Pierre Hermé Macarons at SF Cooking School

August 13th, 2014 · 1 Comment · Cookies, Recipes, San Francisco, Sweet Spots

sf cooking school macaron class
SF Cooking school macaron class

It's been a while since my pastry school days, and oftentimes I feel the itch to get back into class to keep up with the newest trends, brush up on old skills, or just to be around some nice shiny professional equipment again.

After talking to chef Nicole Plue about her role as the instructor for SF Cooking School's professional pastry program, I was eager to have the chance to see her in action. My opportunity came with the pastry workshops for enthusiasts she's also teaching. These intensive classes are usually three days long and focus on specific topics like laminated doughs or breakfast pastries. One came up on the schedule that really caught my eye: macarons Pierre Hermé style, using recipes from his gorgeous cookbook MACARONS. You can never get too much macaron making practice, so thanks to Jodi, the head of the SF Cooking School, I was in!
 

(more…)

Read more →

Tags:·····

Summer Catch-up

July 16th, 2014 · No Comments · Events, San Francisco, SF Events

Galley review
Finished reviewing cookbook galleys...guess what's next?

Happy summer! During these lazy and languid days, the instinct is to be out in the sun, watching my daughter testing her increasingly steady gait around the playground or enjoying something cold and preferably garnished with a paper umbrella by the pool, not indoors staring at a computer.

(more…)

Read more →

Tags:·

{SF} {Chocolate Review} TCHO’s New TCHOPairings Bars

October 10th, 2013 · 5 Comments · Chocolate, Reviews, San Francisco, Sweet Spots

TCHOPairings Bars

Things have been a little on overdrive around here. A baby that can crawl and stand, lots of recipe testing, and the holidays peeping around the corner.

The nice thing about being a new mom, of course, is that people are infinitely sympathetic and kind. “Oh, you must be so busy! It’s ok if you’re late to the party!” “Oh, don’t worry if you forgot to bring the thing! You must have so much on your mind these days!” “You must be totally sleep-deprived – don’t worry about looking tired!” (Wait, what was that again? I look like crap?)

But I’m trying, gosh darn it. I don’t want to use a baby as an excuse to let everything fall by the wayside in a flaming, forgotten ball of fail. It’s just that when you have a baby, and things don’t go well, events tend to snowball much more dramatically.

(more…)

Read more →

Tags:···

A New Professional Pastry Program at the SF Cooking School

August 7th, 2013 · 4 Comments · San Francisco

 

SFCS Exterior 1
 The San Francisco Cooking School – a new opportunity to learn from some of the city’s best culinary talents. All photos in this post courtesy of SFCS.

When I get asked about going to pastry school, I have a shortlist of schools I usually guide people towards. Therefore, I was excited when I heard that the recently opened SF Cooking School is starting its own professional pastry program, which will be closely intertwined with San Francisco’s thriving food scene. I got the opportunity to speak with Nicole Plue, the Director of Pastry Arts and the instructor for the professional pastry program, about her vision for the school.

(more…)

Read more →

Tags:···

{SF} Baker + Banker: Dessert All Day Long

June 29th, 2013 · 4 Comments · San Francisco, Sweet Spots

baker banker

For those of you waiting for a recipe post, don’t worry – I have one coming up on Monday!

There’s no lack of fantastic restaurants and bakeries in San Francisco, but Baker + Banker stands out as a fantastic restaurant and bakery. Run by husband and wife team Jeff Banker and Lori Baker, Jeff handles the savory side while Lori oversees the pastry.  Although I’d enjoyed a fabulous meal at the restaurant a couple years back, the bakery was closed so I didn’t get a chance to sample the baked goods. (The bakery opens in the morning and closes at 5, shortly before the restaurant side opens for dinner service.) I finally got the chance a few weeks ago to stop by and try some of their updates on classic American bakery treats. Below, some of my favorites:

(more…)

Read more →

Tags:·

{SF} Sweet Alchemy: Michael Recchiuti’s Chocolate Lab

June 17th, 2013 · 2 Comments · San Francisco, Sweet Spots

choco lab erlenmeyer

A dessert cafe is probably the last place you would expect to see an Erlenmeyer flask, but it’s quite apropos at Michael Recchiuti’s Chocolate Lab. Recchiuti has already cemented his place as one of San Francisco’s premier chocolatiers, and he’s decided to go back to his restaurant roots with the opening of Chocolate Lab, a sweet (and savory) cafe located in the Dogpatch, near his commercial kitchen space.

The laboratory theme fits Michael’s curious, inventive nature perfectly – he is constantly experimenting with different sweet ideas and envisioned Chocolate Lab as a place to showcase different concepts. On our last visit there we didn’t have a chance to sample the savory side of the menu, but we made sure we had room for as many of the desserts as possible:

(more…)

Read more →

Tags:··