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Wild Cherry

Wild Cherry

I am nothing if not stubborn.  Last year, on one of the hottest days of the year, I held my mother and father prisoners at my dining table to pit two 15 pound cases of cherries, and made jam.  I had the jars, I had the cherries, and when the weather forecast for a hot […]

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Peas Please

Peas Please

Despite my years of high end professional cooking, I still love the simplest activities the best—shaping dough, cutting fruit, making soup, and cleaning vegetables.  I love the meditative quality of these tasks, and the feeling of handling the raw, fresh, and therefore most pure elements of dishes, and then seeing them celebrated in finished form.  […]

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Fava Fever

Fava Fever

Few things in the world make me say, “Oh crap!” and “Yay!” at the same time.  The first arrival of fava beans in the kitchen always generated a polarized ambivalence in the cooks.  On one hand, they are delicious—especially during those first few weeks of the season when you can eat the small beans whole, […]

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The Real Bay

The Real Bay

Last weekend, I brought a few branches of bay leaves from the Oakland hills to the kitchen where I work.  The beautiful aroma quickly filled the small room with its heady, eucalyptus-like essence which only ten minutes ago was ripe with the odor of sausage casings.  It is very common, especially on the west coast, […]

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Rouge et Noir

Rouge et Noir

I have something to confess.  I’m only minimally ashamed about my bizarre snacking habit—Liz Lemon of the popular NBC program calls it “working on her night cheese.”  After a grueling day of work, particularly in colder seasons, there’s nothing like coming home, making toasts on the cast iron and having a delicious 1:00 a.m. dinner […]

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Asparagus Surprise

Asparagus Surprise

So many of my fondest memories of the last few years are attached to types of produce—I guess one could say that the changing varietals and seasonality of produce has been the rhythm of my life.  When I think of asparagus, I remember how I used to hoard the profusion of rubber bands that came […]

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