Finishing off our visit to LitQuake's Eat, Drink and Be Literary fest this past Saturday, we just wrapped up the second panel on cookbook collaborations. A melding of chefs with the folks who managed to wrangle a tangible cookbook out of them. It was an interesting insight into the minds of Dominique Crenn, Thomas McNaughton and Anthony Myint and how they go about their own creative cooking process which doesn't necessarily involve written recipes. The writers then have to take the chefs creations and turn them into actual recipes folks can attempt to replicate at home. Lots of funny stories ensue about the collaborative process and something about a hot tub full of pasta. Chefs are so crazy! Once the panel is over me and the SO get back on the sample train.
Jumping on the bandwagon craze of a gluten-free existence is a new locally produced glossy magazine called GFF Magazine. It stands for gluten-free forever and covers all things not gluteny. From lots of recipes to reviews of gluten-free product to places to gluten-free eat, it's all in here to satiate your gluten-free needs.
Where there's chocolate, there goes the SO sampling out some Jade Chocolates. Located out Geary Avenue and 10th way, they specialize in creating handcrafted, artisan chocolates with an Asian fusion Pacific Islands twist. From bars to truffles, they've got you covered.
While they were just sampling out some of the bars they make, you had to buy a truffle to try it. At $2 a pop they seemed a little on the small side for the price but we ponied up for 3 different versions: pumpkin caramel, lucky peach and Thai sriracha. They definitely had flavor that tasted exactly like what they said their were. All bold and straight forward. The caramel was more liquid than chewy and the truffles were more creamy than a traditional fudge like one. Interesting shapes and flavors for sure.
Next up was an interesting fellow named Eli Brown who created an ethnic cookbook from a culture that never actually existed. Get it? Tre-Mang was a small island near the Canary Islands that was wiped out by a volcano, but not really, because it isn't a real place. The entire cookbook is a fictional history of an island, it's people and recipes of their food. Brilliant! I say. Recipes are creations in and of themselves so why not build a fake culture around them. He was serving up pomegranate curd and goat cheese on toast and open faced egg salad bites with pear and black tea candy. Not sure I'll say I was a fan of either of these, but still, a very inventive idea worth checking out.
Like I'm gonna pass up anything that says barbecue! S&S Brand is a local chef owned and operated company specializing in handcrafted regional barbecue sauces and rubs. What caught my eye was their supposed Carolina sauce. I inquired if they meant North or South (yes, there is a difference) and they said it was based on an Eastern North Carolina version that is heavy on the vinegar and tomato. Usually I'm used to or prefer the basic just vinegar and spice version without the need for tomato, but this was decent with a real tang. They also feature ones from Hawaii, St. Louis and Tennessee. All of those are heavy on the thick tomato sauce kind most people know and while these were tasty and close to spot on, for me they all veer too close to the sweet, but everyones got their own personal faves as far as sauce goes. So if those varieties are your thing, they've got you covered.
That concluded our sampling for the day as the next panel was just beginning on foraging in the Bay Area. After a few minutes I realized me and the SO had been on a few of these expeditions with several of the folks who were on the panel. You can check out their stuff here, here, here and here. Since I didn't feel like sitting through something I already knew about we hit the road with our mostly full bellies and....wait, we are sort of near SOMA StrEat Food Park, well, I can't pass up a chance to see if anything new is going on there. Next stop--food truck town!