What’s Cookin’

Weekly Intro and Updates (Coming in hot...)
June 18, 2019

Bing cherry clafoutis at Mago. Summer is here. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Howdy, friends. I hope you had some fun with that epic heatwave we had (sorry, but I absolutely love the heat—I played hooky from my scorching hot apartment and went to the beach). Let’s just say the StarChefs Rising Star Chefs event was a toasty one. (And delicious.)

I had such a fabulous meal recently at Maum (it was a collaborative dinner with SPQR’s Matt Accarrino), and had quite a brunch at Prairie this past weekend (follow me at @tablehopper for pics of that one real soon—I just need to catch my breath over here). I’m also editing my pics from a dinner at Sushi Nagai, in case you’re curious about that newcomer to our omakase scene.

A couple weekends ago, I headed up to Camp Navarro in Mendocino for Meadowlands, a retreat for folks in the cannabis industry (I was calling it cannabis camp!). It’s quite an epic drive up there, especially if you’re tooling along in a 2018 Audi S4 Sport Sedan! No, I didn’t turn in my Fiat 500 Sport, although now I want to.

I was so thrilled to be approached by Silvercar with the offer to drive one of their Audis for the weekend and check out their rental service. Yup, you can rent a top-of-the-line Audi instead of some lousy, stripped-down, mauve Sonata to get out of town. I had so much fun—the handling and safety features of this car are pretty unbelievable. Can you say torque? I had Studio 54 on XM radio the entire time, and a huge smile on my face. It was perfect for those curving Mendo roads, especially when I cut over to see my friends in Ukiah.

You can reserve your Audi vehicle with Silvercar and pick it up at the White House Garage in downtown SF, although they have many other pick-up locations as well, nationwide! Use my code Silvercarhopper for 30 percent off (you won’t find that discount anywhere!) until July 31st. Have fun out there. And take me with you!

Sorry today’s issue was a little late—I had to run to a presentation I was hosting for The Food Lab, and someone wasn’t able to put a bow on this thing in time. Whoosh!

Have a great week!
Marcia Gagliardi

June 4, 2019

Happiness is a sunny day, Caesar salad, and a Cappelletti spritz (at flour + water Pizzeria). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Here is the rainbow I’ve been prayin’ for—it’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright) sun-shiny day. Happy Pride month, everyone, and I’m glad the sun finally decided to make an appearance.

Although the gray skies and lousy wind didn’t stop me and my friends from our walk across the city on Sunday, celebrating two of my friends’ 25th anniversary of living in SF! We walked from the Filbert Steps all the way to the Cliff House, about nine miles in all, and I can’t recommend it highly enough! Get some friends together (ideally some SF old-timers, so you can share stories and trivia along the way) and don’t forget your flask (it gets chilly by Lands End!).

A bunch of restaurant folks were celebrating last night with the announcement of Michelin stars for California. Congrats to Campton Place on gaining their second star, and Maum, Sorrel, and Angler now have a star (although Saison lost one, dropping to two stars). You can also read the Bib Gourmand listings here.

You can celebrate some local culinary talent at next Tuesday’s StarChefs: 2019 Rising Star Award Winners, which includes a walk-around tasting gala. Don’t miss it!

See you soon, and make some gumbo in honor of Leah Chase. What a life.

Big XO.

May 21, 2019

A memorable lunch at Marina’s Taverna in Corfu. I will be dreaming of her bourdeto with sweet potato and baked eggplant for a long, long time. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Kalispera! Yours truly is back from Greece 2, and unlike the movie, this sequel was soooo good. Corfu is a magical island, with such a fascinating history (the Venetians ruled the island for 400 years, and Old Town Corfu made me feel like I was back living in Castello!) and cuisine that felt more Italian than mainland Greek. We got to taste a multitude of traditional and housemade Corfiot dishes during an evening event at the Corfu Food and Wine Festival, what a dream.

I packed in a lot in just one week—when you travel that far, you gotta cover some serious ground. I was so touched by the continual kindness and incredible hospitality of the Corfiots, from the café baristas to the taverna chefs to the home cooks to the shop owners. I had so many enjoyable conversations with people.

The island was so verdant, full of kumquats and olive trees, and I was lucky to get a break in the storms one day and head to the beach for a couple hours. There was barely anyone there, and I was one of the only people in the water. A dip in the salty and clear Mediterranean restores me on a cellular level, I swear. I even met a real-live Durrell while on Corfu. (I can’t wait to binge watch the show this weekend.)

I’ve been joking about starting a new clothing line: My Big Fat Greek Pants. And My Big Fat Greek Caftans. Although I actually lost a couple pounds on this trip, what the hell, efharisto to Artemis and her badass fellow goddesses for looking over me this trip, and my waistline.

Now that I’m back, it’s time to start looking at how I’m going to find some summer vibes with all these gray days. One tactic is to look ahead to some alfresco events in Wine Country, like the Kendall-Jackson Farm to Table dinner series, which start up in June (the June 8th dinner is almost at capacity, FYI) and run through October 12th. Each family-style dinner features a different purveyor and ingredients from their culinary gardens—I can’t wait for a warm evening dinner in their stunning estate gardens, with rosé in hand, and my cute mother at my side!

If you’re one of my canna-curious readers, you won’t want to miss this upcoming Pineapple Collaborative event I’m moderating: Flower to the People on Thursday May 30th. We’re going to take a cannabis deep dive with guests Raeven Duckett of Supernova Women, Haejin Chun of Big Bad Wolf, and Jewel Zimmer of Juna Drops, covering everything from handy micro-dosing tips and terminology for the everyday womxn, to CBD’s wellness properties, and how we as consumers can support womxn and communities of color who have long been discriminated against in the cannabis economy.

The event will be hosted by the chic Canopy in Jackson Square, and we’ll sample non-medicated treats and take home goodies (also non-medicated) from SuuKuu (my latest obsession), Lulu’s Chocolate, Plant Magic, and sip on make-your-own sparkling beverages. Thanks to our friends at Caviar, we’ll enjoy a spread from La Mediterranee. See you there? Tickets here.

Okay, gang, let’s dive in. I hope to see you around soon. I think it’s time for a tablehopper dinner or something. :)
Marcia Gagliardi