Camino Paella Postcard
It’s not often that while enjoying a meal, I am reminded of the first time I had a dish. With so much trendy fusion and fashionable deconstruction, I find to my dismay that a favorite dish seldom looks and tastes like it does in my memory. So when it does, I take notice, and come back for more. That’s what happened during Camino’s paella dinners last August and September — I relived the beautiful memory of my first paella.
I was visiting my uncle in Andalucia, and we were already on our way to a family dinner when he asked, “Do you like paella?” I confessed that it was going to be my first time, and with extra enthusiasm he started to tell me all about the dish and who was going to be there. But we were not in a hurry, because it was a lazy Summer day, and when we got there, the sun was beginning to set and we all sat outside, drinking wine, talking, waiting, while the paella slowly cooked over a wood fire on the ground.
Sol Food Lunch at SF Food Lab
For many San Franciscans, driving over the Golden Gate Bridge is often followed by hiking in the Marin Headlands or wine tasting in Napa Valley. But it seems that many are also discovering one of my favorite lunchtime destinations and making a special trip to San Rafael just to eat at Sol Food. For the uninitiated, I am talking about quite possibly the best place for authentic Puerto Rican food outside La Isla del Encanto.
Last week, I had the pleasure of interviewing my mom about food stories and traditions during the holidays. And though the interview lasted less than an hour, it covered decades of stories from the Peru of her childhood to present day — stories that made me smile and laugh with a hunger and nostalgia that could only come from our shared love for Peruvian food.
Pisco Sour with Xmas Snowflake
Inspired by the holiday season, I was recently determined to pair my creativity with Pisco in a little angostura art mixology project. In my mind’s eye, I had a picture of what I wanted to create, all I needed was a few tools. So I made a quick trip to my local art store to pick up an x-acto knife, a cutting board, and a small atomizer bottle.
A souvenir coaster from Brad Parsons’ talk at Omnivore Books turned out to be the ideal stencil. It was the right size to fit over my favorite cocktail glass, and it had the word “Bitters” stamped on one side. Now, to daw a picture of a snowflake on it, and use my brand new x-acto knife to carefully cut out the shape.
At the mere mention of “Christmas Cake” most people think of something dense and inedible — well, clearly these people have not had the pleasure of the Panettone, a sweetened, fluffy and buttery bread with dried fruit, candied lemon, and orange peel. In Peru, the Panettone is insanely popular, especially during the Christmas season.