Monday, September 21, 2015

Dinner at Chef Joanne Weir's Home

Left: Kitchen Gypsy, Chef Joanne Weir's newest cookbook; Right: Joanne making her delicious Oaxacan Chocolate Milk Shakes (p. 268)

Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs with Goat Cheese & Thyme (p. 220)

Citrus Salad with Mint and Red Onions (p. 184)

Left: Tabbouleh (p. 63); right: Roasted Carrot Hummus with Vegetable Chips (p. 205)

Almond, Anchovy, and Fennel Toasts (p. 228)

Little Gem and Pickled Cucumber Salad with Green Goddess Dressing (p. 145)

Citrus Salad with Mint and Red Onions (p. 184)

Mom's Tomato Sandwich (p. 12)

Arroz con Pollo (p. 60)

Lemony Lemon Squares (p. 44)

Lettie's Lightning Cake with Wild Strawberry Jam (p. 22)

A couple weeks ago, I was invited to attend a special dinner at Chef Joanne Weir's home in San Francisco to celebrate the release of her latest cookbook, Kitchen Gypsy. Along with about a dozen other bloggers from the Bay Area, I spent the evening learning more about Joanne and her beautiful new book, watching her prepare dishes before our eyes, and eating incredible food. 

Joanne is a fourth-generation professional chef, who has written 17 cookbooks previously, is the owner of Copita Tequileria y Comida in Sausalito, and is the host of "Get Fresh." Published by Sunset Magazine and Oxmoor HouseKitchen Gypsy is Joanne's most personal book to date and contains stories from her life alongside 100 new recipes. The anecdotes cover her time spent in Morocco, Australia, and Italy, working at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, opening Copita, and more. My favorite part are the 250 images of her recipes, which I will definitely take as inspiration for my own food photography. She succinctly described Kitchen Gypsy as a "pure passion project," which was seen in how she talked about the book and how the recipes came to be.

The other bloggers in attendance and myself were asked to bring a dish from Kitchen Gypsy to the dinner. Since I'm not much of a cook, I opted to make a simpler dish: Mom's Tomato Sandwich, made with tomatoes, white bread, mayo, and salt. Some of the other dishes included Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Figs with Goat Cheese & Thyme, Citrus Salad with Mint and Red Onions, Tabbouleh, Roasted Carrot Hummus with Vegetable Chips, Little Gem and Pickled Cucumber Salad with Green Goddess Dressing, and Carrot Soup with Anise. For dessert, we had Lemony Lemon Squares, Lettie's Lightning Cake with Wild Strawberry Jam, and CafĂ© Almond Cake. Every dish was delicious in its own right and were often not as complicated to prepare as anticipated. Many of us joked how we are not great cooks and the prospect of preparing the dishes was intimidating at first. Fortunately, everything came together perfectly and it was nice to see each interpretation of Joanne's recipes.

Joanne and her assistant chef prepared the Arroz con Pollo before we arrived. She gave us a tutorial on how to make the Almond, Anchovy, and Fennel Toasts as an appetizer and the Oaxacan Chocolate Milk Shakes for dessert. The chicken in the Arroz con Pollo was very tender and the dish had dynamic flavors that complemented each other well. The toasts had a bit of a kick from the anchovy. The Oaxacan Chocolate Milk Shakes were my favorite: the ice cream had a spicy, rich taste that blended well with the tequila added to the milk shake.

Joanne also chatted with each of us, which was quite a treat. We talked about different types of social media and how there's always a new platform we have to learn to master. She is a very lovely person and the perfect host for such an occasion. I also enjoyed comparing notes with the other bloggers and the members of Joanne's PR and cooking team. I couldn't ask for better company or a more delightful evening.

Thanks again to Joanne, Elka, and the folks at Dadascope for inviting me to this truly wonderful event. It has inspired me to try some of the recipes in my signed copy of Kitchen Gypsy, such as the Citrus Salad or maybe even the Carrot Soup. You can order your copy of Kitchen Gypsy here.

Check out more posts from San Francisco.

Follow: Subscribe Bloglovin' | Facebook | InstagramPinterest | Tumblr | Twitter

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...