the United States when he was 20 years old to pursue a master’s degree in economics. Missing his country’s cuisine, Lahlou taught himself how to recreate versions of his favorite Moroccan dishes with local ingredients using his own inventive techniques. Most of the lessons he learned about food came from his mother, who cooked traditional Moroccan recipes, and grandfather, who took him to the markets.

Chef Mourad’s strikingly modern reinventions of traditional Moroccan dishes are all about showcasing the great flavors of his native cuisine in ways that harmonize with the fresh, local, artisanal ingredients available in Northern California. “I’m not sure I would even call it a Moroccan restaurant anymore,” he says. Like his jet-black tattoos, Lahlou’s food and restaurants reveal a very personal story, one rooted both in San Francisco and abroad, and recount the memories that have inspired his life’s work.

 

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Show 189, September 17, 2016: Amy Guittard, Marketing Director, Guittard Chocolate Company

Amy GuittardWell-crafted chocolate has been the Guittard family business and a San Francisco favorite for nearly 150 years. This rich history is captured in Guittard Chocolate CookbookDecadent Recipes from San Francisco’s Premium Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Company.

With 50 tempting photographs and 60 simple recipes for every kind of indulgence, Amy Guittard, in the Guittard Chocolate Cookbook, presents tried-and-true favorite recipes from five generations of Guittards, ranging from start-your-day-right Chocolate Cherry Scones to fudgey Mocha Cookies and deep, dark Chocolate Caramel Pecan Bundt Cake. Leave it to the people who really know chocolate to make a collection of recipes that are sure to make every chocolate lover long for one bite more.

The classic chocolate recipes in the book are easy-to-follow and doable by the home cook. Many are family recipes proven over generations. For the more ambitious there in the Chef’s Chapter from Guittard’s resident, world class executive pastry chef, Donald Wressell (ex-Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills as opening Executive Pastry Chef). “Chef Donald has a deft touch with chocolate, and brings a chef’s sensibilities to these desserts.” “He explains his recipes clearly, so even a beginning baker can make these with good results.” Look for his well-tested recipe for Grandma’s Chocolate Cake. It’s a classic that comes along with a great story…

Author Amy Guittard (Guittard’s Marketing Director) is our guest. She is the great-great-granddaughter of the founder of the Guittard Chocolate Company and the company’s marketing director. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Show 150, December 12, 2015: Anita Lau, Mad Hungry Woman Blogger

Anita Lau of Mad Hungry WomanAnita Lau is better known to regular listeners of the “SoCal Restaurant Show” as the Mad Hungry Woman blogger. She was living in Hong Kong in the 90s before the turnover by the British to China. Anita was just back to Hong Kong for a 3-week visit. We’ll get a insider’s view of the dining scene there during the glory days of the British and now under Chinese authority.

Anita will fill us in on the impact of Michelin Stars in Hong Kong and also the best street food. Michelin in now even rating “Street Food” which seems a bit odd.

Anita notes that the big deal celebrity chefs are opening high-profile restaurants in Hong Kong. Gordon Ramsay is already there and Anita crossed paths with Chris Cosentino of “Top Chef Masters” fame there, too.

We’ll also get the morsel-by-morsel details of her favorite dining experience of the trip. It’s French and elegant…Go to her blog to read her full review of EPURE. Beautiful food photography of the meal, too.

Born in Hong Kong and now living in Orange County, California, Anita Lau is an international author and writer who has lived in Malaysia, Australia, Nebraska, Oregon, San Francisco and also, Hawaii. Her obsession with food began at an early age but it wasn’t until her early 20s when her experimentation with cooking led her to start a small catering business which she would run in her spare time while at college in Australia.

 

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Show 148, November 28, 2015: Restaurateur Tony Tollner & Rio Grill, Carmel

Tony TollnerSince 1983, Rio Grill in Carmel, CA has been the place to meet friends, enjoy cocktails, food and wine and experience great dining on the Monterey Peninsula. The high energy restaurant is located at the mouth of the Carmel Valley in the well-known Crossroads Shopping Village and has won numerous reader’s choice awards and inspired food critics both near and far.

Menu highlights include creative regional California cuisine from the wood-burning grill and oak wood burner, as well as Chef Cy Yontz’s daily creations which include fresh fish, pasta, salads and sandwiches.

A Carmel institution since 1983, Rio Grill has enjoyed a long and storied history. Originally the site of local restaurateur Bill Lee’s “Billy Quon’s”, Rio Grill officially opened its doors almost 32 years ago. At that time, Rio Grill was part of the Real Restaurants organization, and was affiliated with such world class restaurants as Mustard’s Grill and Tra Vigne in Napa Valley, and the Fog City Diner in San Francisco.

As part of the Real Restaurants group, Rio Grill staked its claim as one of the region’s most popular choices catering to a loyal local clientele while satisfying out of town guests. As Rio’s reputation grew, the partners of the Real Restaurants Group decided to part ways and Rio Grill was able to stand on its own.

