Spaghetti with bottarga, the must-order at La Ciccia.
My week started out sweetly with a delivery of Hey Boo Jam's new caramel, which sounds more basic than it is. In reality, it's coconut jam caramel and it tastes like a liquid Samoa Girl Scout cookie. Pure heaven for a coconut nut such as myself. French toast is begging to be anointed with it, as is a bowl of salty popcorn. Hell, yes.
In other sweet news, Carolyn Alburger has officially left her post at Eater and is now at San Francisco magazine as our associate editor. While I'll continue to oversee the Feast section, contribute features and more, Carolyn will be working with me to make our food coverage that much stronger, including more blog posts about restaurant news. My title is now editor-at-large (though as a food writer, let's hope the large part isn't self-fulfilling).
Mark your calendars for Wednesday, February 13th, a.k.a. Valentine's Day eve. I'll be moderating a Commonwealth Club panel featuring some of the city's most passionate and creative chefs: Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krazinski from State Bird Provisions and Cortney Burns and Nick Balla from Bar Tartine. This panel discussion is inspired by the article that I wrote for the magazine on the Bay Area's plethora of chefs cooking, curing, baking, and farming it all—or "DIAY chefs" as I dubbed these enthusiastic overachievers. Bring your questions. (General tickets are $20.) The second part of the event is a cocktail party at State Bird Provisions on Sunday, February 17th, where you'll get to taste the pickling, smoking and pulverizing results of a DIAY chef, not to mention do a little schmoozing with the chefs themselves. (General tickets are $95 a person.) Find more information on both events here.
We just wrapped up our February cover story on the 21 best bowls of Asian noodles in the Bay Area. Get ready for it because it's a stunner. As you might imagine, there are more than a few ramen joints mentioned. But, barring Ippuku in Berkeley, there aren't many restaurants that serve housemade soba around here. Which is why you're just going to have to learn how to do it yourself. Luckily, Sonoko Sakai, a soba expert and the founder of Common Grains, will be teaching a hands-on soba-making class at the San Francisco Cooking School on Saturday, February 16th. Sakai has trained with a master soba maker in Japan and will impart her wisdom and strength (I've watched soba be made before and it takes some effort). The class is from 10 am to 6 pm; $160 per person. Sign up here.