Posts Tagged ‘Food’

Experience Modernist Cuisine at The Tech

Mushroom Swiss Burger Exploded diagraom

If you love food photography and the science of cooking, you’re going to love this event on Friday 8/22 from 6:30 to 9:30 PM at The Tech. You’ll be able to explore the Photography of Modernist Cuisine exhibit and:

  • Get a  behind-the-scenes look at the exhibition from Scott Heimendinger from the Modernist Cuisine team. 
  • Learn modernist techniques from experts with hands-on components throughout the night inspired by Modernist Cuisine
  • Have some of Nathan Myhrvold’s favorite local food. (The former Microsoft Chief Technology Officer is also the tech leader and visionary behind the wildly successful Modernist Cuisine company).
  • Have a cocktail or head to the rooftop terrace of the museum for wine tasting with a spectacular view of the downtown San Jose skyline. 

Here’s a  quick tour of the exhibit. See you there!

Event information:

August 22, 2014 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. $25 non-members/$20 members in advance $30 non-members/$25 members at the door $10 for wine tasting on the roof Get your tickets here.

The Photography of Modernist Cuisine with Nathan Myhrvold


It’s not a surprise that techies and geeks love our food, and the science behind food, the how and why and what if of cooking.

It is a bit of a surprise to find someone who has a gift for cooking and photography with a master’s degree in economics, as well as master’s degrees in geophysics and space physics and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from UCLA. Oh, and not only did he do post-doctoral work with Stephen Hawking at Cambridge University researching cosmology, quantum field theory in curved space-time, and quantum theories of gravitation, he served as the chief technology officer for Bill Gates at Microsoft. (This guy’s the geek of geeks).

Meet Nathan Myhrvold

Nathan retired from Microsoft in 1999 to found Intellectual Ventures and pursue several lifelong interests in photography, cooking, and food science. Later he founded The Cooking Lab and published a mammoth 5 volume 2,438 page set of photos and recipes and thoughts on the science of cooking called “Modernist Cuisine” that will knock your socks off. In it you’ll find stunning photography and scientific explanations of the cooking process, techniques and methods to achieve Modernist Cuisine.

But that’s not exactly what this post is about. This is about the show up right now at The Tech Museum of Innovation called The Photography of Modernist Cuisine. This morning I was lucky enough to join Tim Ritchie, president of The Tech Museum of Innovation and Vice Mayor Madison Nguyen (an avid foodie herself) and Nathan Myhrvold who spoke about his work and that passion for understanding food in ways we don’t normally see it.

The exhibit is over 75 large scale images that show us microscopic views of crystals of citric acid and what he calls “exploded parts diagrams” of a mushroom and swiss hamburger that took over 30 hours to prepare and takes after a drawing style popular in technical manuals and also favored by Leonardo Da Vinci.

As you go through the exhibit take time to read the descriptions which share the science but also the methods he use to achieve the shots. What appears to be a simple image on a steak is actually a composed panorama of 1,000 images stitched together to make every single millimeter sharp and clear. Another dish which seems to leap off the wall is uses a technique called “Focus stacking” where software is used to create highly dimensional photos with virtually no depth of field so every element is sharply defined and crisp.

All of the photos in this exhibit give you a new way to look at food. Whether familiar objects like a planted garden or cutaways of common household appliances, constructed images or micro views you’d never see on your own. It’s food porn at it’s finest.

This exhibit is open at The Tech from June 25 to Sept 1 and there are two special “After Hours” events planned. After Hours is the monthly evening event where adults 21 and older enjoy science, technology, entertainment, and cocktails together with their friends, and this summer there will be some special menus and themes designed to coincide with the new exhibit.

Get your tickets here:
July After Hours – Independence Day – Spirit of America
Thursday, July 3, 2014
7 p.m. – midnight

$10 / $5 for members
Buy tickets
August After Hours – Hawaiian Night Luau
Thursday, August 7, 2014
7 p.m. – midnight

$10 / $5 for members
Buy tickets

By the way, look for Modernist Cuisine recipes and videos on the website, you can get an interactive eBook in the Modernist Cuisine at Home App from the iTunes store for free in the Lite Version or buy the full version and learn about the techniques and methods of Modernist Cuisine demonstrated. Learn how to cook salmon sous vide in your kitchen sink!

