Saturday, August 27, 2011

SF Cocktail Week Preview 2011

Last Wednesday, Cuesa hosted the SF cocktail week preview party with their quarterly farmer's market cocktail night. The 5th Annual SF cocktail week will be held on September 19-25, 2011. The event promises a series of booze, seminars, cocktails, parties and even more liquor that will make your liver party like a rockstar.

It was definitely a celebration of great tasting cocktails. There was an abundance of seasonal ingredients like those beautiful pink lady apples, hundreds of different berries, peaches, tomatoes, cantaloupe and different fresh herbs.

One of my favorite drinks of the night was the Melon milk punch. It's the grown up version of what I usually drink in the Philippines. Melon milk.. You can almost find melon milk everywhere in my hometown. This version was spiked with Herradura silver and sweetened by a lemon basil syrup. There was also "salsa" for adults with Hangar one vodka made by Jennifer Seidman of Acme Bar. It really gives the "salsa" a kick. Both full sized drinks were amazing as well.

"salsa shot" with hangar one vodka

Tilden Rye - Hotsy Totsy Club

Roadrunner - Rye, made with Charbay Tequila

Perfectly cut pink lady apples..

One of my favorite drinks for the evening

Melon milk

Now let's talk about the food.. 15 Romolo, Ozumo, Jasper's and Monk's Kettle were responsible for that evening's tasty bites. I can't get over Monk's Kettle's PB&J. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Yup, it's Pork Belly and Jam! Adam Dulye made a braised and pressed pork belly with peach puree and arugula on a pan de mie roll. It was ridiculously amazing. It's my favorite dish of the night. I can eat a dozen of those :) Everything was good though. 15 Romolo made jambalaya formed into a ball called Jambolini with Espelette Aioli.

Jasper's fruit gelee

Deviled eggs - Jasper's

house made sausage with mustard - Jasper's

Jambalaya croquette

Jambolini - 15 Romolo

Pork Belly love

Ready to be swined. Peach puree on a mini bun

2 thumbs up

1 dozen please.. Star of the night! :)
This is only a sign of good things to come. If you love to party and drink the best handcrafted cocktails from the Bay don't miss out on all the events from the SF cocktail week. This Farmer's market cocktail night surely hit the spot and Cuesa did an awesome job on hosting such great event that supports local and sustainable farms. Next stop: Sunday Supper!!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

S'mores bites

S'mores is a classic American treat. It's the trinity of gooey toasted marshmallow, melted chocolate and crunchy graham cracker. This recipe is probably the easiest dessert to make. No handheld mixer or torch needed! The only challenge with this is making sure all the graham crackers fit in the baking sheet.

There are only a few ingredients needed to make this so make sure you are using the best and highest quality out there.

Here's what you need:

about 16 graham crackers
1 stick (1/2 cup) sweet cream butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
approximately 4 cups of mini marshmallows
1 1/4 cups mixture of chocolate chips ( I used 1 cup choco chip and 1/4 white chocolate)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Line baking sheet with 2 overlapping sheets of foil. Arrange graham crackers tightly on a single layer. Cut the crackers into 2 to fill up the edges. Set aside.

3. Melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. Add a pinch of salt. Mix until sugar is dissolved, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly add vanilla extract. It will sizzle a little bit so don't worry.

4. Spoon the caramel mixture over the graham crackers evenly. Sprinkle marshmallows on a single layer and bake for about 8 minutes until they are puffed and starting to brown.

5. Remove from the oven and sprinkle your chocolates. Let it melt over the marshmallows for about 5 minutes. Run a toothpick over them to create a pattern. Bring out your artistic side!  Let it rest for 20 minutes until the chocolates are set.

6. Cover baking sheet with foil and freeze for about a hour. Remove the slab from the sheet and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 2 inch squares and refrigerate. It should last about 4-5 days on your fridge


7. Enjoy it chilled!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sunday at SF Chefs 2011

What a great way to spend Sunday in San Francisco. I'm lucky enough I got to volunteer this year at SF Chefs. It's the last tasting event at the tent and I'm happy I'm part of it.

SF chefs is a yearly event that celebrates SF's finest restaurants and chefs through a series of grand tasting events, cooking classes and competitions. The opening grand tasting started last Friday night and ended today. Featured chefs include Michael Mina, Chris Consentino, Joanne Weir, Tyler Florence, Elizabeth Faulkner  and many more.

with Elizabeth Faulkner

with Tom Pizzica

I was really excited about today since I've never been to this event before. As I enter the event I immediately saw Joanne Weir and Mr. Outrageous food himself, Tom Pizzica (Finalist during last year's Next Food Network star). I told myself, this is going to be one epic foodie day. There's so much happening inside the tent. There are food tastings everywhere from great restaurants, artisan cocktails, contests, cooking classes and a lot more. I liked most of the food that I tasted especially the pork dishes. The standouts for me were Prospect's braised Berkshire pork cheeks, Tom Pizzica's pork with Korean caramel sauce, Gitane's lamb sirloin, Dungeness crab gelee and tomato gazpacho from The Ritz-Carlton and Munch's Panna cotta.

Here are some of the food from today:

Cliff house - Halibut Crudo

Luce - Summer melon, cucumber and tomato

Vin Antico - butter poached shrimp, tomato relish, corn pancake

Munch - Stonefruit Panna Cotta

Campton Place


Boxing Room - Smoked Chicken Gumbo


Prospect - Pork cheeks, grapes, preserved orange, ancient grains, herbs

The Slanted Door - spiced tofu

Tom Pizzica's ground pork with korean caramel

Orson - Pork and beans

Eve - watermelon, squid and cucumbers

Gitane - lamb sirloin, smoked eggplant, yogurt, mint and black olive

Nombe - Pulled Pork, Toybox tomatoes, Mustard, Okura, Yuzu cream on a Taro chip

Bar Crudo - Marinated Mussels

Calafia Cafe - Quinoa folded with Beets

Terzo - Panzanella

The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

Columbus cured meats

SF Chefs is definitely San Francisco's greatest food event of the year. I'll make sure not to miss this event next year!