Archives for posts with tag: food


Seared Shrimp and Garbanzo Bead Salad

Dozen shrimp, cleaned and shelled

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

1 small clove garlic, minced

Pinch chili flakes

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

Season the shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on high and add the shrimp searing on each side for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic, chili flakes and zest and lemon juice. Remove the shrimp from pan and save remaining juices for the vinaigrette.

15 ounce can garbanzo beans

1/4 cup Olive oil

4 teaspoons red wine vinegar

Salt and pepper

1/4 red onion, sliced thin

Radishes, sliced thin

1 stalk celery, sliced thin + celery leaves

1 small cucumber, sliced

Handful cherry tomatoes, sliced in half


In a bowl combine the red wine vinegar and onions with some salt to macerate for 10 minutes. Prep your vegetables and place in a large bowl. Transfer onions to bowl and make the vinaigrette, whisking the olive oil into the vinegar. Add the juices from the shrimp pan. Mix the vinaigrette, shrimp and salad vegetables together and taste for salt. Serve over watercress.

Serves 4


I’ve been inspired by San Francisco’s Real Foodie’s Compost campaign to share more about composting. If you live in SF you can order a free compost pail from Recology  HERE! I’m all about meeting the SF Zero Waste goal by 2020. I get pissed when I open the green bin in my apartment building and see that other tenants have dumped the wrong things in it!

 This is what I had left over from this recipe to add to my pail.


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.


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?

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.



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

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 10.22.06 AM

Juanita’s Summer Sangria (by Kevin Hoskins)
Serves 12
2 bottles Sancerre blanc
8 ounces Giffard Crème de Pêche de Vigne
8 ounces cognac
4 ounces freshly squeezed lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients in a large Cambro container. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Transfer into a pitcher and pour into tall glasses filled with ice.


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.



Tuxedo shopping with Dan and Jackson.


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


Musician Rod Thomas (Bright Light Bright Light)  is coming to San Francisco to play at The Independent on Friday, April 10, 2015. The last time he was in town we took Jackson for a walk and ended up sitting at Farm Table talking about life, travel and our love of food. His voice just bursts with hope and joy on his new work Life Is Easy. So many of our mutual friends are part of his great sound including Del Marquis, Xavier Smith, Bridget Barkan and oh yeah – Elton John. His debut album Make Me Believe In Hope won him critical acclaim and this second offering looks set to be his best work yet.

Rod Thomas (Bright Light Bright Light) answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?

Most people’s dream desserts feature chocolate it seems, and most places I go the most interesting dessert always has chocolate. It seems to blow people’s minds but I don’t eat chocolate, but I still love a good dessert. My favorite is usually something more classic, like a vanilla cheesecake, or a really good hearty crumble – rhubarb of blackberry – with some custard, or ice cream. For all its “boring” connotations, put the word vanilla in a dessert recipe for me and you’ve got me.

What restaurant would you call your home?

I used to have a place in Soho (London) called The Blue Room that I went to all the time. The owner was the kindest woman in the world and they always made you feel so at home. She even used to play my CD in the place sometimes. I remember the night it closed I went in and she was so upset. She was so sad to leave the cafe because it really felt like a huge part of my life in that city at the time had been cut off. These days, in Brooklyn, I really love a place in Prospect Heights called Sunshine & Co. The staff there are really, really lovely (and good), the food is great and the cocktails are dangerously good. It has such well appointed decor, and a really welcoming atmosphere. I love that place.

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

My friend Adam’s lasagna. We lived together for my first year in London. We all used to cook together and his trademark dish was a lasagna with really avant-garde ingredients. Potatoes, parsnips, swedes, mushroom soup, sunflower seeds (in kernels) instead of cheese was a truly unique stroke … so I guess he inspired me to be a little less conservative when it came to ingredients in a recipe. Thing is, it always tasted great!

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?

I remember that I used to pretend to like slightly more adventurous cereals to get the cool free toy that often came inside, but I remember really, really loving simple Cornflakes or Rice Crispies with ice cold milk. When I first went to Momofuku Milk Bar they had a cereal ice cream with cornflake crunch and I was taken RIGHT back. So simple, so delicious.

