Cab Franc: Both a Challenge and a Reward to Consumers

Cabernet Franc (and yes, I’m resisting all the puns) isn’t bottled on its own very much. It’s primarily used as a blending varietal in Bordeaux wines, especially with Merlot and the usually dominant and better known Cabernet Sauvignon. It is one of my favorite wines, however, so I was tickled red to see it showcased at the varietal focus seminar at this year’s WiVi Central Coast, … Continue reading Cab Franc: Both a Challenge and a Reward to Consumers

You Call That BBQ? Yes, We Do!

The smell of smoke. The aroma of savory meat. The hallmarks of “barbecue.” The nuances and details of that word can spark heated debates about beef versus pork, mustard sauce or no sauce, hickory wood or mesquite. The one thing most of the USA can agree upon is that “barbecue” means low and slow, meats cooking for hours and hours in closed smokers tended by … Continue reading You Call That BBQ? Yes, We Do!

“Forks in the Road”: Sippin’ and Snackin’ in San Diego

Another tasty, fun-filled jaunt — this time to San Diego! It was a jam-packed trip that included visits to 11 breweries/taprooms, and that just scratched the surface of the local beer scene. The beers certainly did not disappoint. All were really good, and the only ones I didn’t much like were just styles of beer that aren’t my favorite. Arguably the U.S. capital of craft … Continue reading “Forks in the Road”: Sippin’ and Snackin’ in San Diego

“Forks in the Road”: Sated in Seattle

By design, my travels often include some wonderful culinary adventures. Here’s a sampling of what my tastebuds enjoyed during a recent trip to Seattle – it’s wonder I didn’t gain 45 pounds! Slurp-tastic! Sure, there are other places to go for oysters in Seattle, but why bother. Elliott’s Oyster House has “Oyster House” in its name for a reason. There’s always a broad selection of … Continue reading “Forks in the Road”: Sated in Seattle

Shishito vs. Mothra (Well, sort of)

A few years ago, I noticed that shishito peppers started showing up on a lot of Asian appetizer menus, especially in Japanese restaurants. Akin to the Spanish padrón, the peppers were usually served grilled to the point of blistering and tossed with sesame oil and either soy sauce or sea salt. After I’d ordered them once, I was hooked. Small, slender, and thin-skinned, the bite-size … Continue reading Shishito vs. Mothra (Well, sort of)

Sun’s Out, Let’s Get Cookin’!

It really can’t get any easier. You put your food in a container, put the container in an oven, and point the oven towards the sun. That’s basically all you need to know to start solar cooking. As I noted in a recent “Local Flavors” column about solar cooking for the Tribune newspaper, “… this cooking method captures the power of the sun. It’s a passive … Continue reading Sun’s Out, Let’s Get Cookin’!

Cook Abalone at Home for a Sustainable WOW Factor!

Every so often, it’s fun to do a chef profile for my Local Flavors column in the Tribune newspaper (San Luis Obispo County, California). I ask the chefs to pick a local and/or seasonal ingredient, explain why and how they’re using it in their menus, and how cooks at home might approach the product. Most recently, Chef Leonard Gentieu of Onboard Nautical Events in Morro … Continue reading Cook Abalone at Home for a Sustainable WOW Factor!

A Line on Sustainable Seafood in Morro Bay

The original version of this article appeared in my “Local Flavors” column in the Tribune newspaper on April 9, 2015. In light of what recently happened with the West Coast sardine fishery (closed because the population has crashed), this is a look at a fishery that not only came back, but is now rated sustainable by Seafood Watch and the Marine Stewardship Council. This article … Continue reading A Line on Sustainable Seafood in Morro Bay