All posts filed under: artisan

Coi’s Chef De Cuisine and the Art of Fine Dining

At Oakland’s Boot and Shoe, amidst aromas of brick-oven baking and freshly ground coffee, I ask Chef De Cuisine Justin Mauz of two Michelin-starred Coi if fine dining is still relevant. Unequivocally he states, “There will always be fine dining in society, but its place has shifted…I see myself staying in this. Very simply, it allows me to create an unparalleled guest experience which is not present in more casual dining these days.” It’s an intriguing answer, especially given the ongoing trend of fine dining chefs opening less formal, less expensive restaurants. “Fine dining” evokes images of the white tablecloth and the triple-digit tasting menu, but it goes far beyond an ornate and expensive meal. According to Mauz, what distinguishes fine dining is the deep commitment to deliver guests “a seamless experience of comfort and luxury” from the moment they enter. “One of the many benefits of cooking for fewer people on a nightly basis with elevated expectations is that we have the opportunity to deliver this…If some element of the food or dining experience …

Geoffrey Reed of Ichido: A Chef Who Catches What He Cooks

IcIchido Chef Geoffrey and Ichido from Patrick Wong on Vimeo. This summer, I had a chance to go fishing for my first time with Feastly chef, Geoffrey Reed. Geoffrey, the visionary behind Japanese pop-up, Ichido, fishes whenever he gets a chance so that he can give his diners a literal taste of the Bay. After our catch, I was able to see how Geoffrey prepares for Ichido, course after course. Because each dinner depends on the catches of the week, every experience is different. And every experience is tasty.  

One Chef’s Leap From Finance To Fine Dining

Like so many others, Margie Arbizo’s path to becoming a chef started in childhood. She cites her family as her biggest creative influences: her mother is an artist, her uncle is a chef, and her grandmother is a talented home cook. Growing up, Margie spent time in the kitchen with her grandmother, watching and learning. She would also play “restaurant” with her brother (who now helps her with catering), serving her younger siblings. Cooking professionally wasn’t really in the plan for Margie. She ended up living in New York City, working in finance and hosting dinner parties on the side. Her guests always encouraged her to pursue cooking as a career. After almost seven years of corporate entrenchment and finally admitting that finance did not feed her soul, Margie donned the apron full-time. Her story resonates. I recently left a teaching career in favor of one as a writer–and it took me six years to do it. Leaving the familiar for the unknown is difficult, even if said unknown aligns more with your passions. Margie now …

This Pastry Chef Traded Nougat For Noodles

In November of 2013, the Philippines was hit by Haiyan, a typhoon that devastated the country and killed over 6,000 people. Chef Francis Ang and his wife Dian were fortunate enough to survive, and they returned to the U.S. determined to raise money for their home and all who had been affected by the disaster. They hosted their first Filipino dinner as a fundraiser, and Pinoy Heritage was born. In Chef Francis’ words, Pinoy Heritage is “a contemporary popup with a nod to tradition.” His hope is that it will bring diners closer to Filipino food by highlighting its diversity and all that it has to offer. The Philippines is a conglomerate of 7,107 islands and the cuisine has been influenced by everything from Malay settlers trading in China to colonization by the Spanish. To research dishes and experience the varieties from different provinces, Francis and Dian spent half of 2016 traveling through the Philippines. During their travels, they learned from relatives and locals, immersing themselves in the culture and in the cuisine. This popup is …

On The Edge of Uncertainty With Chef Aron Habiger

Chef Aron Habiger has lived Mallman’s mantra. Formerly of Ludo Lefebvre’s Petit Trois in Los Angeles, he shed his traditional restaurant role of chef de cuisine for a life on the “edge of uncertainty.” After years of grinding in commercial kitchens, he thought he was done with cooking. A seven-month sabbatical of transient living, part of which he spent in Port Angeles cooking for his family, helped him rediscover his love of food. The chef also realized that working with food didn’t solely entail residing within the four walls of a traditional kitchen. Washington provided the inspiration he had lost, which he now channels into his current pop-up. On The Lam is an amalgam of culinary experiences from his travels, his life in Orange County, and his Pacific Northwestern roots. The Pacific Northwest is a chef’s Eden-like playground. The Seattle Times quips, “The food our chefs have to work with is unparalleled.”  California may be credited with the inception of the original farm-to-table movement, but Pacific Northwestern food producers and artisans perpetually uphold its tenets, from the foraging to the …