Foodie Alert- San Jose DishCrawl


If you don’t know about Dishcrawl yet listen up. The idea is simple, find great food and create a convivial atmosphere for foodies to explore local cuisine, meet the chefs and mingle with other foodies. If you’re looking for local food culture, to meet other people interested in food, or to find the best local restaurants, DishCrawl is for you!
DishCrawl San Jose is kicking off the summer tonight (Tuesday June 17) in partnership with the San Jose Downtown Association to offer the “Best of San Jose” Dishcrawl series which will take  you on a culinary journey to three of downtown San Jose’s top spots for food and nightlife. If you can’t make it to tonight’s kick-off, don’t worry, they’ll be crawling at the same 3 delicious spots every Tuesday until the end of August.

In typical Dishcrawl style, not all of the restaurants are announced in advance. We know we’ll be going to Fahrenheit Restaurant and Lounge where guests will be treated to an amazing trio of skirt steak, brussels sprout salad and their famous deviled egg. Fahrenheit combines a farm to table cuisine and some of the freshest produce, meats, seafood from the local organic farms with an amazing lounge setting.

The second stop will be Mezcal. Awarded as 2009’s Downtown’s Best New Restaurant, Chef Octavio Gomez ensures patrons will be ecstatic when they try their mini sea bass ceviche tostada, handmade corn quesadilla, or famous mole negro, a well-kept family recipe. This Oaxacan cuisine will make your taste buds scream for more.

The third and final stop will feature Loft Bar & Bistro where guests will try their, tender boneless teriyaki beef short rib, panko crusted chicken breast and white chocolate crème brulee. Loft combines their great American cuisine menu with their amazing rooftop patio and casual atmosphere.In addition to this inaugural event on Tuesday June 17th which will kick-off the San Jose Downtown Association’s, Dine Downtown Restaurant Week, DishCrawls will be hosting “crawls” on the dates listed below.

   Tuesday, June 24th

Tuesday, July 29th

Tuesday, July 1st

   Tuesday, August 5th

 Tuesday, July 8th

     Tuesday, August 12th

   Tuesday, July 15th

     Tuesday, August 19th

    Tuesday, July 22nd

     Tuesday, August 26th

Reservations are limited, but still being accepted dishcrawl.com/bestofsj

For more information about upcoming Dishcrawls visitdishcrawl.com/sanjose, check us out at facebook.com/dishcrawlSanJose or follow @Dishcrawlsj.

San Jose! Wanna go on a Dishcrawl?

Dishcrawl

If you’ve never been on a Dishcrawl yet, let me explain. Think of it as a Flash mob for foodies. You know you’re going to be visiting a particular area near you and you’re going to eat some great food  within walking distance of your starting point, but you don’t know who you’ll be with, what the restaurants will be, or what kind of food it will be until the morning of the event. Ahh the suspense! All that and an affordable price to boot.

I love this concept. Traveling around San Jose’s SOFA district with a bunch of people who all love food and adventure, eating at restaurants that we might not have uncovered by ourselves and food carts roll up and offer up gourmet tacos or ice cream and Karaoke? I’m hooked.

Tracy Lee ( @ladyleet on Twitter) is a natural community builder and this girl SERIOUSLY loves food. She and her team have taken a fun idea of roving dining to cities ranging from our own fair city to Ottawa, New York, Portland, Campbell, Willow Glen, and Palo Alto to name a few. Each city tour has it’s own flavor and style and the trend has taken off like wildfire. The team makes extra effort to make sure everyone is having fun and quite often you’ll hear from the owner or chef about what really sets their food apart.

Now, in addition to the traditional crawls, Dishcrawl is offering an even more personal way to explore dining and meet new people. Eat Your City events are small group dinners at local restaurants for 8-10 people at a time. At each restaurant you’ll get the focused attention of the owner and so far most of these restaurants have participated in a larger dishcrawl event so the players are familiar, almost family friends by now.

All in all the idea behind Dishcrawl is rock solid. Connect people who love food and have a sense of adventure with great food and company and a1qqllow restaurateurs to connect one-on-one with their market. We’ve been to a few of these now and we look forward to many more.

Want to see what the fuss is all about? Visit the Dishcrawl web site for information and don’t forget to check out the list of restaurants hosting the family size dinners too. Bon Apetit!

Asian Street food in Oakland – Hawker Fare

I know that Oakland is quite away from San Jose, but over the weekend I had one of the best Southeast Asian restaurants I’ve had in quite sometime.  The restaurant, Hawker Fare is located in the Uptown neighborhood of Oakland and I’m glad that I finally got to check it out because I am hooked.  While the restaurant calls their cuisine Southeast style, with Hawker Fare being James Syhabout’s restaurant and with him being Thai,  you can see the heavy emphasis on Thai cuisine.

I’m Thai-American meaning my parents are both Thai, but I was born here in the United States.  My parents would send me back to Thailand during the summers to attend Thai school and live with my grandma there 3 months at a time every year.  So, while I’m not normally picky eater, but when it comes to food in general, I do know when I really like a Thai place and when I don’t and I definitely love Hawker Fare and can see myself making the trek up to Oakland from San Jose often just to eat here.  Yes, it is that good.

The restaurant itself is very casual and fun as far as decor.  There’s a disco ball on the ceiling and the wall is done up with a graffiti mural and old movie posters.

The Decor of the Restaurant

Hawker Fare - Disco ball and graffiti

When we got there around 8pm, it was quite crowded but they were able to seat us right away.  My friend and I decided to start with the Som Tum.

Papaya Salad

Som Tum At Hawker Fare

The Som Tum (Papaya Salad) was absolutely delicious.  It made me think about the Wat Thai (Thai Temple) in North Hollywood. There used to be this lady, Auntie Noi who made the best Som Tum and she would remember you if you went there a lot and season your Som Tum in front of you and have you taste it until she got it just to your liking.  She would have little buckets of lime juice, palm sugar, fish sauce, and chilli from which she would add a scoop here and add a scoop there to her mortar.  She’d stop each time, tell you to try it and then ask you if it was too sweet or salty and then add more to her mortar according to what you liked.   Once she remembered you, she would always get the seasoning just right on the first try.  Unfortunately, the city ended up shutting down North Hollywood’s Wat Thai’s food court a few years ago and since then, I’ve been dying to have some of Auntie Noi’s Som Tum.  I miss her, too.  She was such a charismatic lady and was always fun to talk to.

I’m sure Hawker Fare doesn’t have Auntie Noi hidden in their kitchen, but somehow they made the perfect Som Tum, just how i like it.   Thank you, Hawker Fare for bringing back childhood memories just with a bite of  your Som Tum.  I washed it down with some Singha beer.  Thank goodness I ordered beer because it was a bit spicy.  FYI, don’t ever drink more water when you eat something spicy, it’ll only make it worse.  You should try to kill it with rice or beer.

For our entrees, we decided to try their rice bowls.  Initially, when driving up, I had wanted to try the Khao Mun Gai.  That is my most favorite Thai dish, but after seeing their menu and the other items, I decided to wait and save that for another time.

My friend got the 24 hr Pork Belly, which I highly recommend. It was absolutely delicious and just melted in your mouth.  It wasn’t all dried out either.

24 Hour Pork Belly

Hawker Fare's 24 Hour Pork Belly

I ended up getting the “Issan” (Northeastern Thailand) style sausage bowl.  It was very good.  I also highly recommend this dish as well.   You can only imagine how happy I was at this point.  Everything we were eating was perfectly done and in such a simple way.  It was fun, casual and really cozy and easy going in the restaurant and the food was equally comforting.

Issan sausage at Hawker Fare

Issan (NorthEastern Region) sausage

They had a few items for dessert. We ended up getting the Hawker ice cream sundae. It was salted palm sugar caramel with candied red beans and puffed rice, lime whip topping.  It was  yummy.

Overall, I absolutely loved this place.  This is probably going to be my favorite restaurant for awhile.  It’s casual, cheap and the food is absolutely amazing.  It’s got an urban feel to it, but I still would take my mom to eat there and I’m sure as an older Thai mommy who doesn’t get the whole urban thing, she’d love it because of the food.

Hawker Fare
2300 Webster St.
Oakland, Ca 94612
(510) 832-8896

Moo-Chu’s in the Parking Lot

One of the more unlikely diner locations is in the middle of the Nvidia parking lot in Santa Clara. That is where you will find

Moo-Chu’s American / Asian Restaurant
2772 San Tomas Expressway, Santa Clara, CA, 95050
(408) 919-2879

The food is good and the coffee is Peet’s! Moo-Chu’s started out for Nvidia staff but has doubled their business since opening to the public. At lunchtime, you can see employees from a variety of nearby high-tech companies cutting through the parking lots near San Tomas Expressway (Between Central and Walsh), headed for Moo-Chu’s.  Look for the big sign of the cow wearing an Asian hat.

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Images by Katy Dickinson, Copyright 2010

Zanotto’s First Annual Wine and Food Festival


Willow Glen has been without a grocery store since the Safeway on Curtner shut down, and before that the Albertson’s on Bird, and we’re STILL waiting for that Fresh and Easy.  So the neighborhood waited with baited breath when we heard Zanotto’s was moving into a store at Foxworthy and Cherry.

As Joann reported here, now that the store is open you’ll find the quality level one expects from a family market like Zanotto’s as well as the friendly and knowledgeable staff just on the outskirts of Willow Glen.

To celebrate Zanotto’s Willow Glen is having a special Grand Opening celebration with their first annual “Wine and Food Festival” on Aug. 28.

Local wineries will be on hand to offer great wines and There will be food paired with it from the store’s deli, the BBQ and vendors on hand to sample their products too.

There will be entertainment for the kids with a strolling magician, a face painter and a balloon artist along with a band. Prizes, including a mountain bicycle and a portable basketball backboard will be given away throughout the day. Surprise prizes and gift baskets will also be given throughout the day.

Doors will open at 8:00 AM with an official ribbon cutting at 11:00 AM., and city Council members Pierluigi Oliverio and Judy Chirco and Pat Dando, President of the San Jose Chamber of Commerce will be on hand to officially open the store located at 1421 Foxworthy Ave. San Jose, CA.

Food Carts in Downtown San Jose?

Gyro-y Goodness | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Food carts are all the rage of late, and everybody goes on and on about the variety and quality of the food carts in San Francisco, but hey! there are some amazing carts right here in the south bay.

There’s BBQ Kalbi serving up great Korean food in Sunnyvale and Mt. View, Curry up Now in Burlingame, the Chowdermobile which is sometimes seen hanging out around Tesla Motors in Palo Alto, Bulgogi BBQ in San Carlos, Roli Roti has a number of south bay venues including the San Mateo and Los Altos farmer’s markets.
If you want to try them though, you’ve got to know where they are, and short of tracking them down on Twitter that could be a lot of work for your lunch.  I just got a tip from San Jose Realtor CJ Brasiel about a way to sample the wares of several carts at once in downtown San Jose. According to her post the new swanky downtown hi-rise The 88 is hosting a bevy of carts with tasty treats every Thursday for the month of August from noon to 2 PM. You can bet you’ll be seeing me there. I heard the pulled pork from Mogo Barbeque was outstanding and a great value to boot! Here’s a link to her post for more info on the “Carts of August” at The 88.

Pancakes for Charity, at “Hot San Jose Nights”

The Willow Glen Lions Club will be serving up pancakes at this coming weekend’s Hot San Jose Nights event – held in “Rodder’s Park” at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds. All proceeds from pancake breakfast sales go to scholarships for children at Diabetes Society camp this summer. The Willow Glen Lions will also be collecting eyeglasses to be recycled – given to needy people at no charge.

Pancakes will be served July 10 & 11, 2010 Saturday & Sunday, 8-11 AM
Hot San Jose Nights just isn’t another car show, it is an event for the whole family

Entry: $10.00 or Lions Special Breakfast and Entry: $18.00
Contact Robert Cortez for group pre-purchase discount, Email: lionsbreakfast@gmail.com
Santa Clara County Fairgrounds 344 Tully Rd., San Jose, CA 95111

The Lions practiced cooking eggs, bacon, sausage, and pancakes at last night’s meeting – it was good!

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Hot San Jose Nights Event Highlights:

The Hot Rods Band, Joe Sharino Band, Elvis impersonator Rick Torres, Go Karts, Car Club Areas, Schoeppner Shows Carnival!, Nigel & Clive and the British Invasion, Bizzarro’s Collector Car Auction, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford Charity, CASINO, VendoRama indoors and outdoors!, Cruise to the Drive-In with actress Candy Clark from our featured movie AMERICAN GRAFFITI!, Swap Meet at the Fairgrounds

Images Copyright 2010 by Katy Dickinson and John Plocher

Favorite Falafel

Long ago when I was in college, I had a summer job selling falafel. This does not make me an expert but gives me enough experience to have an opinion on this delicious Middle Eastern fast food. I either eat falafel just as I used to serve it – in a pita pocket with salad and tahini sauce – or as part of a sampler platter with Hummus, Baba Ghanoush and other lovely stuff. Some of my favorite places to eat falafel in the Silicon Valley:

Ziba Persian Cuisine (4628 Meridian Ave., San Jose)

Golden Falafel (883 Hamilton Ave., Menlo Park)

Dishdash Restaurant (190 South Murphy St., Sunnyvale)

Chelokababi Persian Cuisine (1236 Wolfe Rd., Sunnyvale)

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Images Copyright 2010 Katy Dickinson

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