Thank you to everyone who made it out to “Spooning With Strangers,” Lick My Spoon’s very first meet-up for food writers, professionals in the food/beverage industry, and foodies at large!
The goal of the event was to bring together SF’s rich community of passionate food-lovers. I hear there was a secret cuddle room so I’m taking that as a sign of success.
Photo Credit: Kai Yu
The turnout was great and the room was buzzing with an eclectic mix of foodies and entrepreneurs, movers and shakers 🙂
DJ Drew and DJ Ryu kept the heartbeat of the party going strong the entire evening.
Jesse Pugach and Josh Haney kept the drinks flowing with our special cocktails for the evening sponsored by Wasabe sake-infused vodka. On the menu was the:
Karaitini – I fell in love with this drink at Ozumo. With fresh muddled strawberries, flecks of finely minced jalapeno and ginger, this cocktail is a festive mix of spicy and sweet.
Cucumber Mojito – This refreshing mix of crushed cucumber, mint, lime and soda complimented Wasabe’s mellow smoothness perfectly.
Spoontini – Thas right, a martini made just for me! How legit am I? 😉 This was my favorite drink of the evening (obvy). A sassy creation of lychee nectar and passion fruit puree. Sweet, exotic, and pleasantly boozy.
While lawyer-turned-mother-turned-chef Anamika Khanna held down the fort in the Castro, Tim Volkema and Suresh Khanna hooked it up with a whole spread of tasty Kati Rolls from Kasa Indian Eatery. They served up flaky, buttery roti wrapped around various spicy, fragrant, and mouth-watering fillings:
Gobi Aloo Kati Rolls – Spicy cauliflower and potatoes, rolled with marinated onions and tomato cumin chutney.
Chicken Tikka Masala Kati Rolls – Charbroiled and marinated free-range chicken in a rich, creamy tomato sauce, rolled with marinated onions and cilantro chutney.
Karahi Paneer Kati Rolls – Wok-tossed Indian cheese with green peppers and tomatoes, rolled with marinated onions and tomato cumin chutney.
Lamb Curry Kati Rolls – Saucy grass-fed lamb and potatoes, rolled with marinated onions and cilantro chutney.
On the side was lots of Raita, a cooling mixture of yogurt, cucumber, and mint.
I was particularly stoked when I received 6 lbs of organic watercress from Sausalito Springs! It looked so fresh I wanted to roll around and frolic in fields of it.
With inspiration and some 11th-hour coaching from our lifeline Scotty, we turned these tender greens into a refreshing chilled purée. We served it topped with a dollop of plain whole-milk yogurt from Straus Family Creamery to give it some extra tang and richness.
With our CSA bounty, we created a Mixed Greens Salad with orange segments, sugar snap peas, cherry tomatoes, and a Strawberry Cabernet Vinaigrette made with fresh strawberries and Cabernet Blackberry Vinegar from Allure Estates.
We also highlighted the fragrant naval oranges and lemons we received in a Citrus Cream Pasta Primavera tossed with caramelized onions, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, green garlic, and chard…all tied together with Straus Family Creamery’s luxurious and fresh heavy cream.
For our first crostini, we soaked Mission Figs in warmed up Eucalyptus-Acacia Honey from Marshall’s Farm and whirred them up in a food processor with toasted California Walnuts. Spread over slices of Acme Sweet Baguette and topped with Gold Blush Apples from Farm Fresh to You, and Lavender Cheddar Cheese from Rogue Creamery.
Our Mushroom 500 Crostini was inspired by Coco500’s truffled mushroom flatbread with sea salt and chili. We made ours with a duxelle of Baby Portobello Mushrooms and a healthy sprinkling of Parmigiano Reggiano.
Now onto what may have been the hit of the evening, the Smoky Bleu Burgers from the burger master himself!
It was tough to decipher Hua’s secret burger recipe – we attempted to jot down the measurements, but it was hard considering we were working with epic amounts of beef…and because we’re constantly taste-testing as we go, adding a shake of this and a pinch of that. What I can tell you is the ultimate winning factor: We stuffed our sliders with Rogue Creamery’s award-winning Smokey Blue Cheese.