Throughout the years, Rio Grill has continued to evolve. Expansion to the main dining room occurred on two occasions and most recently, Rio Grill completely rebuilt the Santé Fe Room, it’s special events and meeting space. Featuring an open beam ceiling and a built-in “cantina style” bar to complement an updated menu from Executive Chef Cy Yontz, Rio Grill is poised to continue to impress and satisfy both locals and tourists alike.

On the “SoCal Restaurant’s Shows’” visit to Rio Grill we particularly enjoyed the Candied Swine “JOLLY RANCHEROS” appetizer and the House-Smoked Half Chicken with mild-smoked chile butter, artichokes and potatoes. On Monday nights (the night we were there) all wines by the bottle (including a deep selection of vintages from Monterey County) are half-off.

Rio Grill is now one of three properties owned by The Downtown Dining restaurants. Managing Partner Tony Tollner, who was part of the opening team for Rio Grill joins us.

Tony managed Rio Grill from 1984 until 1991 when he and his partner, Bill Cox found the building that now houses Tarpy’s Roadhouse. In 1994, a chef/friend approached Tony and asked if he would consider another venture. From that conversation, sprung the award winning Montrio Bistro. Montrio Bistro, along with Tarpy’s Roadhouse and Rio Grill comprise the Downtown Dining group of restaurants.

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Show 147, November 21, 2015: Chef Jacques Pepin

Jacques PepinRenowned Chef Jacques Pepin has written more than two dozen cookbooks and hosted more than 13 popular public television cooking series. Chef Pepin recently completed production of his 14th cooking series for PBS, Jacques Pepin Heart & Soul for KQED in San Francisco. There is also a newly published companion cookbook of the same name, Jacques Pepin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen.

Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen is an intimate look at the celebrity chef and the food he cooks at home with family and friends—200 recipes in all. There are the simple dinners Jacques prepares for his wife, like the world’s best burgers (the secret is ground brisket). There are elegant dinners for small gatherings, with tantalizing starters like Camembert cheese with a pistachio crust and desserts like little foolproof chocolate soufflés. And there are the dishes for backyard parties, including grilled chicken tenderloin in an Argentinean chimichurri sauce.

Chef Jacques is a true gentleman. He includes his wife’s favorite recipe in the Rice and Pasta section of the book. It’s “Gloria’s Linguine with Clam Sauce” and he shares this treasured recipe with her “permission.”

Spiced with reminiscences and stories, this book reveals the unorthodox philosophy of the man who taught millions how to cook, revealing his frank views on molecular gastronomy, the locovore movement, Julia Child and James Beard, on how to raise a child who will eat almost anything, and much, much more.  For both longtime fans of Jacques and those who are discovering him for the first time, this is a must-have cookbook.

“For this book, mindful that as I approach eighty years old I have a limited number of cookbooks in my future, I decided to gather a collection of recipes that I cook at home today.” Jacques Pepin.

Chef Pepin is our very special guest.

 

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Show 146, November 14, 2015: Master Barman Duggan McDonnell, San Francisco

Duggan McDonnellSan Francisco is a City devoted to drink and other causes. Our guest, Duggan McDonnell, is the author of Drinking the Devil’s Acre – A Love Letter from San Francisco and her Cocktails.

During the 1870s and ‘80s, the Devil’s Acre was a single, bar-filled block within San Francisco’s infamous Barbary Coast that boasted the wickedest, wildest saloons in America. A few blocks away, marble-floored drinking palaces poured the high art of the cocktail. From this, San Francisco’s electrifying nightlife was born and a few generations later, the city’s farm-to-glass cocktails have never tasted better.

McDonnell (part culinary anthropologist and part whimsical professor) masterfully weaves essays on prominent spirits, insights into San Francisco’s historic love affair with amaro, and recipes for his Bartender’s Secret Formulas together with 25 iconic cocktail recipes made famous by the City by the Bay. The recipes range from the legendary Pisco Punch and the ingenious Mai Tai, to the Gold Rush era Sazerac and the more modern Lemon Drop.

Put on the spot Duggan offers that The Martinez, a Bay Area original, is perhaps the most iconic libation associated with San Francisco. It’s gin based.

A really fun part of the book is Duggan McDonnell’s “Rules For Budding Barmen and Young Mixologists Everywhere.” This is actually the book’s last page.

Chef Andrew asks Duggan to share his five “must visit” bars and taverns in San Francisco. The ultimate pub crawl if you will…McDonnell’s recommendations are Buena Vista (Irish Coffee.) Smuggler’s Cove (rum,) WhiteChapel (gin,) Comstock Saloon (The Martinez,) and Cantina (Duggan McDonnell’s place dedicated to Artisanal Spirits and California Cocktails.)

 

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