Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cherry trifle for George's birthday then again for Memorial Day bbq

It's intimidating to cook for a professional food stylist, especially since he just had the birthday meal of a lifetime at Noma. Since not all of us could hop a plane to Copenhagen, a small group of friends got together to throw him a second, local birthday dinner. And I had to open my big mouth and offer to make the dessert. Way to go, Hata!  Luckily, it's that time of year--when fruit trucks randomly appear all around Oakland, overflowing with cherries for $1.50/lb. Is there a better way to share some birthday love than with sweet, ripe local cherries surrounded by almond-scented cake and custard? Probably not. The recipe: cherry almond trifle. I reduced the sugar by about 1/3 and doubled the amount of custard, because there's no such thing as too much custard.

Cherry Man does not judge. He doesn't care why I took his photo, nor does he ask why I buy so darned many bags of cherries. I think he also pretends not to notice how disheveled I look when I've been baking all day.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Bouillabaisse at Bistro Central Parc

I got sent here on assignment to photograph the bouillabaisse, sweetbreads and trout amandine. Here's the review. At the end of the shoot, Jacques let me choose one of the dishes and I just had to have that bouillabaisse. What perfection. So delicate and light with a perfectly cooked scallop that was silky like a custard infused with saffron and fennel. I think I ate the whole meal with my eyes closed, because I'm weird like that. Try the bouillabaisse. And after trying it, you will want to friend them on facebook immediately, because who doesn't want a 'friend' who can make something that delicious? Bistro Central Parc, 562 Central, SF

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"The Sharing Table" appetizers by Cynthia Fung

My friend Cynthia hosts dinners at her home that are open to the public. There's usually some mix of friends, friends of friends and foodies who found out about it and purchased tickets online. She has formal dinners with assigned seating, but this one is a casual appetizer party where huge platters of delicious apps pour out of her kitchen and are instantly gobbled up. Heaven! Here Cynthia shows off the uni and abalone she just dived for up in Mendocino. Yes, you heard that right: she plucked this uni and abalone from the freezing cold waters off the Mendocino coast with her bare hands! Yikes.

Above, from top left:
roasted duck flatbread topped with mango salsa
soy-marinated salmon topped with creme fraiche and grated lime zest
steamed rice dumplings filled with pork and topped with fresh uni
a platter of nori and saffron rice that will be topped with more fresh uni

uni and saffron rice appetizer
(drunk?) friends of Cynthia's enjoying themselves (!)
Cynthia cranking out paper-thin slices of abalone
abalone app with ponzu and scallions.

Sunday, May 1, 2011