Archives for category: Interview

Jane Kim Eats Out

unknown

I’m happy to say that I’ve endorsed Jane Kim for State Senate. She’s currently working on a project to save the fifty year old STUD from closing along with being one of the cities most progressive voices fighting for our homeless.

Wednesday September 28th I’m hosting an event at the Starlight Room which reflects my voting guide for the November ballot. Almost everyone I’ve endorsed will be in attendance and there are no scheduled speeches or fundraising planned. It is just a chance for people to meet and talk to the candidates I feel will shape the future of San Francisco politics.

To learn more about the event read the article over at the Bay Area Reporter.

Floor 21 - 4th May 2016.

Jane and I applying lipstick at Floor 21, Starlight Room / Image Gooch

Jane Kim is a current San Francisco Supervisor and candidate for State Senate, District 11. Jane is a proven progressive leader who has fought to expand access to affordable housing, protect renters, close the income gap and improve public schools.

Jane answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?
Chocolate Chip Cookies with a lot of butter.  Butter is big for me.  I am not really big into sugar or most sweets, but I like a lot of buttery things like croissants.

What restaurant would you call your home?
There are actually like 3 restaurants I spend my time at: Turtle Tower – I LOVE LOVE LOVE their Phô, Tin Vietnamese because it is a couple blocks from my house and their food is delicious and Happy Shabu Shabu – I love hot pot and ponzu sauce!

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?
I never ate cereal as a kid; although my family got into cereal after I left the house.  I remember coming home and my mom was eating cereal with kim chi because she always had to have kim chi with everything, and the milk turned orange and she still drank it.  That was too much even for me!

What is your favorite food to pig-out on after the club?
There are always two places that I want go eat at after the club – Korean food because the restaurants usually stay open until 2AM. And, I used to also really love Sparky’s on Church Street when I lived nearby. I’d always get the tomato, cheese and fried egg sandwich with a strawberry milkshake.

img_6496

Advertisements

Phillip Basone Eats Out

A few weeks ago some boys started asking me if I knew who the hot new chef was in town from New York City. I put down my nail polish and made a few calls to investigate who this guy was. Phillip Basone is originally from Connecticut, his culinary career got on track when he went through the doors of Barbuto, a Greenwich Village restaurant owned by Jonathan Waxman – one of the pioneers of California Cuisine. When I lived in NYC during the late 80’s – it was Waxman’s restaurant Jams on East 79th that I dreamt of cooking at – but fate had me head in a different direction and I ended up under the aprons of some very hot French chefs. I know what tough work it is in a kitchen, especially when you are as talented as Phillip.

I recently stopped by  Waxman’s in Ghirardelli Square where Phillip is spending most of his time while in San Francisco to introduce myself and have dinner. It’s all true – he is even more handsome in person then the boys say and welcomed me with the warmest hug and smile. Dinner was fabulous and the kitchen executed Waxman’s signature dishes to perfection – especially the JW Chicken & Potatoes! I don’t know how much longer Phillip will be in town, so get your butt down there to get a glimpse of him in his chef whites and eat soon. I’m not promising any hugs though.

13615351_10154361844643410_5499060261107573757_n

Phillip answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?
I hate to admit it but I just love Oreos dipped in peanut butter…..

What restaurant would you call your home?
Barbuto! It is where I started my career at 18 and have been working for Jonathan Waxman on and off for the last 6 years.

What is the strangest or most inspiring thing you’ve ever eaten?
I am a extremely picky eater so for strangest I don’t even know where to begin. As far as most inspiring I would honestly have to say this one meal a friend of my father prepared for me. It was pernil, which is so simple yet so delicious. It really set me on this path of incorporating more Latin flavors into my food and relishing in the simplistic beauty of some cuisines.

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?
Smacks!

What is your favorite food to pig-out on after the club?
Chicken fingers with french fries and a bacon, egg & cheese. Extra ranch please!

IMG_4234Jackson getting a good sniff of Phillip at Waxman’s.