I first discovered the divine tastiness of Rogue Creamery’s cheeses at the Fancy Food Show 2009 here in San Francisco. I assure you, my life has been more fulfilled since.
And finally, to end on a sweet note, we rounded out the evening with decadent cupcakes from Citizen Cake. Celeb Chef Elizabeth Falkner sure knows how to create dangerously addictive confections. Each and every one of those flavors just begged to be sampled.
Here’s a tip: If you happen to be in the SOMA/South Beach neighborhood, treat yourself to a cupcake (or two) at the Citizen Cake Kiosk located at Falkner’s other restaurant Orson.
Not to be outdone on cute factor, Wendy Lieu chief chocolatier of Socola Chocolatier came bearing her cheeky Give it to me Guava chocolates. A tropical guava pate de fruit layered with dark chocolate ganache, and marked by winged Harriet (Socola’s signature flying alpaca).
And…that’s a wrap!
Hope you enjoyed the food and drink, had interesting conversations, and didn’t go home strangers 😉
**Special Thanks to the Spooning With Strangers All-Star Team**
Hua, Homer, Sasha, Erin, Johnny, Kai, Sarah & Megan: I am lucky to be surrounded by such talented and passionate people.
Thank You to our Generous Sponsors:
Chef Elizabeth Falkner creates world-renowned contemporary cakes, cupcakes, chocolates and other confections, cookies, pastries and ice creams – walk into Citizen Cake Patisserie and prepare to be delighted.
Wasabé is a 75/25 blend of premium Dutch vodka and Japanese sake – an east meets west spirit blend. The result is an unmistakably unique vodka tasting experience with an aromatic round finish. Smooth in taste, silken in texture, perfect in a cocktail or simply shaken with ice.
Kasa Indian Eatery
The passionate team behind Kasa goes to great lengths to honor simple homestyle Indian food, from fresh, handmade rotis to seasonal and daily specials. Everything is made from scratch, and everything is made as their grandmother’s would have done it.
Rogue Creamery is an artisan cheese company, with people dedicated to sustainability and the art and tradition of making the world’s finest handmade cheese. Their blue cheeses are truly phenomenal and have won numerous awards including the coveted Best New Product in the World Award for Smokey Blue at the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade (NASFT) Food Show.
Farm Fresh to You is the CSA of a family farm founded by Kathleen Barsotti and Martin Barnes, in 1976. Marking the early stages of the organic foods movement – Capay Fruits and Vegetables was created to grow produce the way nature intended it to be. Today, you can enjoy Capay’s nutrient-rich, organic produce delivered straight from the farm to your home.
Eatwell Farm is a 65-acre organic farm in the Sacramento Valley. All the land is certified organic by California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), and hundreds of different crops are grown to allow for a constant harvest for their CSA.
MyFarm is a decentralized urban farm that harvests vegetables in backyard gardens throughout the city. MyFarm believes in producing food where it is consumed, and their vision is to create a secure and regenerative food system by 2015.
This small, family-owned dairy farm began when Bill Straus began farming in 1941 with just 23 cows on the beautiful shores of Tomales Bay and the Point Reyes National Seashore. His wife Ellen, inspired by Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in the early 1960s, spearheaded the family’s strong commitment to environmental sustainability.
Sausalito Springs, a small family farm located in Sonoma, has been growing high quality organic watercress, Nasturtium Officinale, since 1988. Grown in fresh well water, the watercress is harvested tops only, triple washed, hydrocooled, and packed in two gallon zip lock bags where the sprigs of watercress actually continue to grow inside the packaging.
SÃ´cÃ´la Chocolatier is a sister-owned-and-operated gourmet-chocolate company. This promising, Oakland-based enterprise is young, exciting, and full of modern day sass. Delicately Daring, yes, I think so.
Allure Estates is a small family farm located a few miles inland from California’s Central Coast. Their specialty is Tuscan-style, extra-virgin olive oil and premium varietal wine vinegar.
Marshall’s Farm harvest small quantities of exceptional honeys from the diverse flora that grow in the microclimates of the SF Bay Area. Beekeeper Spencer Marshall takes a hand-crafted approach to traditional honey production, searching out select locations that produce exceptional-tasting honeys and isolating harvests from each apiary to preserve the special flavor nuances of each varietal.