NOMADgardens: An Urban Oasis in SF

NOMADgardens Launch in Mission Bay

NOMADgardens Launch in Mission Bay

Last Saturday, I woke up excited for the day’s pop-up. No, I wasn’t cooking dinner at 18 Reasons, for a change, I was attending an event that had been in the making for over 3 years — the opening of NOMADgardens in Mission Bay. Why was I excited? Simple, as a cook, I have a profound appreciation for farmers, for those who cultivate land, grow crops, and care for animals that all become part of our meals. Here, in San Francisco, one group was creating a garden for people to grow their own food, that would also be a space for building community through events and workshops — a real urban oasis.
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Flavors of Peru Class at 18 Reasons

Flavors of Peru Class at 18 Reasons

Flavors of Peru Class at 18 Reasons

There is a saying about teaching a man to fish that I’ll re-interpret as follows:

Give a woman a fish, and you’ll feed her for day. Teach her to cook a fish using the flavors of Peru, and she’ll be a fan of Peruvian cuisine for a lifetime.

Now, that could’ve been our saying at 18 Reasons last week where a group of 12 students came eager to learn about the Flavors of Peru, and left true fans of seafood and dessert dishes that were spicy, citrusy, colorful, and sweet — all of which they prepared in the span of 2 hours before sitting down and enjoying a well deserved dinner.
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March 20: Cooking Demo at SF Garden Show

SF Garden Show 2014

SF Garden Show 2014

The first day of Spring always inspires celebrations — it’s a new beginning, and warmer weather brings a Season of new foods. So naturally, many of us celebrate by cooking. Next week, I’ll have the pleasure of celebrating the first day of Spring at the SF Flower and Garden Show where I’ll be showing the audience how to prepare a uniquely Peruvian dish and a classic Pisco cocktail.

When: March 20 from 3:30-4:30 PM
Food: Purple Corn Peruvian Paella
Drink: Pisco Sour

Come for the cooking demo, and stay for a taste of the Paella and a sip or two of the Pisco Sour!


The Peruvian Whiskey Sour

The Peruvian Whiskey Sour

The Peruvian Whiskey Sour

All the cocktails that I’ve ever posted here have one very important common ingredient — Pisco. Infused Pisco, Pisco with herbal simple syrups, Pisco with citrus, and sometimes, Pisco mixed with other spirits such as Sweet Vermouth, Bourbon, or Rum, but Pisco has always been the star. Except today. For the first time, I am posting a cocktail recipe that does not have any Pisco. What inspired me to break my Pisco rule? My grandmother. Presenting, a cocktail dedicated to my Abuelita Rosa — The Peruvian Whiskey Sour.
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Chicha Morada en Gelatina

Chicha Morada en Gelatina — Peruvian sweet purple corn jello shots

Peruvian purple corn jello shots


Sweet, colorful, soft, warm, cool, citrusy, refreshing, bitter, crunchy, crumbly, in your hand, or with a spoon, few things compare to the simple and magical pleasure of eating a dessert. Except, just maybe, making one for the very first time. Presenting, Chicha Morada en Gelatina, or Peruvian purple corn jello shots. What inspired me to create these colorful, sweet, and citrusy, bite-sized, little cubes? Two of my favorite chefs, and the way they combined traditional flavors from Peru with a beautifully modern presentation.
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