All posts filed under: feastly chefs

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 …

The Michelin-Grade Chefs Behind The City’s Best Restaurants

Our chefs make Feastly what it is–a diverse collection of experiences to tantalize every palate and suit every fancy. We’re so proud of our lineup that we’re highlighting some new additions and seasoned veterans. These chefs are taking it to the next level, bringing their years of experience from high-profile culinary establishments. This Michelin-grade and award-winning crew is elevating the average popup meal, creating delicious dining experiences from the traditional to the avant-garde. * denotes Michelin stars acquired by the restaurant as of 2016.        

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 …

The Slanted Door’s Chef De Cuisine Does This On His Days Off

Brandon Kirksey didn’t plan on becoming a Korean chef. His career began in San Francisco fourteen years ago at Jardinière and The Grand Cafe, two of the city’s long-standing institutions. After honing his skills on the line, Chef Brandon relocated to Seattle to establish several area Italian restaurants. He returned to San Francisco briefly to be chef de cuisine at flour+water, but received the opportunity for a partnership at a Korean steakhouse in Seattle called Girin. His background, namely whole-animal butchery and scratch-making noodles, translated well to this new concept. During his time at Girin, Chef Brandon received numerous accolades, including a James Beard nomination for “Best Chef Northwest” and a spot on Seattle Met‘s “Next Hot Chefs 2015” list. Perhaps more importantly, his tenure there unearthed his passion for Korean cooking. After two years at Girin, he was drawn back to the Bay Area, where he is currently the chef de cuisine at The Slanted Door. Although his “day job” is cooking Vietnamese dishes, Korean cuisine inspires him. Chef Brandon’s version of Korean cuisine is not fusion, but a recreation of …

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 …

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 …

Hut, Hut…Chop?

Most football players aren’t found in the kitchen. A former Division I running back at Dartmouth, Tommy Brown got his start sourcing and prepping meals for his roommates as an alternative to campus dining. “We were broke college kids,” he says. “But we ate better than anyone else in town.” Now, he introduces his new pop-up concept, the Elevated Game Day series. Elevated Game Day was born out of Chef Tommy’s desire for a place where people could socialize and watch a game (on a giant projector screen!) without sacrificing food quality. He was tired of spending too much money on mediocre eats at crowded bars, but he didn’t want to always host at home. Elevated Game Day is like the best Super Bowl party every Sunday, with upgraded classics and interactive activities. The winning game bet wins leftover brisket! Chef Tommy credits football with teaching him the useful lessons he takes into the kitchen, so we asked him to list five ways the sport has influenced him as a chef: 1) Timeliness: Tommy’s coach instilled in him …

Farm to Fork SF: Tu David Phu

Farm to Fork SF: The Chefs | Tu David Phu from Madrone Studios on Vimeo. On May 8, 2016, renowned Bay Area Chef Tu David Phu served an ocean-themed, five-course dinner featuring locally harvested seaweed from the California coast to kickoff Farm to Fork SF’s immersive pop up series at The Village in San Francisco. This is a short clip from a series of videos played at the event. Chef Tu will be participating in the upcoming Farm to Fork dinner on Sunday, October 30. About Chef Tu: One the nation’s premier farm to table cooks, Chef Tu’s resume includes stints at the nation’s top Michelin-rated restaurants: Chez Panisse, Quince, Acquerello, Daniel Boulud, Breslin, Gotham Bar & Grill and Gramercy Tavern. Most recently, Chef Tu was Executive Chef of Gather in Berkeley. Growing up on the island of Phu Quoc in Southern Vietnam, Chef Tu blends Western and Eastern cooking techniques, working with seasonal, locally abundant ingredients, along with harder-to-find and less-commonly known ingredients. Farm to Fork SF: We believe a meal is best enjoyed when …