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

OMG a bagel with turkey, swiss and bacon. It’s my favorite thing in the world. Like you need all that after drinking for hours right … but it’s perfect. I can’t resist.

Rod and his Christmas turkey.

Rod and his Christmas turkey.

Mission District Food Tour by an Obsessive Completest

Phil Ventura

My dear friend Phil Ventura has been a favorite dinner guest at my table for years. He’s got an endless appetite! We talk about food while we’re eating it. He took on the daunting task of trying to eat at just about every restaurant in his neighborhood’s radius – The Mission District.  We swoon about dishes we tried together and shared a most memorable late lunch together when we once traveled to NYC and ate offal at one our favorite spots – Casa Mono. Here is more of diary of his eating tour than review.

La Taqueria – This place was my introduction to the mission years ago when Juanita shared it with me.  The chorizo quesadilla is still my favorite thing on the menu, it will leave you completely incapacitated, but it’ll take you to heaven first. No way will there be a bite left in your little plastic basket.  Having eaten at most of the Mission taquerias, of which there are an insane amount, I still rank this one the best, though El Metate will do and El Farolito on 24th and Mission (not the Alabama one!) is really the only option after midnight.

La Santaneca de la Mission – Best pupusas in the mission, hands down. For less than ten bucks you can get a plate of pupusas revueltas with crunchy cabbage topping and tangy red sauce that’ll make your eyes roll back in your head.  I’ve taken many friends here and it never fails to elicit embarrassing food orgasms. The wait staff is sweet and the fried plantains are an awesome cap off to the meal if you aren’t already leaned back with your pants unbuttoned.

Yamo – This place is not known for comfortable seating or excellent service, so don’t expect a second tiny glass of water to go with your food.  That said, everything on the menu is fucking delicious and there is nothing more satisfying than their house noodles with beef when you’ve got an empty stomach. Get a place at the tiny bar, stuff your face with food so tasty you want to cry, then get the hell out.

Pal’s Takeaway – The sandwich situation in the mission is pretty abysmal.  Luckily, there’s this tiny operation inside Tony’s Market on 24th.  It’s only open 3 hours a day and has three sandwiches on offer along with some sides.  The menu changes daily but the food is consistently complex and satisfying with lots of fresh, local ingredients and creative combinations.

Bar Bambino – I eat at fancy restaurants as well.  New ones are popping up constantly in this neighborhood and a lot of them, like Delfina, Farina, Foreign Cinema, Bar Tartine, Commonwealth, Beretta, etc. get talked about a hell of a lot already.  I feel like the only reason Bar Bambino isn’t as chatted up, despite the fact that it’s better than most of those places, is because it’s on a pretty sketchy stretch of 16th street.  It’s the kind of block that makes my relatives worry about my safety when they come to visit.  Still, I’d take the awesome pasta plates at Bambino over Flour+Water or Locanda any day.  And if you’re scared, head there during the day, there’s a cute outdoor area in the back.

Mr. Pollo – I got so freaking excited when I heard this place was finally opening for lunch.  However, you probably want to get there in the evening so you can stare at Manny Torres Gimenez working behind the counter.  He’s a cutie and when you order the 20 dollar (!!!) four course tasting menu, he’ll walk over and talk to you about each dish and how he picked the mushrooms himself while you make your best dreamy face.

Mr. Pollo

Mr. Pollo

El Gallo Giro – Simply put, best taco truck.  Super cheap, massive tacos with delicious, juicy al pastor and carnitas, or lengua if you like that creepy, bumpy shit.  Tons of fresh toppings and a spicy sauce to make your eyes water.

St. Francis Fountain – This is the haven for your hangover.  They seriously have a dish called the chef’s mess which is a mountain of potatoes and bacon with melted cheese.  Even in your deluded, morning-after state, you will not be able to finish this thing.  Most important, it is frequently staffed by some of the cutest boys in the mission.  A definite sight for sore eyes.

