Posts for May 8, 2012

Food & Wine Launches New Cocktail App Featuring S.F. Bars

The boozier folks over at Food & Wine have just released a new iPhone and iPad app devoted only to cocktails. It boasts 350 cocktail recipes from the magazine's archives, with pretty pictures, and since Belvedere is sponsoring the free download, the collection contains 50 of Belvedere recipes too. Also, they provide a guide to their list of the top 100 bars in the country, including San Francisco cocktail havens 15 Romolo, The Alembic, Bar Agricole, Beretta, Comstock Saloon, Jasper’s Corner Tap, Nopa, Rickhouse, Slanted Door, Smuggler’s Cove, and Wilson & Wilson. For those snubbed, we're sure they're very sorry. Sidenote: Food & Wine also has a Best New Chefs app which they'll be updating just before the Aspen event this year. [Food & Wine]

Des Jardins and MacNaughton Among This Year’s Cochon Contenders

The big trophy.Photo: Cochon 555

On Sunday, May 20, in addition to the drag queen dim sum thing happening at Wo Hing, pork lovers will be treated to this year's installment of Cochon 555, the San Francisco edition. As always, the event bills itself as a promotion for heritage pork breeds, but it's really just a gluttonous feast of pork products in every shape, from every inch of the animal, as prepared by five talented chefs. Grub Street will again be judging this year, and we're already fasting in preparation. This year's chefs are an equally strong group compared to last year, with Traci Des Jardins (Jardinière), Jason Fox (Commonwealth), Nicolas Borzee (Bouche), Anthony Strong (Locanda), and Thomas McNaughton (Flour + Water) all preparing multiple plates for the competition. The winner will go on to compete for the King or Queen of Porc crown at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen in June. Tickets for the May 20 event, which will be taking place at the Fairmont Hotel this year and which are a tad pricey at $125 per person, can be purchased here. [Earlier]

Bask Opens in North Beach

As expected, the new Basque restaurant called Bask is now open at Columbus and Jackson, in the flatiron-shaped former Clown Alley/Pickles space, after putting some finishing touches up over the weekend, like the sign (pictured). It's tapas-y, with some bigger plates as well, and they'll be open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, but brunch only on Sundays. See the full dinner menu here, and do let us know if you check it out. [Tablehopper, Eater]

Newsflash: Rachael Ray Wields More Sway Than the World’s Best Chefs

Ferran Adria wishes he got this much coverage.

The James Beard Foundation had its say last night as to who it regards as the nation’s best chefs. And last week Restaurant Magazine released its World’s 50 Best Restaurants. But a new study says Rachael Ray has tons more sway than Ferran Adrià, René Redzepi or Grant Achatz. The coverage those modern masters receive pales in comparison to the ubiquity of Ray-Ray. What’s more, along with Ray, the study says Paula Deen, Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali, and Bobby Flay are the five most media-savvy chefs. Not even heavy hitters like Eric Ripert or Thomas Keller can touch that.

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Chris Cosentino Unveils His First Cookbook, and It’s Not Offal!

CosentinoPhoto: Michael Harlan Turkell

Incanto chef Chris Cosentino, who's been no stranger to food television and the festival circuit over the last year and who recently expanded his meat-and-offal-centric empire to L.A., unveils his first cookbook this week. The book, with a forward by Traci Des Jardins and photographs by Michael Harlan Turkell, is just on sale, and it's titled Beginnings: My Way to Start a Meal. The recipes focus on the kind of Italian first courses Cosentino has become most known for, including an extensive guide to artisanal salumis both cooked and cured, as well as sausages and hams. But there's a heavy focus on vegetable-based antipastis too, like simple salads of artichoke, mint and lemon; or strawberries, pecorino, and fresh fava beans.

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Ravi Kapur Looking at Spaces in the Mission for New Restaurant

For the past couple of months, former Prospect and Boulevard chef Ravi Kapur has been offering up a preview of things to come with his pop-up LihoLiho Yacht Club at Citizen's Band (8th and Folsom). Today Kapur announces that he's extending the pop-up once more, and that its popularity has encouraged him to start thinking of it as a weekly residency more than a pop-up. Also, he tells Grub Street that he's actively on the hunt for a space in the Mission* — which is also the neighborhood where he lives — for his first solo venture.

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A Photographic History of President Obama Eating Junk Food During Photo Ops

The Obama administration clearly wants Americans eating healthier, but not everyone is convinced POTUS is, himself, pursuing a healthy diet. Today, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in D.C. (remember: they're vegans) asked the White House to launch "an executive order banning staged official photo ops that depict the president, the first family, the vice president, and members of the president's cabinet with unhealthful foods ... that can cause cancer and obesity." In other words, they want Obama to stop downing pies, hot dogs, and cheesesteaks when cameras are around — something he does quite a bit, it turns out. See what we mean, straight ahead.

