CHEF MONICA POPE
Travel Blog, Part 2 – San Francisco/Bay Area – August 2010
More Tweets from my summer travels that I never Tweeted.
(…continued from Part 1)
*Ah, Chez Panisse….what can I say….lots of history here. Very unassuming, copper, warm wood, an actual fire, everyone from kitchen to floor focused on welcoming you.
*We order most of the menu: start with bellwether ricotta salad with perfectly cooked romano beans and a carpaccio of both halibut and wild salmon with lots of lemon zest; wolfe quail with heirloom beans; sf bay squid, grilled, with purslane and padrones, green olive gremolata of sorts tucked in there; side of anchovies with olive oil.
*I make a note to ask Hans to grow both purslane and padrones for me. Stacey had a good run on padrones last year. I’ve been thinking a lot about what these 2 growers can grow for me (when I get back to H-town, Stacey tells me the story of the stolen padrones this summer…yet another devastation for Stacey – you remember the chicken incident?)
*for dessert: the fruit tart (nectarine) and the chocolate sundae (Lili just wanted the ice cream, but we want the caramel and toffee).
*Lili is still processing the experience at Chez Panisse. She had the pizza and ate it all. I keep reminding her that this is Alice Waters’ restaurant and she is the Mother of American cooking. She asks if Alice was “the girl” who made her pizza
*The other day, I told Lili she was a perfect kid and she stomped off saying people aren’t perfect; I said she was a perfect kid meaning she wasn’t perfect but perfect the way a kid should be.
*At Chez Panisse, she tugs my arm down to get my ear and whispers that, when we get back, I should tell people in my class that “people aren’t perfect but food can be perfect.” I think Alice will like this comment.
*We have plans to hear Alice speak at Toby’s Feed Barn on Saturday night; we’re all excited, but Lili is wary. “Is this the girl who made my pizza?” she asks again.
*After Chez Panisse we drive to Oakland to check out Camino. It was my favorite eating experience last time (created by two Alice Waters’ alums, but who isn’t out here?). All the food on the menu comes out of a wood-fired brick oven or the fireplace. It’s really simple food and also has the only sustainable bar in the country.
*The next day for dinner (back at the bay house), I sauté the mixed mushrooms from the Ferry Plaza and toss them with some tagliatelli, McEvoy olive oil, parsley and garlic.
*Tonight is our Alice Water’s experience in the barn. The series is called Food For Thought and has had such speakers as Michael Pollan. Big people thinking about food, then writing about food and now talking about both in a barn.
*Lili is fussing about going to a lecture and doesn’t care anymore that Alice is the girl who made her pizza…after all, that was days ago! Then she sees the hay bales and says she wants to go up to the top. (This is hilarious because on all the hikes she couldn’t stand the smell of freshly mown hay and now she wants to be in & on them.)
*So we head to the top bales. Lisa and I have our Green Kitchen books ready to sign.
*My friend Davia shows up first. She is one half of the Kitchen Sisters (they have a show that airs on NPR). The last time I saw her was in Austin when she was on her cookbook tour.
*The stage is set with two Japanese-California style outdoor chairs, a chest, beautiful flowers. There are probably 200 people in the barn. Toby’s Feed Barn hosts one of the top 10 farmer’s markets in the country on Saturday mornings (it also has yoga classes, a café and lots of hardware and feed).