Archive for September, 2008
For my next dinner party, everyone can cook their own food. Since I bought the Hotspot Yakatori table grill — just like the ones Japanese vendors use — I just cut up shrimp, beef, veggies, make a ton of rice and let everyone play Benihana-chef. Made of handmade fired-clay, it offers insulation that results in high temps for a wide range of cooking. Control the heat simply by sliding the door on the adjustable ventilation holes. The 100 square inches of cooking space on the stainless steel grill makes it handy for small parties. After dinner is finished, move it outside where it doubles as a little heater.
What is this, you ask? It’s a soap-brush for the kitchen of course. Just put a few drops of detergent into the soft rubber dish, push down the spring and place the brush on top. Viola! Practical and handsome. From those Creative Danes (no, that’s actually the name of the company.)
For the home cook with more culinary dreams than time, it can be frustrating to grab for the cinnamon only to discover it’s gone bad. Smart Spice solves this problem by packing its organic spices in several single use servings (four to a box), so you’ve always got organic ground spice, organic herbs, organic seeds and peppercorns. You’ll start seeing them in your favorite grocery stores within the month. So go ahead, make like Rachael Ray.
White porcelain plates are a must for minimalist chefs, but sometimes you want a presentation with a little more of that so-called wow factor. Achieve it with these organic edible roses, which make beautiful accents on your lovingly prepared appetizers, entrées, tarts or cakes. Infused with mild fruit flavoring, they’re also a fun gift for friends who like to bake up a storm in the kitchen.
The pairing of lime and chili is a classic flavor combination adored from Latin America to the South Pacific, and Charles loves the kick it gives to Marie’s signature beef and veggie skewers. You too can use these flavors to make your meat, chicken and seafood mouthwatering. Simply use this rub before grilling, panfrying or roasting. It’s made up of carefully selected spices such as New Mexican chilies, California cilantro, Turkish cumin and paprika, as well as sea salt and lime.
Despite its popularity, Oakland’s Bellanico retains a neighborly feel with comforting rustic California Italian cuisine and tiny interiors accented with blown glass pendants. Husband and wife owners Chris Shepherd and Elizabeth Frumusa (the duo behind Aperto in San Francisco’s Potrero Hill) named Bellancio for their two daughters, nicknamed Bella and Nico, and they recruited Chef de Cuisine Jonathan Luce, formerly of Pearl’s Oyster Bar. Expect such decadent dishes as risotto with black mission figs and gorgonzola, as well as wild-caught albacore.
David Glass is committed to making luscious Euro-style desserts that draw upon all-natural ingredients from all over the world, as evidenced by his Ultimate Cheesecake (which is divine when topped with sliced kiwis or strawberries). Glass has worked at restaurants in Istanbul, Teheran, Delhi, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Taipei, and Tokyo (he also hiked in the Himalayas where he learned to cook rice and potatoes and yak). His sweet creations are made using a minimal amount of machinery, so they are very close to handmade. A portion of profits benefit local, national, and international charities.
Clock Bar at The Westin St. Francis is an upscale yet informal spot for ordering a few cocktails and finger food. Masterminded by inimitable chef Michael Mina (whose namesake restaurant is located across the historic hotel lobby), this spot draws crowds after work and late at night—mostly hotel guests or Union Square shoppers who come to rest weary feet. Cocktails range from the classic (think Sidecars, Mojitos and Dark and Stormies made with ginger beer) to the creative (like The Chartreuse Swizzle). The small but focused menu features such late night delicacies as lobster corn dogs, black truffle popcorn and tuna tartare.