Shrimp to Die For


My friend Ed works crazy long hours making sure people are fed well. Fortunately, he also knows how to party. More to the point, he knows how to throw down one hell of a spread and mixes generous, powerful drinks.

Thus, I blame him for my momentary lapse of politics. It’s been roughly a year since I gave up shrimp, confused and frustrated and devastated. Then, at a recent bash, Ed laid out platters piled high with buttery, herby, perfectly poached shrimp. My powers of resistance were strong for a good half hour, then slowly, steadily, the other guests’ swoons of delight and the potency of sangria convinced me to try one…just one….

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Jewish Delis: Eating at Schwartz’s and Saul’s

The documentary film, Chez Schwartz, enjoyed a quiet if savory U.S. premier at the Berkeley Richmond Jewish Community Center earlier this week. It has yet to be picked up for wider distribution, but keep an eye out for it. Or, if you can’t wait, order a DVD and see for yourself why this little “Charcuterie Hebraique” is the place to eat in Montréal.

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Intuitive Tamales

When I was in college, in the dark days before email and Facebook, my roommates and I passed our time with more mundane matters. Like food. From Juli, I learned about Japanese-style curry. Rie taught me how to blanche green beans perfectly, while Ed opened my palate to an entire pantheon of slow-simmered soups. Pierrette’s trick with tuna and egg salad—grating onion into the mayonnaise—still perks up my sandwiches.

From Maria, though, I learned the most important lessons: cooking with my senses.

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Donuts to Diesel: SFGreasecycle

As someone who keeps containers of bacon fat, duck fat, chicken fat, lard and butter along with rank-and-file bottles of olive oil, sesame oil, chile oil, grape seed oil and good ol’ peanut oil always handy by her stove, I was delighted to learn a new term this week: FOG.

No, not the lovely mist that sweeps over our city from the sea.


Unfortunately, in addition to carrying flavor and adding texture, these staples of the kitchen can be as bad for our sewer system as our bodies. Multiply thousands of restaurants by dozens of gallons of FOG and very quickly, the mess builds up.

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Kitchen Vogue: A Taste of Luxury

The guests are gone, the dishes done, and there’s yet another couple of days before Monday. I can’t help staring out my window at all the lovely parking available in our quiet, turkey-sedated city, but I’m avoiding the shops for now. The weekend after Thanksgiving is one my favorite times to stay in my pajamas and catch up on my reading. Forget award-winning novels or the latest treatise about the end of the world, though. For now, it’s all about fun and fantasy while browsing lifestyle porn rags like I.D. magazine, blogs like bLavish and the websites of local companies such as rose and radish.

For those of you still putting off your holiday shopping binge, here’s a short list of gifts for the lucky foodie in your life…

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