Monday, June 30, 2008


On a lighter note, I had to show you the fuzz on my peaches !!! How wonderful is this ? a few snap walking around my backyard this morning, sharing my corner of paradise.

Sunday, June 29, 2008


came back from a neighborhood meeting to find out details of this horrible event that happened last week to a neighbor 3 houses up the street.It was last tuesday morning, 10:30, and the garbage trucks were coming, my neighbor went tout on the street to fill her garbage can and inadvertently left her door open, husband and daughter of 7 in the house too, making breakfast in the kitchen.A man appeared, masked and with a hood, brandishing a gun and telling my neighbor ( holding a gun to her face)to cover the others with a sheet as they lay face down on the floor, then still with a gun, took her to her daughter bedroom and tried to take her pants of.She fortunately managed to get away, and they all ran screaming down the street to the store where they could call the police.Actually a policeman was at the meeting to advice us on what to do and mentionned that at noon today, two youths on bike, stopped and robbed a man just down the street from our house, and with a gun! the policeman proceeded to tell that a store on Telegraph avenue was selling these plastic bb guns that looked exactly like the real things and that people might use them to commit crimes. Great ! well I came home a little paranoid since I am alone until significant comes back late tonight.

dinner party

Had friends over. I shopped at the market and decided on my menu there: piles of corn( I will try the salad that C told me about),jewels cherry tomatoes and a bouquet of basil to make it happen. fresh garlic, let's not forget.Fennel bulbs with green tassles( interrupted in my reverie by a customer" don't you die when you roast them with garlic and olive oil ?") thanks for the tip, that will do too. Hudson Fish has great shrimps and I will marinate them in smoky paprika and olive oil before grilling them and serving them with a persillade.Then I will have a cannellini stew with sage from my garden and a teaspoon of duck fat brought back from my last Paris visit. But first to bow to American tradition, that has become mine, I will have a green salad, made of the most tender leaves, with whites nectarines and shaved parmesan ( O.K, I got inspired a little by Piccino there),my light dressing of shallots softened by raspberry vinegar and olive oil hit the right note.
What did we talk about ? career paths, vacation plans ( we are planning to go to Mexico in the fall, to San Miguel de Allende),food, more food,movies ( that's a given),parents, family ..... .our friend N is a director of photography, and he wanted to take some food shots, he took the picture of the shrimp dish, isn't it wild ?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

work lunch

Second visit to Piccino, a Dogpatch restaurant as I like them: sleek and urban, with great sense of style in big and small ways ( check out the glass inlays on the sidewalk at the front door), and a small menu, with an emphasis on the seasons, done in a European way of restraint , but with no compromise to taste and presentation. Sat with C at the bar, manned by a tattooed young man with a funny hairstyle, sort of a comb over, he was present, attentive and sweet.We shared a salad of escarole hearts,plums and pecorino.Since I love fruit in my salads, this was an interesting spin that I had not tried yet. It was followed by the Red Special pizza with green tomatoes ( that one was strange, it is barely tomato season but when it is mixed with olives ,arugula and a special mozzarella:it is hard to resist.)I had a tiny sip of the now famous Blue Bottle coffee, it is organic for one thing, and I think the roasting gives it a round flavor of dark bread crust...but I am no connoisseur on that one.
Then it was time to load boxes into my car, with a little Piccino help, it was a breeze.

801 22nd street. San Francisco.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

a table of props

I am getting ready to work on a cookbook and I went to my friend C who has the best rental collection in the world ! Always fun to catch up and share a lunch. I really did not need that mini mousse tartelette !!!Can you tell what is the art direction for this book ? the type of food ? the culture ?
On another note Dot and her most special Dad spent an afternoon at the park ( Golden Gate Park) for father's day. I am including this really nice abstract image that she took of Stow lake...

Significant built himself a plywood booth for his professional voice over work that he does at home sometimes. It is a 3 sided wood cube that rest against his desk.The only problem : you cannot get out unless you crawl under the shorter side. That was a good laugh for a second. But, I shouldn't be mean, because I had the foresight of telling him to bring back the "outcut" pieces and now I have some really interesting shapes to paint on. Bought a tub of gesso and will cover 16X 60 " canvas.can't wait !

Friday, June 13, 2008


Last Friday, Dot and i went to the Art Murmur, a multi openings of galleries in this funky neighborhood of Oakland.We wanted to take it in, see what happened and make portraits of each other. The corner street is lively, I bought a couple of independent CD for Dot, peddled by the group itself,and watched mesmerized, the unique performance of this strange, mad artist who dances Bhutto style to his own internal himself, oblivious, in the middle of the closed street ( 23rd at telegraph)
This week, I worked in many kitchens,the plating kitchen of a famous wine bar-restaurant in SF and learned about roll-ups( the piles of dampened rolled napkins to wipe plates before serving),the photo studio kitchen where I know my way, the catering kitchen on the winery where the shot was taken, 90 degrees in the shade of the olives trees above.....

Sunday, June 1, 2008

LE whiffing

My last post about Paris. Went to The laboratoire, a private cultural center, where art and science blend into various exhibits. This time it was the collaboration of molecular gastronomy french super star chef Thierry Marx and Jerome Bibette with his creation of edible "spheres", agar agar gel drops that contains the essence of a flavor, like basil or mango. Thierry marx calls his cuisine : deconstructed, where the raw material is reconstructed in a contemporary form imagined by the chef.So, upon reservation, you had two options, le whiffing where ,at he Whiff bar, you are offered the pairing of a Nespresso flavor with the unique experience of Whiffing , meaning to inspire a flavor ( this time chocolate) through a plastic type cigar, which act like an aerosol and blast and coat your tongue and your palate with a fleeting but unique experience. The other option was a deconstructed meal with the famous pearls added to a dish or two. Since I had only reserved the whiffing and not the meal , I could only photograph the bento box ready to be topped off with the spheres, that you do not see .They were going on top of the first dish, a square mold of tomato, injected with a warm blend of mozzarella and riccota, and topped with pearls of basil essence.
The space itself was truly impressive. A video artist had looped images of micro organisms and deconstructed materials being prepared dispayled on the "restaurant' tables, a unique music accompany the visit to the different sections, the reading area, the bar, the dispaly of the machine used to make the pearls.
of art and wisdom.

Le laboratoire
4 rue de Bouloi 75001 Paris