The Winter Fancy Food Show Spotlights Culinary Trends

 

Kohler chocolates
Kohler chocolates at the Fancy Food Show (Credit: Kristan Lawson)

 

Batali, Fieri and Delmonico’s Exhibit Gourmet Foods

The Winter Fancy Food Show, which was recently held in San Francisco, featured thousands of booths representing food and drink companies. It was a great place to check out the next big culinary trends: Put your money on coconut, chia and gluten-free.


One interesting trend, visible in full-force at the Fancy Food Show, finds famous chefs branching out into retail and otherwise expanding their public platforms. Living in the era of the celebrity chef gives us easy access to their genius, even right at home.

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Oakland Coffee Roaster that Supplies San Francisco’s Top Restaurants Celebrates 35 Years

The Di Ruocco family celebrates Mr. Espresso's 35th anniversary. Image courtesy of Mr. Espresso.

 

by Anneli Rufus

 

Mr. Espresso, the family-owned-and-operated roastery that supplies coffee, beans and espresso machines to some of the San Francisco Bay Area’s best and most star-studded restaurants, just celebrated its 35th anniversary with a party at its Oakland headquarters.

 

Having grown up in Salerno, Italy, during and immediately after World War II, Carlo DiRuocco immigrated with his French wife Marie Françoise and two eldest children to Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco. Having worked during his youth at an Italian coffee roastery and having loved espresso all his life, Di Ruocco was startled at the scarcity of well-made espresso near his new home. How could the eminently diverse Bay Area, already food-savvy in the late 1970s, have so few places in which to enjoy a cup of this classic high-octane treat?

 

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Holiday Season Starts Panoramically at Top of the Mark

Holiday tea service at Top of the Mark
Holiday tea service at Top of the Mark


by Anneli Rufus


What could possibly be more inviting on a chilly day in the big city than a pot of hot tea flanking a multi-tiered tray fully stocked with French pastries and finger sandwiches, perfectly appointed with such dainty details as herb sprigs, raspberry halves and striped chocolate curls? The answer to that one is easy: all of the above, plus scones, Champagne and one of the most spectacular vistas anywhere in the known world.


Keeping up a nearly century-long tradition beloved by many generations of San Franciscans, the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins hotel has just announced a series of lavish holiday celebrations at its world-famous rooftop restaurant and bar, Top of the Mark
.

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California’s Walnut Harvest Celebrated at The Kitchen

Ricotta gnudi with walnut butter
Ricotta gnudi with walnut butter


by Anneli Rufus


At Sacramento’s most-talked-about restaurant, The Kitchen, executive chef John Griffiths and chef-owner Randall Selland celebrated the seasonal and the local by adding walnuts to the menu — at the exact same time as walnuts were being harvested in orchards throughout neighboring San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Yolo counties.


“There’s no better time to cook than fall,” Griffiths announced, going on to praise the region’s fruits, vegetables, meats, fish — and nuts, whose rich earthiness he said was intrinsic to autumnal cuisine.

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Masottina’s Massive Eco-Friendly Winery a Work in Progress

A view of the vines from Masottina Winery in Italy
A view of the vines from Masottina Winery in Italy


By Anneli Rufus


Thirty miles north of Venice, the scenic route called the Prosecco Road — La Strada di Prosecco — is drawn in broad swatches of green on green on green: green hills, green vines, and yellow-green Glera grapes that flourish here and are destined to become the sparkling straw-colored wine that is the local specialty — and is Italy’s answer to Champagne.

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