Make Something New Every Day

This blog is inspired by all those who love to cook, whether experienced or not, and who continue to experiment with new ideas & ingredients, and best of all, share their passion with others.

The first entries are recipes prepared by the students of Lionel Wilson College Preparatory Academy in Oakland, CA. Fifteen students with varying cooking experience participated in my weekly workshop (via Tutorpedia), and successfully prepared various meals, snacks, and baked goods as part of an after-school program.

Along with the recipes from that class, I will continue to add new seasonal items, spanning every genre of the culinary world, as well as a helpful list of links to recipes, instructional videos, and places to shop and volunteer in your area.

Feel free to ask me questions and share your recipes and ideas as well. I look forward to cooking with you.

March 30, 2010

Lost in Chocolate Weekend

Chocolate in San Francisco may sound like old hat, but the double-dipped weekend of the International Chocolate Salon and Chocolate Cookie-Themed SF Food Wars proved to be anything but.

Reasons for attending a luxury chocolate trade show are as vast as the offerings to be found there. Vendors hope to increase product awareness, while event goers from seasoned food critics to wide-eyed children basically want to taste something yummy. Walking toward Fort Mason’s Festival Pavilion I imagined a ride down the creamy river in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, mug in hand, paddle cast aside.

Spotting celebrity chef Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake and Orson Restaurant, made the day for at least one young pastry chef. Hilda Casey of Beaux Gateaux and Confections by Kay Dillon gasped as Falkner walked up to their table. “She is the sexiest chef out there.” Perhaps this sighting brought luck to the first-time event goers. Kay’s beautiful handmade chocolates won an award for Best Gift Set.

Amidst the sea of chocolate were several well known Bay Area companies. The popular, Kika’s Treats, of San Francisco, won prizes across the board. Bridge Brands, also of San Francisco, sponsored the next day’s SF Food Wars Chocolate Cookie Competition by donating 2 pounds of dark chocolate for each competitor to use in their entry.

Day 2: Of Course You Realize, This is Food Wars…

Having paced myself the day before, I was now ready to eat and judge 20 different chocolate cookies at SF Food Wars. Unlike the Chocolate Salon, where you can pick and choose your samples, a participant of SFFW must try all 20 samples to truly vote democratically.

Maybe it was the sugar. Maybe it was the house music pumping away in a dark club on a Sunday afternoon. Maybe it was the stream of chocolate that tied it all together. But after sampling 20 chocolate sugar bombs within about 15 minutes in that environment, I was ready to jump ship. SFFW is a good time with a good cause (proceeds benefit the SF Food Bank), but I look forward to future events with more diverse themes, the next being brunch.

Eating food and writing about it is a tough job…
Wait, no it isn’t.

‘til next time…