Archive for the 'elsewhere on the web' Category

dim summiny dim summiny dim dim summee…

Friday, May 23rd, 2008


Steamed buns are as yummy, as yummy can be.

Well now I’ve done it. For the duration of this post I’ll be hearing Dick Van Dyke prattling on in the worst Cockney accent this side of the big pond.

Have you ever gone out for dim sum, only to be utterly confused by the large selection of options? Have you wondered what a “shrimp slice” might be? Or a black sesame seed bun (hint: it isn’t served under a burger)? So do I.

Here’s a little vlog about the basics of dim sum, over at Well Fed on the Town.


making your own chocolate

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

I never realized how easy it is to make your own chocolate. All you need is some cacao nibs, coffee grinder, and a mortar and pestle. People in Latin America have been making it since, well, forever, with a metate y mano. In case you don’t feel like clicking the link, here’s what one looks like:


Don’t you want one? I do. It’s got a mid-century modern art look to it—probably because modern art itself is often inspired by ancient abstract art. What’s new is old, and there’s nothing new under the sun, etc. etc.. But I digress. This is a gorgeous piece of kitchen machinery. Imagine making your own corn masa, then making the freshest, most tender tortillas you’ve ever tasted. Or grinding your own fresh spices for a heady, redolent vindaloo. Or, uh, grinding your own wheat flour? What would you do with one of these beauties?

Anyway, I digress again. You can read about the chocolate 101 demonstration with John Scharffenberger and get the recipe for homemade chocolate here. I made an uncomplicated chocolate sweetened with white cane sugar, brown sugar, and honey, respectively. You could also try using agave nectar or yacon syrup, sweeteners that are native to the same regions as cacao (more or less). Or try no sweetener at all, as the ancient Maya and Aztec did.

Photo by

chocolate covered chipotle roasted almonds

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Just in case you missed it, here’s a link to my recent post at Well Fed on the Town in which I discuss chocolate, chipotle, and almonds oh my!

death of a restaurant

Thursday, February 14th, 2008


In case you missed it, here’s a link to my latest post on Well Fed on the Town, in which I lament the passing of one of my local favorites.

Photo by mohey51.

sens and sensibility

Monday, October 8th, 2007

What’s it like to open a new restaurant? My favorite pastry chef can tell you all about it.

And what’s the new restaurant like, anyway? It’s like a cozy cabin in the mountains but big enough to feed and water a very large, well dressed crowd. It’s like eating your way through the local farmers’ market but with za’atar, sumac, and harissa for flavor (and kadaif for crunch).

Read more at Well Fed on the Town

asian fusion in seattle

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

On your way to Seattle? No? Need a reason to go? Thomas Keller-trained Chef Lisa Nakamura creates Japanese/European flights of fancy on a plate. Read more about it on Well Fed on the Town.

where to eat on san juan island

Monday, July 9th, 2007

I just got back from a wonderfully relaxing and fun vacation in the Pacific Northwest, namely San Juan Island off the coast of Washington state, Seattle, and Portland. It was actually warmer and sunnier up there than it is right now in Oakland. In fact, Portland is currently having a heat wave with humidity that rivals any day in June on the Tel Aviv boardwalk. Odd for a region known for its overcast, cloudy skies.

We ate out quite a lot, and I went a little nuts with the camera (but not during meals, *ahem*), so I’ve got a lot to share. Here’s a taste of what we ate on San Juan Island…

hiro’s sushi and grill

Monday, May 14th, 2007


I’m a fan of Hiro’s Sushi and Grill, a new Japanese joint in Rockridge:

Hiro’s Sushi and Grill is a relatively new addition to Oakland’s array of restaurants on College Avenue. Don’t let its location fool you. You can almost walk right by the weirdly pink shopping area housing Hiro’s near the bottom of College. But something calls you back. Maybe it’s the rice paper screens, a menu hanging in the window, the sight of people enjoying good food in a relaxed environment.

Read all about it at Well Fed on the Town.

(Hat tip to Wikipedia for the Hokusai reproduction.)


Monday, April 9th, 2007

Not the kind you eat with syrup. These flapjacks are a different kind of culinary pleasure. Read more at Well Fed on the Town.

black garlic?

Thursday, April 5th, 2007

I love tasting free samples of new foods at markets. The try-before-you-buy philosophy is a great idea when applied to food. Sometimes an item looks rather bland, but turns out to be remarkably tasty. Other times a sauce that looks great tastes, well, mundane. Once in a while, the food sample is so unusual that you are compelled to try it.

Such was the case with Korean aged black garlic.

Hold on… black garlic? Curious? Read the rest at the Cook’s Kitchen.

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