12 days: the ninth day of christmas: lee… (2014)

– Corey Lee, chef of the 3 Michelin-starred Benu, showed up looking like a sifu, and knocked my socks off with ham and black truffles wrapped in cabbage and glazed in a thick, gelatinous stew of fish maw. This happened when Lee cooked with chef Christopher Kostow on the ninth day of the Twelve Days of Christmas […]

Continue

12 days: the ninth day of christmas: lee… (2014)

– Corey Lee, chef of the 3 Michelin-starred Benu, showed up looking like a sifu, and knocked my socks off with ham and black truffles wrapped in cabbage and glazed in a thick, gelatinous stew of fish maw. This happened when Lee cooked with chef Christopher Kostow on the ninth day of the Twelve Days of Christmas […]

Continue

12 days: on the eighth day of christmas: achatz… (2014)

~ Of this year’s twelve dinners, I was most anxious about the eighth one: the night that Grant Achatz cooked. Early in alinea’s life, I was one of the very few, if not alone, in my criticism of that restaurant – or, more accurately, that style of dining.  Now, eight years and four meals at alinea later, the […]

Continue

12 days: on the eighth day of christmas: achatz… (2014)

~ Of this year’s twelve dinners, I was most anxious about the eighth one: the night that Grant Achatz cooked. Early in alinea’s life, I was one of the very few, if not alone, in my criticism of that restaurant – or, more accurately, that style of dining.  Now, eight years and four meals at alinea later, the […]

Continue

12 days: on the seventh day of christmas: martinez… (2014)

~ Besides Joshua McFadden, who cooked on the sixth night, Virgilio Martinez is the only other chef on this year’s Twelve Days of Christmas roster whose restaurant I had never visited. Martinez is chef and owner of Central, a high-end restaurant in Lima, Peru.  His colorful cooking, representing both the Peruvian coast, as well as the “high-altitude” ingredients of […]

Continue

12 days: on the seventh day of christmas: martinez… (2014)

~ Besides Joshua McFadden, who cooked on the sixth night, Virgilio Martinez is the only other chef on this year’s Twelve Days of Christmas roster whose restaurant I had never visited. Martinez is chef and owner of Central, a high-end restaurant in Lima, Peru.  His colorful cooking, representing both the Peruvian coast, as well as the “high-altitude” ingredients of […]

Continue

12 days: on the fourth day of christmas: gauthier… (2014)

~ As the entire left coast braced for the largest storm to hit in decades, Nathaniel Dorn, the Restaurant Manager at The Restaurant at Meadowood, and his staff kept calm and carried on. At line-up, he reminded: “We have a generator, headlamps for all of the kitchen staff, pre-burned candles, emergency crash kits, and pre-charged music […]

Continue

12 days: on the fourth day of christmas: gauthier… (2014)

~ As the entire left coast braced for the largest storm to hit in decades, Nathaniel Dorn, the Restaurant Manager at The Restaurant at Meadowood, and his staff kept calm and carried on. At line-up, he reminded: “We have a generator, headlamps for all of the kitchen staff, pre-burned candles, emergency crash kits, and pre-charged music […]

Continue

12 days: on the third day of christmas: desramaults… (2014)

~ “Karremelkstampers” is not only a fun word to say, but it represents the wonderful cross-cultural exchange that makes the Twelve Days of Christmas such a meaningful event.  It’s a traditional dish from the Flemish region of Belgium, where chef Kobe Desramaults was raised and is now chef and owner of the Michelin-starred restaurant In de […]

Continue

12 days: on the third day of christmas: desramaults… (2014)

~ “Karremelkstampers” is not only a fun word to say, but it represents the wonderful cross-cultural exchange that makes the Twelve Days of Christmas such a meaningful event.  It’s a traditional dish from the Flemish region of Belgium, where chef Kobe Desramaults was raised and is now chef and owner of the Michelin-starred restaurant In de […]

Continue

best desserts of 2013…

~ Three years ago, I created a separate year-end list for desserts because I wanted to recognize and record the exciting strides that I noticed pastry chefs taking. In the short time since, the borders of dessert-making and dessert-eating have continued to expand. Speaking specifically as an American, our understanding of desserts has taken on a […]

Continue

best desserts of 2013…

~ Three years ago, I created a separate year-end list for desserts because I wanted to recognize and record the exciting strides that I noticed pastry chefs taking. In the short time since, the borders of dessert-making and dessert-eating have continued to expand. Speaking specifically as an American, our understanding of desserts has taken on a […]

Continue

travel: blurred lines…

~ At the end of each of the last two years, I’ve looked back in awe at a calendar filled with adventures.  At the same time, I’ve stared nervously into the new year, wondering how it might fill up, if at all. We are at the bottom of December, once again.  And, once again, I […]

Continue

travel: blurred lines…

~ At the end of each of the last two years, I’ve looked back in awe at a calendar filled with adventures.  At the same time, I’ve stared nervously into the new year, wondering how it might fill up, if at all. We are at the bottom of December, once again.  And, once again, I […]

Continue

12 days: on the eleventh day of christmas… (kinch)

~ “Lovely,” David Kinch sighed repeatedly as he walked through the hoop house at the The Restaurant at Meadowood’s garden, running his hands over trays of feathery herbs.  The head gardener here, Christine Kim, used to work at Love Apple Farm, a biodynamic garden with which Kinch partnered to grow produce for his restaurant, Manresa in Los Gatos, […]

Continue

12 days: on the eleventh day of christmas… (kinch)

~ “Lovely,” David Kinch sighed repeatedly as he walked through the hoop house at the The Restaurant at Meadowood’s garden, running his hands over trays of feathery herbs.  The head gardener here, Christine Kim, used to work at Love Apple Farm, a biodynamic garden with which Kinch partnered to grow produce for his restaurant, Manresa in Los Gatos, […]

Continue

12 days: on the ninth day of christmas… (kofoed)

~ The woods above Napa Valley were quiet when we arrived mid-morning.  Cameron Rahtz, the resident forager at The Restaurant at Meadowood, took us up and off a trail, teetering across fallen trucks and trickling creeks, into a thick carpet of leaves.  It’s been a dry year here.  Last year, the Napa Valley saw close […]

Continue

12 days: on the ninth day of christmas… (kofoed)

~ The woods above Napa Valley were quiet when we arrived mid-morning.  Cameron Rahtz, the resident forager at The Restaurant at Meadowood, took us up and off a trail, teetering across fallen trucks and trickling creeks, into a thick carpet of leaves.  It’s been a dry year here.  Last year, the Napa Valley saw close […]

Continue

12 days: on the seventh day of christmas… (accarrino)

~ Matt Accarrino, chef at the Michelin-starred SPQR in San Francisco, has a close, working relationship with Peter Jacobsen, who has an orchard and garden in Yountville.  Jacobsen used to supply a lot of fruit to The French Laundry, and now supplies fruits and vegetables to SPQR.  Accarrino drives up to help work the garden […]

Continue

12 days: on the seventh day of christmas… (accarrino)

~ Matt Accarrino, chef at the Michelin-starred SPQR in San Francisco, has a close, working relationship with Peter Jacobsen, who has an orchard and garden in Yountville.  Jacobsen used to supply a lot of fruit to The French Laundry, and now supplies fruits and vegetables to SPQR.  Accarrino drives up to help work the garden […]

Continue