Thursday, July 2, 2015

Rain from Redwoods


Awesome to see the Big Sur morning fog dripping off the coastal redwoods today! These giant trees have the unique ability to pull water out of the fog and percolate it through their needles and onto the forest floor. Over half the water that enters the forest ecosystem is from the fog dripping off these trees. In fact, they harness so much liquid from the fog that they are critical for native plants like Yerba Buena and redwood strawberries and can even influence the amount of water flowing in streams!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Razor Clam

Hibachi Grilled razor clam with Spanish chorizo, 
green garlic and spicy garden blossoms

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Red Walnuts

I found those striking red walnuts at a tiny farmers market in Kenwood, California last week. They have a delicious citrusy quality and are far less tannic than normal walnuts. These are a fairly new variety created by grafting Persian red-skinned walnuts into larger English walnut trees. I hope I can find some to use at Sierra Mar soon!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Softshell Crab, Tomato, and Vanilla

When I was in Tokyo last month I had a wonderful meal at Jimbocho Din. One of the dishes that really stood out was a tomato marinated with rice wine vinegar and vanilla. The vanilla flavor really accentuates the sweetness of the tomato without adding any actual sugar. Chef Zaiyu Hasegawa brings both incredible technique and a great sense of humor to all of his dishes.

Tonight I am doing a play on the tomato-vanilla combination with softshell crab chips and a Tomato-vanilla vinaigrette.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Big Sur White Lavender

One of our neighbors brought is a bouquet of rare white lavender from Big Sur. These beautiful flowers have a refined aroma reminiscent of honey and sage.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Squash Blossoms

Squash blossom season has arrived! Today, we stuffed squash blossoms with smoked Beemster cheese and served it with pickled watermelon relish and charred Padron pepper sauce.

I love how squash blossoms look when they are fresh and open, however, when they are fried they lose their natural look and take on a more muted color. To try and preserve the squash blossoms natural beauty, we took one blossom and remove the stem, then filled it and rolled it into a tight ball before dropping it into another open squash blossom. We took these two blossoms, and dipped them into an intense yellow saffron champagne batter and fried them in hot rice oil until they were crispy but kept their bright color.