March 30, 2015

March 30, 2015
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Smoked salmon with avocado and sprouts on a Food Should Taste Good Everything chip. Photo: David Paul Morris for Food Should Taste Good.

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Deviled egg salad on Food Should Taste Good chips. Photo: David Paul Morris for Food Should Taste Good.

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Dipping that fondue. Photo: David Paul Morris for Food Should Taste Good.

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The table is set for our brunch. Photo: David Paul Morris for Food Should Taste Good.

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The lively dining room. Photo: David Paul Morris for Food Should Taste Good.

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Shakshuka with falafel chips. Photo: David Paul Morris for Food Should Taste Good.

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The perfectly cooked eggs on the shakshuka. Photo: David Paul Morris for Food Should Taste Good.

A few months ago, the PR team representing Food Should Taste Good approached me about writing a fun brunch guide for San Francisco and hosting a customized brunch event highlighting Food Should Taste Good’s products. Who has two thumbs and loves to write and talk about brunch? This lady. And fortunately I was already a fan of Food Should Taste Good’s wide range of GMO-free chips that come in unique flavors (like guacamole tortilla chips, brown rice-peppercorn, and they even have kimchi chips).

When I was trying to come up with a venue for hosting the brunch, the first thing I imagined was the famed Marlowe egg salad on a Food Should Taste Good chip, and then I thought about chef Jenn Puccio’s Welsh rarebit at The Cavalier as another great potential topping. (Yes, it’s fun to brainstorm about events based on what will go well on chips.)

Fortunately chef Puccio thought coming up with a special menu for this brunch sounded like fun, and she hit it out of the park with the flavor pairings. The Cavalier has a beautiful semi-private event room, the Railcar Room, that can hold 40, the perfect number of guests.

We invited a fun group of San Francisco media, bloggers, and influencers for our sunny Saturday brunch. We started with a reception in Marianne’s, the private club room at The Cavalier, with hors d’oeuvres and brunch cocktails, like Pimm’s Cups (The Cavalier makes a great one), Bloody Marys, and mimosas.

We had passed appetizers of smoked salmon with avocado, spices, and sprouts on a Food Should Taste Good Works chip; the Marlowe deviled egg salad with melting provolone and pickled jalapeño on the FSTG peppercorn cracker; and the showstopper was the large chafing dish bubbling with a roasted garlic and cheddar fondue with chives that we got to dunk the FSTG sweet potato kettle chip in. Yeah, it was like a hot tub of cheesy goodness we all wanted to take a prolonged dip in.

It was time for the sit-down portion of the event. The dining room looked great, with the sunlight streaming through the windows and glinting off the brass fixtures and bouquets of springy flowers. I love family-style meals, and the room had a festive feeling (but I also think the Pimm’s Cups were kicking in).

We started with one of my favorite dishes at The Cavalier (which we featured in the brunch guide): the ham and cheese soldiers that you dip into hen egg hollandaise. Mmmmhmmmm. We also had seasonal fruit with acacia honey and mint to balance the decadence.

The favorite dish of the day was chef Puccio’s incredible creation: a Food Should Taste Good falafel chip shakshuka (it was almost like chilaquiles!), with spicy tomato sauce tempered by dollops of yogurt, plus peppers, onions, crispy pancetta on top, and perfectly baked eggs. Everyone was raving over it, and kudos to the kitchen for getting magnificently cooked eggs out all at once for 40 people.

The feast continued with buttermilk pancakes with amaretto and brown butter golden syrup, and the full English platter, loaded with bacon, pork and beef bangers, mushrooms, roasted tomato, and crispy potatoes. Pinkie up, dahling.

We all waddled out of there with Food Should Taste Good gift bags (which had a preview of their new seeded Real Good Bars inside, which will be released in June), and I think we are all hoping chef Puccio keeps that falafel chip shakshuka-chilaquiles dream mash-up dish on the menu. (Pllllleeeeeeeease?)

Thank you to Food Should Taste Good for partnering with tablehopper for this brunch event and the San Francisco brunch guide, I had a blast hosting it! Many thanks to chef Jenn Puccio and the entire Cavalier team for helping me throw such a swell event. And I think we will all be back for brunch at The Cavalier, the food rocked!