Archives for category: Restaurant

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.

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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.

 

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Roasted Frog Hollow Peaches, Rosemary Biscuit & Creme Anglaise at Waxman’s
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Join me for tamales & tequila at a special pop-up event. You can also order tamales to take-away! Click the image for MORE! info!!

 

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Chef Cory Armenta at Booty Call Wednesdays

Chef Cory Armenta at Booty Call Wednesdays

Cory Armenta Eats Out

There is no better friendship in the world then one that allows you to sit down to a dinner with a friend and completely rip the food apart trying to figure out how to make it better. That is exactly what Cory and I do best – besides inspire each other in the kitchen.

Cory is currently the executive chef at Castro Districts family-style Mexican restaurant, HECHO. The food has taken a huge turn since he’s been on board. One that has prompted me to stop by at least once a week for his chili verde. He is also the Organizer and Head Chef or the non-profit Mama G’s Thanksgiving Street Dinner founded in 2009 – which is serving food and hope to the Tenderloin neighborhood over the holiday.

This winter I will join Cory and the team at HECHO  to create a pop-up Tamale Night celebrating recipes I grew up cooking with my family.

Cory and I at Cleve Jones 60th Birthday Bash.

Cory and I at Cleve Jones 60th Birthday Bash.

Cory answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?

I don’t even know where to start. If we’re talking right now during fall season, I’d have to say an apple Tarte Tatin with  vanilla ice cream. Frankly, whatever fruit is in season, throw a great pie crust on it, and I’m sold.  Usually, dessert for me is bourbon and a cigarette.

What restaurant would you call your home?

Obviously I am at Hecho the majority of the time, constantly creating new dishes. When I do go out for a meal, it’s Kokkari. They get me. Everyone should love and know Kokkari.

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

When I was in culinary school, my classmate/friend was working at Kyo-Ya at The Palace Hotel. I went in for dinner, and was treated to Geoduck clam sashimi…still twitching. That would be the strangest. As for most inspiring, I am constantly inspired by everyone and everything. The simplest meal at a friends home can send my mind racing about what I want to do the minute I get to the kitchen the next day.

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?

I have two. Cinnamon Toast Crunch. Because duh. Grape Nuts. Because it hurt my jaw to chew it and I believed that’s what being a grown up must feel like. Yeah. I liked that it hurt.

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

I don’t eat after the club. My favorite thing is getting a text from you with a picture of SPAM and fried eggs. The next morning, however…its on.

Cory in the kitchen at HECHO

Cory in the kitchen at HECHO

I absolutely adore San Francisco based vlogger, LGBT advocate and YouTube wannabe  Scottie Milagro. His YouTube channel has close to 75 uploads that are beaming with fun and informative stuff. What really makes these videos so great is Scottie’s charm, sincerity and simply magnetic energy on screen. In his latest post he shares the exciting news of his recent engagement. I suggest you watch a couple of his other videos first so that you can really understand how hopelessly in-love he is. The engagement video is unlike his others as it allows viewers to see an intimate view of Scottie – flustered and floating high with emotion. He makes it absolutely impossible to not be fully committed to attending this wedding.

Scottie answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?
I come from a big Spanish family so I have a huge soft spot for flan. It doesn’t even have to be fancy. Goya makes one that comes in a little cardboard box. Some of my best childhood memories include pouring that little box of powdered flan into a saucepan and watching it become sweet, sugary goodness.

What restaurant would you call your home?
I regret not discovering Pesce earlier, even though it’s right in my own neighborhood. It’s such a shame that another great restaurant in that building is closing its doors (remember brunch at 2223? Delicious!). Their braised octopus is my go to and it will be sorely missed. If I’m in LA, you’re guaranteed to find me at Osteria La Buca. Unpretentious, mouthwatering Italian. I almost always order the special.

What is the strangest or most inspiring thing you’ve ever eaten?
On a volunteer trip to Belize I once ate a fistful of termites. Like, literally stuck my hand into a termite nest in a tree and licked them off like a lollypop. They tasted like minty carrots if you could image that flavor combination.

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?
Lucky Charms, but just the marshmallows. I used to dump the whole box in a large mixing bowl, eat all the marshmallows in one sitting, then pour the rest of the cereal back into the box.

What is your favorite food to pig-out on after the club?
If Starbelly is still open, my tipsy cravings lead me straight to their chicken liver pâté. I realize this is a very bougie pig out food, but I can’t resist! It’s too good!

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Baby jailbait Scottie at Booty Call Wednesdays, 2009

I am also guilty of these drought changing habits in my kitchen at home. My window plants are thriving because of the left over water I cook with.

Click the image to read the full-story at The New York Times.

The chef Melissa Perello douses an olive tree with used cooking water outside Octavia, her new restaurant in San Francisco. Credit Jason Henry for The New York Times

The chef Melissa Perello douses an olive tree with used cooking water outside Octavia, her new restaurant in San Francisco. Credit Jason Henry for The New York Times

I’m thrilled to host a Dinner Party with Kitchit that will support Y.E.S. (Youth Empowerment Summit) the beneficiary of my annual Pride Party (see last years event). There is nothing I love more than cooking and feeding friends! It will be a night of marvelous surprises paired with exceptional food! This will be a night of wild wining, delicious dining, and spellbinding socializing.

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Pride Dinner Party with Kitchit & Juanita MORE!
Tomatillo and Chipotle Salsa with Homemade Tortilla Chips
Spicy Carrot Canapé
Garden Vegetable Salad
Slow Roasted Pork with Salsa Verde and Ricotta Toast
Summer Galette with fresh whipped cream
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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.)”

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