 

screen-shot-2016-09-06-at-8-35-46-am

Roasted Frog Hollow Peaches, Rosemary Biscuit & Creme Anglaise at Waxman’s

I’m sure you’ve asked yourself a dozen times what’s the best way to make friends with a hot-tattooed ginger guy. Well, I can only tell you how to do it from experience. First, help them get an apartment in San Francisco when they decide to leave The Big Apple – then invite them over to your place for a Naked Cocktail Party. That’s just what I did after Dan Fettig reached out to me on Facebook looking for housing. He has over 24K followers on Instagram and by the looks of the pics on his profile you would think he was born wearing only a jockstrap and a pair of heels. I recently got him tuxedoed up when I  invited him out on a fancy date.  We did some shopping together with Jackson at Sui Generis Consignment – let’s just say I carried my ‘Sugar Mama’ purse. He cleaned up real nice, was the perfect date and won me over with his smile and giggle –  both which could break your heart – so be warned gays.

Dan answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?

Pie with rocky road ice cream – DUH!!!

What restaurant would you call home?

There was this place in Chelsea that was my go-to, no matter how terrible the dates were the food was always amazing – Pepe Giallo on 10th Avenue.

What is the strangest or most inspiring thing you’ve ever eaten?

Eating shark was definitely a different one.

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?

Oreo O’s – DUH!!!

What is your favorite food to pig-out on after the club?

This is gonna sound gross – but I usually have pickles and drink the juice! It’s good to get that sodium back and I’m usually alone – so the smell isn’t an issue.

10580065_10100567914242502_6052054960771472748_n

12525658_10100606625265302_8961630115474122227_o

Tuxedo shopping with Dan and Jackson.

12829367_10153211981892757_5483287486614442062_o

Dan and I at Powerblouse at Powerhouse. Image by Shot In The City

I am always interested in hearing someones story. Especially when it’s someone you admire and love. My friend Lauren Foster (transgender model, actress and activist) is doing just that and more with the launch of her new website today titled Just Another Girl. It is filled with information concerning facial feminization and SRS surgeons, trans specific legal information, and beauty tips.  Lauren also mentors teens and has created this site with them in mind to help them on their journey.

Lauren and I

Lauren has appeared on television on the Real Housewives Of Miami, starred in three art films directed by Joseph Lally, had a five page VOGUE spread, launched the GLAAD Miami Leadership Council with Omar Sharif Jr and Marysol Patton and is currently writing her memoir entitled Just Another Girl.

Lauren Foster

Lauren Foster

 

Lauren answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?

I love a plate filled with big chunks of dark chocolate piled up with slices of fresh oranges. Those two simple flavors are dreamy.

What restaurant would you call your home?

Milos is my go to spot for lunch. I have the same thing every time. They have the best fresh fish on South Beach and creamy Greek yoghurt with honey.

What is the strangest or most inspiring thing you’ve ever eaten?

I ate snake once. I think it was when I toured with Grace Jones. I was a bit apprehensive at first but it tasted a lot like chicken.

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?

Rice Krispies with fresh strawberries was my favorite cereal as a kid. My moms homemade oatmeal or Maltabella was also yummy.

What is your favorite food to pig-out on after the club?

Pizza baby! In bed, with orange Gatorade and maybe a smoke!

I’ve been friends with Foodie Chap Liam Mayclem for a long time. It was such an honor to have him over to my apartment for dinner with Kitchit Tonight preparing my Pride Month menu! You can listen in on our conversation by clicking on the image:

Liam & Juanita

Liam & Juanita

 

Friend and Tablehopper Marci Gagliardi recently asked a bunch of us night owls where they like to eat late-night for Refinery29.

“If anyone knows a thing or two about late-night eats in San Francisco, it’s bartenders, chefs, wine directors, nightlife writers, and drag queens. So, we hunted down these nocturnal experts to share their favorite post-midnight haunts (and what to order), for the next time your hunger strikes during the wee hours. People love to complain about S.F. restaurants closing their doors at 10 p.m., but the only way to promote a vibrant after-hours dining scene is for us to support the one we already have. So, click through these pro tips on where to head after last call, whether you’re craving pupusas, potato skins, or even kale salad. (Yes, really. Because — San Francisco.)”

opener

bar_jules_04

News today of bar Jules closing after brunch this Sunday is a sad thing for Hayes Valley. It’s been my favorite burger spot for lunch for years. Here is an interview I did with Jessica for Apartamento Magazine.

I’ve always loved a neighborhood restaurant. I’ve actually met some great friends at local eating establishments – you know you’ll at least have one thing in common, and thats the food.

