Archive for the ‘Chefs’ Category

Aziza Spices Up Seasoned California Cuisine

Rating: ★★★★★

Prior to my first visit to Aziza, my idea of Moroccan food was something involving raisins, powdered sugar, and a huge pile of grain meant to be eaten with your hands. It left a strange, lingering impression on me as being too sweet, and too sloppy. I held onto that unattractive memory for a long time, which is the reason why, despite knowing about all of the accolades Aziza has received, I avoided it for years. If only I had only known about our mutual love of goat’s milk butter sooner! But after hearing an industry friend, whose opinion I rate very highly, rank it as his favorite SF restaurant, I knew it was time. I was finally ready...Continue Reading

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Benu Part 2: The Chefs Tasting Menu is Kind of a Big Deal

Rating: ★★★★★

I really wasn’t expecting much the first time I walked into Benu for dinner. I mean, really what would there be to expect? Sure Corey Lee spent eight years at the French Laundry, four of which were spent as chef de cuisine, and yeah maybe he won a James Beard Award for Rising Star Chef of the Year. But I guess I’m just not really impressed by, you know, things like experience and public recognition. And c’mon, only fifteen courses on the tasting menu? I’m sorry but if there aren’t at least 19 courses, I’m generally not satisfied...Continue Reading

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Benu Part 1: Creating its Own Identity in San Francisco Fine Dining

When asking fellow foodies how they would describe the dining experience at Benu, a friend of mine, well-versed in the art of fine dining, described it simply as, “The Asian Laundry.” However, after dining there on several occasions, I found this label to be a bit unfair as I wasn’t drawing parallels, but rather, I was noticing the glaring differences: the atmosphere and table settings at Benu are stark and more austere than the welcoming, cottage feel of the Laundry; the tasting menu is made of 15 courses which express Chef Lee’s Korean heritage, rather than 9 courses that communicate the restaurant’s sense of place; a feeling of grandeur is created by openly displaying Benu’s impressive, imposing kitchen, versus the quaint mystery hidden behind the closed doors at the Laundry...Continue Reading

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Is Daniel Patterson the Ice Truck Killer?

That disheveled hair. That 3 o' clock shadow that gives them a mysterious, yet inviting, appeal. That straight brow and hard stare. Is it the look of an evil genius? Is it just coincidence? Or is it something more? Whatever the reason, there's no denying that the resemblance between Rudy Cooper, the Ice Truck Killer from Dexter, and Chef Daniel Patterson of Coi, is uncanny...Continue Reading

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