Events

Lunar New Year Celebration at BK’s Bistro

2014_lunar_new_year_01

Soup bowls at the ready.

I’m slowly digging my way into the foodie world here on the east side of the San Francisco Bay, and as always, Meet Up has proven a good resource for meeting like-minded lovers of food and wine. In particular, I’m enjoying the Tri-Valley Foodies group run by Miggi Demeyer, a local chef and sommelier with a beautiful Chinese cookbook available on Amazon. Miggi is a force to be reckoned with, a charming event host who’ll sweep you right into her circle of friends without hesitation. Such was the case at her annual Lunar New Year Celebration last month at BK’s Bistro, a dim sum restaurant in Fremont.

Miggi making announcements at her annual fête.

Miggi making announcements at her annual fête.

For $35, we enjoyed at least twelve courses (it was hard to keep track!) and the entertainment of watching Miggi declare us all to be celebrities in our respective fields as she made introductions. She then held applause contests for the Most Festive and the Best Dressed of the night.

Miggi awarding the Most Festive award to a friend.

Miggi awarding the Most Festive award to a friend.

Then the feast commenced! First up was a selection of appetizers, a cold-cut plate if you will.

2014_lunar_new_year_02

I was quite happy to enjoy both jellyfish and octopus for the first time. I say first because it was the first time I enjoyed them, not that I had them. Both are often ridiculously chewy, but BK’s did a nice job with them. Though I valiantly ate a whole slice of head cheese, I still am not a fan of that meat concoction. But I was a huge fan of the bamboo and mushroom soup with shredded chicken and scallop that came next.

Read more →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

A Foodie Day Trip on Treasure Island

2013_Treasure_Island_21

On the last full weekend of every month, the Treasure Island flea market takes place. It is a great excuse to check out Treasure Island for foodies, because the flea market brings a lot of food trucks with it to what is otherwise a barren land for munchies.

2013_Treasure_Island_06

But it’s never a barren land for winos, with several tasting rooms located within a mile walk of each other.

Outside the Fat Grape winery.

Outside the Fat Grape winery.

So combine the flea market experience with some afternoon wine tasting, and you have the makings of a perfect day slightly out of the city. And if you haven’t been to Treasure Island, then you must stop off at this midway point on the Bay Bridge stretch for the views alone.

Click twice for the largest pic!

Click twice for the largest pic!

2013_Treasure_Island_24

It provides the best skyline of San Francisco I’ve seen in the five months since we relocated here. For an area awash in beauty, that’s saying something. Maybe it’s just saying that I haven’t explored enough of the Bay yet, but it’s something, regardless.

You can take the bus from the city to Treasure Island, or just hope off the bridge at the Yerba Buena Island exit. Take a right off the freeway, and follow the road around until you’re on Treasure Island and you see signs for the flea market and parking. Really, though, you can park wherever. Follow the Bliss Dance sculpture to the market — you can’t miss that 40-foot-tall beauty.

2013_Treasure_Island_01

If you’re into the market by 12, there are usually changing drink specials available at the bar. No picture, but I can assure you my cantaloupe mimosa was delicious. We settled on lunch next, choosing the Hiyaaa! food truck for a bulkogi fix.

Read more →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather

Fire in the Triangle: Battle Market vs. New Southern Kitchen

71720_454245974632366_2108506717_a

I was thrilled to again judge a Fire in the Triangle battle, having judged my first last year when NC Competition Dining premiered in the Research Triangle. If you love food and live in the area, then you simply must make next year’s series—it’s too late for this year’s. All the battles have been sold out for weeks!

WRAL is the local media sponsor for the competition, and they already have a great summary up of Monday’s night’s competition between Market and New Southern Kitchen, but I just have to add my own spin.

 

The competitors await the results.

The competitors await the results.

First, though, I should make clear that my meal was complimentary as one of the evening’s professional judges. Second, I was plied with wine by a fabulous group of dining companions the entire evening. That may affect my opinions. But mostly it affects my dehydration today. Thank you again, ladies, wherever you are!

Diners and judges enter their scores in six categories for each dish, including aroma, execution, flavor, presentation, accompaniments, and the creativity used with the secret ingredient. Diners’ ratings making up 70% of the total score and judges get 30%. We were blessed with two—two!—secret ingredients for this meal, heirloom tomatoes and TOPO spirits. You may recall that I visited TOPO’s distillery last month, so I was excited that their unique, organic, local gin and vodka would be highlighted in these dishes. Making them stand out in a dish was the most difficult part of the challenge, in my opinion.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Onto the dishes! The first course, by Chef Sokum Slama of New Southern Kitchen, was napoleon heirloom tomatoes with couscous, lobster, and a TOPO vodka and basil beurre blanc.

2013_Fire_Triangle_02

This was a strong start for Chef Slama, using beautiful colors and pulling out all the stops by starting us with lobster. The tomato had wonderful flavor, but the vodka was impossible to pick out. It was Course #2 from Chef Chad McIntyre of Market that probably did the best job of highlighting the vodka.

2013_Fire_Triangle_03

It didn’t quite get my highest score of the evening, but this green tomato and crab salad with poached tilefish and a citrus “Mary” sauce was my favorite for flavor. That citrus sauce captured the spirit of a Bloody Mary effectively, garnering it high creativity scores. The peppers and greens (kale, I believe), were delicious with the sauce, and the fish was perfectly done. Pistachios for crunch are always a plus!

Read more →

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather