What’s Cookin’

Weekly Intro and Updates (Coming in hot...)
September 10, 2019

Happiness is a wagyu katsu sando at Hiroshi in Los Altos. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Howdy, friends! Here we are, almost into mid-September, how did that happen? I’m clutching these last moments of summer tightly. Fig toast and zucchini-and-dill pasta help. Actually, I’m about to get completely fried as I head to Palm Springs for Females to the Front, a women in cannabiz retreat, and temps look like 109 on Saturday, oh my. I think I’m only going to be able to go into the pool at the Ace Hotel at night.

Things will definitely be feeling like fall when I head to New York at the end of this month for a friend’s wedding and whirlwind long weekend. If you have any recos of some recent NYC favorites, I’m all ears. (But they have to be affordable, I’m on such a tight budget, ugh! Fortunately, the liang pi at Xi’an Famous Foods is priced like a dream.) Can’t wait for a slice of Prince Street Pizza, and Joe’s! I’ll be staying in Fort Greene, but obviously I trek everywhere.

The last tablehopper issue was all about my PDO feta trip to Greece, did you catch it? Today’s issue is full of catch-up news from the past month—I’m just hoping I haven’t made any mistakes, this was a bit of beast.

The most important piece in today’s hopper is the upcoming tablehopper spirited supper at Besharam on Tuesday September 24th with Mount Gay Rum! I’m so excited about this dinner—chef Heena Patel’s Gujarati cuisine is so vibrant, and the culinary-driven cocktails are going to rock your world, plus there will be some special pours and education from Rémy Cointreau’s Trent Simpson. I know it’s a school night, but you can do it. The price on this dinner is a screaming deal—don’t miss it. I look forward to seeing you, it has been too long!

I’m also in a mood to celebrate: this month commemorates my twenty-fifth year of living in San Francisco! Silver! I can’t believe it. What a rich adventure. I raise my glass to SF (again and again)!

This city is also so tough right now—if you haven’t read Jay Foster’s piece on closing his restaurants, you should.

But to end this intro on a happy note, I want to raise a glass of the finest vintage Champagne to the marvelous Cecilia Chiang, who just celebrated her 100th birthday this past weekend. Our grande dame!

Cheers, gang!
Marcia Gagliardi

August 28, 2019

The kind of dish you travel for: tiropita (savory cheese pie) made with feta and anthotiro, at Forno Vasilios (a traditional family bakery in the village of Markopoulo). Photo: © tablehopper.com.

If you’re reading this right now, then it means you haven’t gone to Burning Man. Me neither (meow). I’m currently up in Lake Tahoe, enjoying my second week of working part-time—basically, I make sure I have a few hours every afternoon to ride my bike to the beach, enjoy my book, take a nap, and pedal home to cook a summery dinner. That didn’t quite happen yesterday with my deadline—which I totally blew, damn, it’s late! But the afternoon thunderstorm that rolled in made sure I didn’t feel bad about staying home. Besides, it was Taco Tuesday at the cabin and I was here for it.

I wanted to give you a save the date! Open up your calendar and mark Tuesday September 24th as such: “tablehopper spirited supper at Besharam with Mount Gay Rum.” After dining at Besharam a few weeks ago, I was so taken with chef-owner Heena Patel’s latest menu of Gujarati dishes and culinary cocktails that I decided we need to all go eat there together! It’s so very delicious and soulful. We’re working out the details now—stand by for tickets, the family-style menu, and more! I’ll be announcing on social (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) as soon as tickets are live, and in the next issue of tablehopper! Looking forward to getting together, it has been a minute!

As many of you know, earlier this year, I had the press trip of a lifetime to Greece to go learn about PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) feta! We visited numerous dairies (which normally don’t host many visitors) all over Greece, daily feta tastings, had an all-feta cooking class, and ate feta at every meal, including breakfast, and in-between meals. All feta, all the time. We learned so much!

Today’s issue is all about the feta trip, with information and education about how PDO feta is made, a look at the different dairies we visited, how I like to use feta, and where you can find PDO feta in San Francisco. I hope it inspires you to take a closer look at this ancient product that dates back to Homeric times…and it’s not too late for a feta and watermelon salad! Summer is thankfully still with us.

I’ll be back with the news in the next issue on September 10th. Thanks for reading, and have a fabulous Labor Day weekend! Oh, and thanks to all of you who clicked through to my first mymilligram video, I appreciate all the likes and subscribing!

Marcia Gagliardi

August 13, 2019

The night lighting of Golden Gate Park at Outside Lands never disappoints. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Oh, hello there. Excuse me while I toss back another shot of espresso, someone is definitely draggin’ after this past week. I had a wonderful night with my father seeing The Temptations and Four Tops at Wente for their summer concert series—the weather, setting, company, music, food, and wine were all divine! There are still shows into September, take a look!

On Thursday, after moderating a panel at the Wine & Weed Symposium, I attended a dreamy Terpenes and Terroir dinner hosted by TSO Sonoma at Gary Farrell Winery in Healdsburg, with The Herb Somm, Altered Plates, and Crop to Kitchen Community. Yes, we joyfully continued to explore the theme of wine and weed, thanks to some amazing brand partners. (I’ll be posting pics over at @mymilligram!)

If you’re curious about attending a cannabis dinner, be sure to check out my latest article for Nob Hill Gazette on some underground dinners in SF. And subscribe to mymilligram while you’re at it (it’s my latest venture, which is all about exploring cannabis and wellness through low-dose and high-quality cannabis products).

And since we’re talking weed, I’m so excited to share my first video for mymilligram on my brand-new YouTube channel! I’d really love for you to take a look (even if you don’t think cannabis is for you!) and like my video. If you’re into it, you can do me a huge favor and subscribe to my YouTube channel (click that red subscribe button!)—that would really help me out! More videos are coming!

And if there’s someone you know who’s canna-curious, like your Mom, or a friend at work, I’d so appreciate it if you could forward my video as an introduction! Thanks for sharing it in any way. Meet Mrs. Doper, LOL.

Weed was definitely the hot topic at this year’s Outside Lands, which made a groundbreaking move and got permission for cannabis consumption and purchasing in the designated Grass Lands area. Historic! And it was the nicest, most relaxed, and chillest area in all of the festival, with no incidents. Nicely done! I was so happy to be there and witness this important moment in the legalization and normalization of cannabis use.

OSL was lit! I saw some fantastic acts, ate tasty dumplings from Dumpling Time (so nice, I had to do it twice), had daily bubbles (duh), and was very grateful for the Guittard backstage hospitality over the weekend (and the amazing weather, wowza!). You can see pics and videos of my favorite OSL moments over on Instagram and Facebook. It’s the HIGHlight reel!

Stand by for a bunch of pics from recent meals around the Bay on @tablehopper—I’m finally catching up with my damn self. Sorta. Ha-ha. Anyway. Did you see my pics of my omakase experience at Kuma? Just checking! Because that place is a gem.

This weather is purr-fect to celebrate Ferragosto on Thursday—it’s time for a picnic! And it’s also time for me to head up to Tahoe for my annual break—can’t wait to be up there, starting next week. Ahhhhh.

Wishing you a lovely evening. It’s Taco Tuesday over at Tato in Bayview, in case you’re looking for a sweet meal deal.
Marcia Gagliardi