12 days: on the tenth day of christmas: holmboe bang… (2014)

~ It had been raining every day for two weeks.  California was finally finding some much-needed relief from a severe, two-year drought. So, when a rare window of blue sky opened up one morning, Cameron Cole Rahtz, the forager for The Restaurant at Meadowood, jumped on the opportunity.  He grabbed Esben Holmboe Bang and me, we grabbed our raincoats, […]

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12 days: on the tenth day of christmas: holmboe bang… (2014)

~ It had been raining every day for two weeks.  California was finally finding some much-needed relief from a severe, two-year drought. So, when a rare window of blue sky opened up one morning, Cameron Cole Rahtz, the forager for The Restaurant at Meadowood, jumped on the opportunity.  He grabbed Esben Holmboe Bang and me, we grabbed our raincoats, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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12 days: on the fifth day of christmas: wetzel… (2014)

– Blaine Wetzel got his start at a very young age. By the time he returned to his native Washington at the age of 24 to head the kitchen at Willows Inn on Lummi Island, he had spent eight years cooking around the world.  He had cooked in the kitchens of Mary Elaine’s at the Phoenician in Phoenix, Alex at […]

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12 days: on the fifth day of christmas: wetzel… (2014)

– Blaine Wetzel got his start at a very young age. By the time he returned to his native Washington at the age of 24 to head the kitchen at Willows Inn on Lummi Island, he had spent eight years cooking around the world.  He had cooked in the kitchens of Mary Elaine’s at the Phoenician in Phoenix, Alex at […]

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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 […]

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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

the best of 2013: the restaurant edition…

~ The late, great Diana Vreeland once said: “A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste––it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s physical. I think we could use more of it. No taste is what I’m against.” I couldn’t agree more. There is a growing class […]

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the best of 2013: the restaurant edition…

~ The late, great Diana Vreeland once said: “A little bad taste is like a nice splash of paprika. We all need a splash of bad taste––it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s physical. I think we could use more of it. No taste is what I’m against.” I couldn’t agree more. There is a growing class […]

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, […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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12 days: on the sixth day of christmas… (chang)

~ When David Chang can’t find the flavors he wants – like certain soy sauces from Japan – he makes them. Yesterday, he opened bottles and jars of what he calls “bonji” – fermented sauces – and “hozon” – fermented pastes- for us to taste.  These fermented products, made from legumes and nuts, were developed […]

Continue

12 days: on the sixth day of christmas… (chang)

~ When David Chang can’t find the flavors he wants – like certain soy sauces from Japan – he makes them. Yesterday, he opened bottles and jars of what he calls “bonji” – fermented sauces – and “hozon” – fermented pastes- for us to taste.  These fermented products, made from legumes and nuts, were developed […]

Continue