Last night, I pressed the send key on the last write-up of the last chef I was assigned to cover for the upcoming issue of San Francisco Chefs. I felt a tinge of sadness hitting that key; the project was one of the highlights of my summer.
Last year, when I read about the publication on Catherine Nash’s blog, I asked for a copy, and eagerly read it from cover to cover. Due in no small part to Catherine’s sharp, witty writing, the pieces were engaging and distinct, a window into the life stories of our local chefs. Even better: the piece benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, one of the finest institutions dedicated to helping children and their parents cope with life-threatening diseases.
I felt like a kid in a candy store when I got to be involved in the publication this year. Sit down with some of my favorite chefs and talk to them about the creative process? Twist my arm!
From Corey Lee at the French Laundry to Cal Stamenov at Marinus in the Bernardus Lodge in Carmel to Xavier Solomon at The Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay, every single person I sat down with was gracious and engaging.
One of my favorite moments occurred when I was chatting with Ron Siegel at The Dining Room (you know how much I love TDR; big balloon hearts everywhere!), and I got to ask him about how they made my favorite amuse – a perfectly poached quail egg perched atop a glass dish of wood smoke and garnished with brioche croutons and caviar – and he animatedly described the whole process. It was far more involved than I had guessed, and now I’m an even bigger fan, if that is even possible.
You can have a complimentary copy of this year’s edition if you’d like – just send an e-mail to email@example.com by October 5 with your name and full mailing address, and you’ll get to read about what inspires these men and women in the kitchen, and what they do when they’re not slaving over a hot stove.
Fear not: your name and address will not be given away, sold or shared. Not for any reason, ever.
If you need a bit more convincing, here’s the full list of chefs included in this year’s edition:
- Acquerello – Suzette Gresham
- Aqua – Laurent Manrique
- Auberge du Soleil – Robert Curry
- Bernardus Lodge – Cal Stamenov
- Boulevard – Nancy Oakes/Pam Mazzola
- Dry Creek Kitchen – Charlie Palmer/Mike Ellis
- Manresa – David Kinch
- Michael Mina – Michael Mina
- Myth – Sean O’Brien
- Piperade – Gerald Hirigoyen
- Quince – Michael Tusk
- Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay – Xavier Salomon
- Silks Mandarin Oriental – Joel Huff
- The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton (SF) – Ron Siegel
- The French Laundry – Corey Lee
Go ahead, ask for your own copy... 'cause I'm not parting with mine!