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.

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{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:

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{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:

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{SF} The Return of Charles Chocolates

May 23rd, 2013 · 3 Comments · Chocolate, Reviews, San Francisco, Sweet Spots

charles chocolates display

San Francisco is currently going through a chocolate renaissance – new artisan chocolate makers and chocolatiers are popping up at every food festival and in every neighborhood. One of these chocolatiers, though, is actually a Bay Area classic making a welcome return – Charles Chocolates.

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{SF} {Palo Alto} Chantal Guillon’s New Store

August 27th, 2012 · 6 Comments · Reviews, San Francisco, Sweet Spots, Sweet Spots

chantal guillon boxes

While the macaron craze may have have subsided slightly in the blogosphere, they’re still popular here in the Bay Area – no self-respecting patisserie would be without a rainbow-hued selection of these little sweets. My choice for satisfying my macaron cravings is Chantal Guillon – a little shop tucked away in San Francisco that featured some of the most elegantly formed and decorated renditions of this French confection. I loved her version so much I even had ordered them for my wedding reception, a highlight I still remember fondly.

So I was thrilled to receive notice that Chantal Guillon had opened a second store down in Palo Alto, and even better, I was invited to visit the shop and chat with Mme Guillon herself! I sped down the Peninsula on a sunny Friday afternoon get a look at the brand new store.

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It’s That Time Again – National Food Blogger Sale 2012

March 19th, 2012 · 1 Comment · Personal, San Francisco, SF Events

2012foodblooger bwob sf badge2

It’s almost spring, and that means that it’s almost time for the San Francisco Food Bloggers Bake Sale!

For the last two years, food bloggers across the country have banded together to hold bake sales in their hometowns in support of Share Our Strength, a national organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger. I had the honor of organizing the San Francisco bake sales, which have been resounding successes – last year we raised over $2500 in one day. I’m proud to be part of the event this year again. On April 28th, bake sales will be held all across the US by food bloggers, with all proceeds donated to Share Our Strength.

Last year I was joined in my organizing efforts by Irvin, Shauna, and Annelies, fellow bakers, bloggers, and all around amazing people. We’re all back this year and hope you can be part of our bake sale! I’m so excited that some of you have already been e-mailing me about the bake sale – I’m very touched that you remember the event and want to participate! Please be sure to sign up at the official San Francisco Food Blogger Bake Sale website – we have a dedicatd bake sale e-mail address so it’s easier to keep track of all the volunteers. If you send an e-mail to my dessertfirst e-mail, you might get missed!

Our location this year is Omnivore Books, the location of the first bake sale in 2010. We’re excited to return!

What are the San Francisco Food Blogger Bake Sale details?

When: Saturday, April 28, 11 AM to 4 PM

Where: Omnivore Books, 3885a Cesar Chavez St, San Francisco, CA

How can you help?

If you live in the Bay Area and you want to participate in the bake sale, please go to the SF Bake Sale website and sign up to volunteer! It doesn’t matter if you have a food blog or not, only a desire to bake! We need volunteers to help bake up goods to sell, and I would love a chance to meet all you local foodies! Bring a plate of cookies or a cake, whatever you feel like contributing!

If you aren’t able to bake up something, please come by and help support us! Purchase something yummy and make a donation to Share our Strength!

If you don’t live near San Francisco but would still like to participate, check Gaby’s page (the national organizer) to see if there’s another bake sale going on near where you live.

Here is some additional information on Share Our Strength and The Great American Bake Sale.

See my recaps of last year’s bake sale and the 2010 bake sale to see a bit of all the excitement.

I hope to see you all at the new bake sale homepage, and to see you April 28 at the bake sale!

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