When you eat out in Hayes Valley it feels more neighborly than almost any other district in San Francisco. Many restaurants here have seemed to find their niche and become great staples in our city, garnering cultish obsession and faithful followers in the devoted eaters that call this neighborhood home. A great example is Hayes Street Grill which has been serving opera, symphony and ballet patrons for more than 30 years and continues to stay true to its clientele with its passionate staff and their signature dishes.

Resting on the western edge of Hayes Valley at the end of the strip, bar Jules is six years old. To the uninitiated, this little 38-seat restaurant may be just another in a burgeoning atmosphere of San Francisco institutions committed to serving sustainable fish, meats, and produce from the best small farmers in the area but for all of the years that I’ve been dining and shopping on Hayes Street bar Jules has managed to virtually redefine the lines of what is considered to be Hayes Valley. The location offers a feeling that is both edgy and sophisticated.

Owner Jessica Boncutter has worked at Zuni Cafe and as the chef at Hog Island Oyster Co, two of my favorite places to eat in San Francisco. Here she spends her time working the restaurant as a mother would in her own home. The menu at bar Jules isn’t fancy or punched with tons of trendy ideals – in fact they don’t even bother printing one out for you, it’s written on a blackboard.

The wonderful thing about bar Jules is that it feels so much like an integral part of the community, you’d think it had been where it is longer than it has.

How long have you been in Hayes Valley?
Bar Jules opened in November of 2007.

What attracted you to open your business in Hayes Valley?
I loved that it felt both edgy and sophisticated at the same time.

More than any other Hayes Valley restaurant, Bar Jules appears to be a classic model for a neighborhood institution. Was this your intention when you opened it?
Thank you! Yes that was my intention above everything else!

Your menu changes so often – what have your regulars made you keep on it?
I think the regulars like that the menu changes. It feels like going over to a friend’s house for dinner.

What have the challenges been in basing your restaurant around a menu that changes daily?
Writing menus everyday can be hard. Sometimes you think dang it would be much easier if I had opened a Houston’s.

Hayes Valley seems to be in a constant state of evolution. Would you say the ever-shifting menu is reflective of this?
I hope so. I feel very proud that Bar Jules still feels fresh and unique after being open for 6 years.

Who are some of your culinary heroes?
Some of my culinary heroes include Julia Child, Rose Gray and Ruthie Rogers from the River Cafe, Judy Rodgers from Zuni Cafe, Carol Bever from Zuni Cafe,  Diana Kennedy and Margot and Fergus Henderson from St John, and Rochelle Canteen respectively.

Is the menu at bar Jules reflective of what you actually eat on a day to day basis? Describe your ideal lunch or dinner.
Yes it is. I usually eat very simply with a lot of vegetables.

Do you have any aspirations on opening up another restaurant in San Francisco?
I do and I don’t. Sometimes your personal touch can be lost if you are running more than one restaurant at a time.

Is there or has there ever been something you love that has been unsuccessful on the menu?
Beef tongue for obvious reasons. It is so delicious and anyone brave enough to order it is solo happy.

Many of my good friends are frequent diners at the restaurant and all of them talk about it as though it is there second home. What has inspired you to create that atmosphere at bar Jules?
I have always loved the idea of a canteen or a neighborhood restaurant. Nothing makes me happier than to have regular customers.

You have worked at two other local San Francisco restaurants that are staples for me – Zuni Cafe and Hog Island Oyster Company. What did you take away from those experiences?
Zuni Cafe and Hog Island Oyster Company were very different from each other. What was similar about the two of them was the dedication to the best quality ingredients.

I’ve been toying with the idea of opening a cafe / restaurant in San Francisco for years. Can you give me a sage piece of advice?
Don’t do it! Ha ha just joking. Like anything that is worth something in life, it’s a ton of hard work.

I have a blog titled Juanita Eats Out and I like to ask friends a few questions about their eating habits. What is the strangest or most inspiring thing you’ve ever eaten?
Casu marzu – it is a sheep cheese that has worms (live insect larvae) in it from Sardinia.

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?
We had to eat grape nuts growing up – but I loved Lucky Charms.

What is your favorite dessert?
My favorite dessert is simple – cheese.

What is your favorite food to pig-out on after a late night?
I love to grab Chinese food after a late night.

What is always in your refrigerator at home?
I always have Champagne in my refrigerator.

Where did the name bar Jules come from?
Bar Jules is named after my old lady dog Jules. She is an 18 year old basset hound that I have had since she was three months old. She is the love of my life.