Behind The Feast: Chef Nichole Accettola’s Scandinavian Restaurant In-The-Making

Nichole Accettola is a classically trained chef with more than 20 years in the food industry. She spent a significant part of her career abroad in Copenhagen, which greatly influenced her approach to cooking and the way she views food. In 2015, Nichole moved back to the United States to begin the process of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant in San Francisco. At the same time, she’s been hosting pop-up events with Feastly and has her own stand at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market every Saturday, where she sells her Scandinavian-style open-faced sandwiches–a must-try! 1. What is food to you? Food is an expression of who we are at a particular point in time. I may cook the same dish two days in a row, but depending on my mood, the resulting dish can be completely different. 2. How and when did cooking come into your life? I don’t know when cooking came into my life. I come from a big Italian family. It feels like it’s always been there. 3. Who is your food role model? …

Forage Kitchen Unleashes Sunday Supper Series

Oakland’s Forage Kitchen, the brainchild of food entrepreneurs Iso Rabins and Matt Johansen, scratches the itch of cooks, eaters, and general food-aficionados. In fact, FK’s website boasts it as a “home to anyone who loves food.” A commercial kitchen, event space, cafe, and growing lineup of dinners and culinary workshops make up this commissary-like enterprise. Forage Kitchen’s main feature is in fact, the kitchen, which is available to novice cooks and veteran chefs alike. Varying levels of membership grant you use of everything from the double-stack convection ovens to the Cryovac, and a dishwashing station means you can pump out Grandma’s bolognese all day without scrubbing the pots. FK’s cafe has a small yet well-appointed menu of sandwiches, salads, and the extremely intriguing umami-rubbed roasted chicken, complete with yuzu mayo and nasturtium chimichurri. But Forage Kitchen is not just a co-working space. It’s also a full-service venue with in-house chefs. Their latest culinary series is the Sunday Supper Family Meal, modeled after those served to restaurant employees–a casual dinner with delicious offerings, hefty portions, and friendly company. Held every second Sunday, the …

12 Cities. 14 Michelin Stars. 1 Culinary Power Couple.

Most newlyweds spend a week honeymooning on a Hawaiian beach or trekking around Europe. Chefs Laura Millan and Sayat Ozyilmaz started their married lives on a road trip across the US and Mexico, “staging” at restaurants in each city they visited. Beginning in June, they cooked across the continent at establishments like Husk (Charleston), August (New Orleans), and Michael Mina (Las Vegas), blogging about their experiences for the Culinary Institute of America. In their inaugural post, they explained the rationale for their endeavor: “It’s curiosity that drives us both…it’s what makes us who we are…It is the best way to learn about the regional cuisines of the country we have both come to call home.” The tale of these chefs seems like something out of a romance movie. Meeting in the kitchens of the CIA, Sayat says he and Laura “fell in love with each other and each other’s food.” Separate stints at some of New York’s most notable restaurants (Blue Hill Stone Barn, Cafe Bouloud, Le Bernadin, Eleven Madison Park, Mugaritz) and a decision to embark on …

A Story of Suka

My eating repertoire used to be sadly bereft of Filipino food. My foray into the varietes of Asian cuisine started with lo mein out of a take-out box. I blame this mostly on my East-Coast upbringing. Had I wanted a Filipino meal while living next to the Atlantic, it would have required a jaunt to the nearest major metropolis. Even then, I wouldn’t have found Pinoy chefs on every corner. But why? Phở is as ubiquitous as a cheeseburger, so where has lumpia been hiding? A popular theory was that Filipino cuisine was undefinable, as it melds flavors from other powerhouse food cultures, like Malaysian and Spanish. Over the last few years, however, there has been a huge influx of Filipino food culture in part thanks to the Bay-Area based Filipino Food Movement. Recently, Bon Appetit rated a Filipino restaurant, Washington D.C’s  Bad Saint, as its #2 pick for “America’s Best New Restaurants 2016.” This surge has paved the way for chefs like Eric Pascual of Eats By E, who shares his Filipino heritage and his Hawaiian childhood with …

Behind The Feast: Banh Oui Founder & Chef Casey Felton

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” -Virginia Woolf Casey Felton started her culinary degree post majoring with an Art History and English degree from Pitzer College. Her first kitchen job was working at Providence restaurant, where she fell in love with the elegance and sophistication of French and Japanese cuisine. After Providence, she furthered her culinary education at Red Medicine, honing her understanding for aesthetic plate up and locally sourced ingredients. Casey, while loving the creative juices of the culinary world, is well versed in both the back of house and front of house restaurant industry and continues to expand her love for sharing everything culinary with the people she grew up with here in Los Angeles. 1. What is food to you? Food is both a medium for my creative whims, but also a solution to my hedonistic ways. 2. How and when did cooking come into your life? Cooking has always been a part of my life. I’m fortunate enough to have an incredible teacher …