Food Wire

Remembering Donna Scala

donna

The last time I saw Donna Scala, coowner with husband Giovanni of Napa’s popular Bistro Don Giovanni, she was full of plans to renovate the restaurant. Which is notable mainly because she’d been diagnosed with a brain tumor and given just months to live. That was earlier this year and as it turned out the…

French cafe’s rudeness tax

cafe

A French cafe has a tip for its patrons: Customers who order coffee impolitely will be charged a rudeness tax. The cafe is La petite Syrah in Nice and a reporter at the local paper, Nice-Matin, took a picture of the menu board, pictured above, which explains how a lack of coffee courtesy will be…

Chez Panisse Reopens

Alice Waters

I’m happy to report that Chez Panisse is all fixed up from the fire damage in March and opened this week. I interviewed chef Alice Waters a few days before the opening and had a great time talking to her about the recovery. As always, she was totally zen about the whole thing and saw…

Chez Panisse fire: UPDATE

The reopening date for Chez Panisse has been postponed following the discovery that damage was more substantial than thought. Fire broke out at the famous Berkeley restaurant early in the morning of March 8 but thanks to the automatic sprinkler system, much of the damage was contained to the exterior. Founder and chef Alice Waters…

All I want for Christmas is … a chocolate printer

Friends, I have come up with the perfect Christmas gift for you to get me. A chocolate printer. Yes, it’s true. There are new products out known as 3D printers, or Additive Layer Manufacturing (ALM),  which make physical objects from CAD data sources. For the chocolate printer, you put chocolate in, it melts, is tempered…

California (wine) dreaming …

To: The Job Market

From: Me

Re:  Dream Job Search

Date: Today

Dear Job Market,

I am writing today to express my extreme disappointment that you have decided to award my dream job to someone else. To wit,

Foie Gras Fallout

Since today is National Caviar Day this seems as good a time as any to update you on what’s been happening since California’s foie gras ban took effect two weeks ago. So far, it’s a tale of loopholes, a lawsuit and _ damn, I cannot find a word beginning with “l” that means boycott, so I will…

A better battered breakfast?

It takes a lot to horrify a British person when it comes to fatty breakfast foods. I hail from a nation that happily sits down to fried bacon, fried sausages, fried bread, fried eggs, fried tomatoes, fried kidneys (unless you’re classy and grill them _ one guess how we had them at our house) and/or…

UPDATE: Foie Gras Fighting, France weighs in

French producers of foie gras are striking out at California’s ban on the delicacy. Philippe Martin, president of the general council of Gers, a region in Southwest France known for its foie gras, is calling for a boycott of California wines in protest. I cannot say that I’m aware of a huge French market for…

Foie Gras Fervor

Starting July 1 it will be illegal to forcefeed fowl to produce foie gras in California, and a lot of top chefs aren’t at all happy about that. A number of high-end restaurants have held elaborate, all-foie-gras dinners in the months leading up to the ban to express their dissatisfaction. The process was banned by…