Humphry Slocombe – I am not a sweets person.  At all.  Give me a grilled cheese sandwich over a donut any day.  That said, how could I resist an ice cream shop sporting a flavor called Jesus Juice??  It’s red wine and coca cola, and it used to be my favorite until I literally ate a quart of it in one sitting.  Secret Breakfast (cornflakes and bourbon) is now my go to, but there’s always new flavors to make you feel fat.

Robert Polacek Eats Out

Robert Polacek

My friend Roby is the Chief Creative Officer and Partner at Puccini Group. The San Francisco based design firm that specializes in creating restaurants with personality and style. You’ve probably stepped foot into one of his firms countless sophisticated, chef-tailored, noteworthy restaurants across the globe for clients such as Jumeirah, Kimpton, Fairmont and Four Seasons among others. He heads up the concept development and design side of the company. He’s promised me over a few drinks (I said a few) that I would someday be the inspiration for a boutique hotel and restaurant. Can you imagine? “I’d like to stay in Juanita’s suite and can you send up an order of  the MORE!marrow appetizer with a bottle of champagne from room service”.

Enjoying “a few drinks” in the Tenderloin.

Robert Polacek answers my foodie questionnaire here:

What is your favorite dessert?

Hands down – Goat Cheese Cheesecake! There is something about the fact that it has to be made fresh in order to serve it.  I love the tanginess of the goat cheese combined with the sweetness of the cheesecake. I think it is the perfect combination.

What restaurant would you call your home?

The  very establishment of a restaurant in general is my home, given I’m always on the road researching them for upcoming concepts and designs. But if I had to choose one in San Francisco, it would be Anchor Oyster Bar. Everything about it feels like home – the simplicity of the concept to the welcoming staff. I love that everything is fresh and local and there is a ‘feeling’ of genuineness that truly defines what a restaurant experience should be.

Roby and I. We are way overdue for a lunch date.

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

Most inspiring and strangest was when I dedicated two full days (all in the name of research) to Singapore Street Food. Everything from pig intestine soup, to chicken feet, duck heart stew, you name it tired it. Long story short – every organ of every animal in two days! In Singapore, one of the most vital food cultures in the world, eating, or as the locals say, ‘makan’, is more than just food. It’s a national obsession, a passion, a way of life. Friends don’t greet each other with hello, instead they’ll say, “have you eaten?”. This philosophy struck me because I share that thinking and which is why my passion in life is creating the perfect stage for eating and enjoying  meals with friends and family.  That exploration in Singapore enlightened me to look further into the culture of eating for my inspiration to design.

What was your favorite breakfast cereal as a kid?

Growing up with divorced parents, I learned at an early age the joys of choices and never just settling for one of anything! During the week and at my mom’s I shoveled Fruity Pebbles before they got soggy and during the weekends, sans sugar and sweets, I enjoyed Honey Nut Cheerios at my dad’s house.

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

Cheddar cheese, peanut butter and dill pickles. But that’s only if don’t make it to Cybelle’s pizza – I love a mushroom slice with tons of hot pepper flakes.

Roby in my apartment.

I love Jamie Oliver AKA The Naked Chef – who is working hard to make America eat better. And, there are a lot of things I love about his 2nd season show titled ” Food Revolution”. I love the passion and energy he has to try and get America to eat better. America is terribly obese. Two years ago I went to Disneyland for the day with some friends. Disneyland is such a melting pot of our country. Everyone comes to this imaginary land young and old. And, it was terrible obvious how overweight this country is. There were entire parents that couldn’t get on rides with their children. Instead they spent there time at the food stands. Not one of which was serving anything healthy. The bulk of food at Disneyland is pre-made, pre-packaged or deep fried. One child was holding a sugary sweet super-sized soda with both of his little hands – it was almost the length of his arm. Jazzy’s and wheelchairs zipped around the overweight elders throughout the park. So I want America to believe in Jamie Oliver. I kinda believe in Jamie Oliver. But, in watching “Food Revolution” this past week I started to notice how out of shape, pudgy and plain old unhealthy he looks. I hope he finds time to create a healthier diet for himself. It would make be believe in him even more. And, I want to see the old Naked Chef again.