Bauer Still Vehemently Anti-Surcharge

Every couple of months, Michael Bauer likes to chime in again about how much he hates the Healthy S.F. surcharges on restaurant checks — money which the Wall Street Journal found last year is mostly not going directly to health care costs. Today he quotes yet another reader email, regarding surcharges for private events at Yoshi's, and incites another hundred comments from his peanut gallery. Sigh. [Between Meals/Scoop, Earlier, Earlier still]

Disneyland Has Its Own Members-Only Supper Club; Charges $25,000 to Join

Club 33

Disneyland is always a reliable place to get separated from your cash, and now the theme park is opening the books to its secret restaurant, Club 33, available to a devoted group of mouse-lovers for $25,000, along with $10,000 in yearly membership dues. The L.A. Times reports that Club 33 is a 45-year-old restaurant founded by Walt Disney, hidden in the theme park's New Orleans square and limited to just 500 members. And if you think that sounds kind of creepy, these photos of the restaurant's interior probably won't dissuade you from those feelings, but know this: Until now, joining the club, even getting on its waiting list, has been off-limits to anyone for the last decade. But the books are now being reopened for a limited number of memberships, along with an old-timey lounge that's opening called 1901, with invitations being sent to the first 100 names on the 800-person-long waiting list.

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Julia Child: Food’s First Girl-Power Advocate

This is what a feminist looks like.

A new biography of Julia Child, Dearie, will come out just in time for her 100th birthday this August. Spoiler alert: Julia was very pro-woman. Of course, she came along at just the right time: Her big break happened in 1963 with the landmark TV show The French Chef, the same year fellow Smith College alum Betty Friedan made headlines with The Feminine Mystique, notes the AP. It was a time, as any Mad Men fan or history scholar would agree, when women were entering the workforce in record numbers and often (gasp!) too busy to cook anything better than quickie meals. "Julia turned women on to the beauty of making a wonderful meal for the family, not just scraping something together," the bio states.

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Mission Blow-Up: Central Kitchen to Open Thursday; West of Pecos Delayed Until Next Week

Central Kitchen, as we last saw it in February, is one of about a dozen new openings in the 'hood.

St. Vincent popped open yesterday at 24th and Valencia, but it was just the first of a wave of Mission openings happening over the next month or six weeks, many of which are moving into spaces that were previously record shops, auto-body shops, and other stuff. First off, on Thursday, we'll see the opening of Flour + Water's slightly more upscale spinoff Central Kitchen at 20th and Florida, with chef Thomas McNaughton overseeing things and chef de cuisine Michael Gaines (formerly a sous chef at Manresa) handling the day to day. Next up, it looks like the southwestern spinoff of Woodhouse Fish Co., West of Pecos, won't be opening this weekend as planned — they say on Facebook today that it's looking maybe like Monday. But that's not all!

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Nick’s, an ‘Oakland-Style Pizzeria,’ Opens Today

Nick's Choice: a prosciutto-tomato pie with Meyer lemon vinaigrette

As in so many things, Oaklanders have to do it their own way. Enter Nick's Pizza, with their tagline "Made in Oakland," where chef Nick Yapor-Cox has returned to his hometown after some time in New York kitchens (including the pastry department at Eleven Madison Park) to create what he's calling "Oakland-style pizza." He's borrowing a bit from Arizmendi, as SFoodie tells us, having learned from the bakery how to make the perfect sourdough, and he's doing hand-spun, organic, sourdough crusts. His signature pie: prosciutto, fresh and aged mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, arugula, and Meyer lemon vinaigrette.

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SliderBar Café, a Palo Alto Import, Takes Criolla Kitchen Space

SliderBar's sliders.

We knew it wouldn't stay empty for long, and today Grub Street learns that the vacant Criolla Kitchen/Bagdad Café space (2295 Market Street at 16th) will become SliderBar Café, a Palo Alto-based restaurant that's big on (you guessed it!) sliders. Owner Ashwani Dhawan is expanding north and becoming a mini-chain, moving right into the midst of two other local burger chains, Super Duper and Slider's, also in the Castro — and, we should mention, across the intersection from the Lookout, which is already serving up some awesome sliders, but we digress.

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Check Out the Chefs’ Looks at Last Night’s James Beard Awards

We usually leave the look-book beat to our friends over at the Cut — because most chefs spend so much of their time in white jackets and toques. But at the James Beard Awards gala, attendees go all out with their sartorial choices, and this year's show wasn't any different. Plus, a red-carpet roundup feels appropriately awards-y. With that in mind, check out the looks from last night's ceremony, straight ahead.

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And the James Beard 2012 Winners Are: Daniel Humm, Christina Tosi, Michael Anthony, and More

Congrats to Best Chef, Daniel Humm!Photo: Spaulding/

The glamorous James Beard Awards were last night, a fête at which April Bloomfield wears eyeliner ("People aren't recognizing me!") and PR girls get fired for not allowing Jacques Pépin into the press room. Exciting wins included Momofuku Milk Bar's Christina Tosi for Rising Star and EMP/NoMad's Daniel Humm for Best Chef, plus a tie (!) for Best Chef Southeast between Hugh Acheson and Linton Hopkins. "Giving that speech was interesting; I said the first word, he said the second, and [we] went back and forth," Acheson exhaled to Grub. The most poignant moment was Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern, who recently "had a very serious health emergency" and won for Best Chef NYC. "This year, I was extremely touched by everyone in the industry who reached out with care, food, and encouragement. And to be able to thank all of them in person was extraordinary."

See all the winners here! »


Recent reader reviews on MenuPages

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    Billy is only there after 5 pm but if you are around go there and ask for his billy philly, the best philly you'll find this side of the Mississippi.

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    “Are you kidding?”

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Jay Barmann
NY Mag