Japanese farm food comes to the farm-to-fork capital

I’ve been having a lot of conversations lately about the farm-to-fork movement, especially now that it seems to have become the It Girl of the food world. While eating lunch in my backyard earlier today, a friend and I found ourselves discussing the topic once again. "Everybody’s jumping on the bandwagon," he laughed. I smiled and replied, "Good." And it is. In my humble opinion, the more people come to appreciate the wonders of farm-fresh food, simply prepared, the better. Which brings me to the subject of this article: Japanese Farm Food, a cookbook written by California-born Nancy Singleton Hachisu, the featured author at next week’s Tasty Books event here in Sacramento. The event pairs the cookbook with a prix-fixe dinner at Mulvaney’s, allowing attendees to sample what they might eventually cook at home. The meal, prepared by Chef Patrick Mulvaney, will include passed appetizers and a four-course, all-you-can-eat, family-style dinner based on recipes from the book. Ticket buyers will receive a signed copy of the cookbook. Japanese Farm Food was released in 2012 and has already gone into the fifth printing. With more than 350 pages of recipes, stories, and achingly beautiful photographs, this book celebrates food born of the "simple, warm, and welcoming life" on a rural Japanese farm. The book’s author is a Bay-area native who traveled to Japan in 1988 with […]

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Cookbook author event series launches in Sacramento

Sacramento’s food renaissance continues with the launching of "Tasty Books," a new series of cookbook events produced by local food writer, cookbook author, and editor Ann Martin Rolke. Rolke was inspired to create the series when she realized there were very few events of this type in the Sacramento area. Says Rolke, “I wanted to organize events like those I love to attend in other cities – author talks, signings, tastings, and dinners.” Tasty Books will host quarterly meet-the-author dinners with Mulvaney’s B&L, in addition to smaller talks and tastings throughout the Sacramento area. The inaugural event will be held on Wednesday, February 27. Cookbook author Cheryl Sternman Rule will join guests for a prix-fixe dinner featuring recipes from her book, Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables. With gorgeous images by photographer Paulette Phlipot, Ripe is uniquely divided into sections by color of produce. Wednesday’s dinner, prepared by Chef Patrick Mulvaney, will include passed appetizers and a four-course family-style meal based on the colors of the season, allowing guests to sample recipes they might eventually cook at home. Ticket buyers will receive a signed copy of the cookbook. Event Details: Tasty Books – Cheryl Sternman Rule Wednesday, February 27, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM Mulvaney’s B&L Next Door – 1215 19th Street $60 per person; two for $100 Tickets available […]

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Reality TV dreams come true: Chef Adam Pechal to appear on ‘The Taste’

Adam Pechal has dreamt of landing a gig on the small screen for years. Not for his stage prowess though, but for his culinary artisanship. Chef Pechal – the head chef and owner of The Tuli Restaurant Group – is in it to win. He’ll make his debut on ABC’s new reality cooking show, “The Taste,” on Tuesday, Jan. 22. “I’ve been trying to get on a show for a few years with not much success,” said Pechal. “I have a casting director who’s always been in my corner and liked what I did. She gave me a call and told me there was a new show. I went and tried out and it stuck this time.” Pechal has been whipping up culinary delights in Sacramento since he started cooking at the age of 17. A graduate of New York’s Culinary Institute of America, Pechal is now the chef and owner of Midtown favorite Tuli Bistro, the sophisticated Restaurant THIR13EN and the more personalized Tuli Catering. “I’ve come and gone, but I started cooking here in Sacramento, and I’ve now been cooking for over half of my life,” Pechal said. “What I love most about my job is that no two days are the same. Each day is a whole new set of challenges, new obstacles and new adventures.” During his 15 years in the […]

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KVIE Celebrates Julia Child’s 100th Birthday

For decades, following her screen debut on public television, culinary pioneer and beloved icon Julia Child opened up new worlds for generations of Americans, showing them that cooking, even French cuisine, was enjoyable and within reach for all. In celebration of what would have been her 100th birthday on August 15, 2012, PBS and KVIE Public Television will honor Child’s legacy through a multi-platform initiative spanning on-air, online, and social media engagement. The special, Julia Child Memories: Bon Appétit!, will air on KVIE (channel 6) at 8 p.m. Wednesday, August 15. The public television celebration begins in the kitchen. KVIE viewers and Julia Child fans are encouraged to cook their own versions of a classic Julia dish and share the experience through pictures and blogs on PBS Food and by using the Twitter hashtag #CookforJulia. PBS and KVIE invite fans to visit PBS Food as the home for Julia Child content and to view nearly 100 exclusive limited-time full episodes from: In Julia’s Kitchen with Master Chefs, Cooking with Master Chefs, The French Chef Classics, Baking with Julia and three Cooking in Concert specials. The website will also include recipes and other fun Julia-related content, including articles, links, quotes and a Julia personality quiz. Additionally, PBS and KVIE will honor her legacy through special tributes from well-known food personalities, producers, food bloggers and fans by […]

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Sacramento Chef Challenge set to take place June 23

The  annual Sacramento Chef Challenge is set to take place on June 23 and will be equal parts competition, culinary skill and for the first time, audience participation. The highlight of the evening will be two on-site competitions: the three-course Chef Challenge in which attendees can help decide whose cuisine reigns supreme and the Cake War. According to event organizer Jessica Bean, this is the first year in which guests, rather than a panel of judges, will be allowed to eat and vote on the Chef Challenge delicacies.   “I always hated the prom queen popularity contest idea, and I wanted to balance things out with guest votes,” Bean said. “In the past, we’ve had six or seven chefs cook for 45 minutes on stage, and this year we only have three, and we’re giving them three hours.” Come hungry: Guests will also be able to sample from more than 100 different restaurants, wineries and breweries, listen to live music from classic rock bands and partake in a silent auction and a raffle. The money raised goes to the organization hosting the event, Inalliance, which supports the independence and health of people with developmental disabilities. Professional chefs Kristela Nazario-Mendoza, Keith Erickson and Philippe Cailottt will be utilizing this year’s key ingredients — Pacific steelhead, Beeler’s pork, and ginger to whip up their original dishes. The […]

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“Live With the Chef” Cooking Class at Arden Hills Wednesday Evening!

Now that the weather is heating up nicely (other than today of course), it’s time to get the grill cooking, too!  Just in time for the start of the summer grilling season, the next “Live With the Chef” cooking class at Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa is this Wednesday evening (starting at 6 p.m.) and is focused on creating a BBQ blast in your backyard.  The talented Chef Rina will demonstrate grilling tips and techniques and share new ways to cook fresh, flavorful and nutritious meals on the outdoor grill. This special monthly cooking class is focused on incorporating fresh ingredients designed for a healthy and well balanced diet. You’re invited to join this ongoing adult cooking series – couples are welcome, too! Due to the popularity of this class, space is limited and reservations are required by calling 916-482-6111. Disclosure: Traci Rockefeller Cusack represents a number of businesses and organizations throughout the greater Sacramento region including Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa

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Poor Girl Eats Well blogger to write book with Kickstarter funding

Kimberly Morales’ co-workers used to wonder how it was possible. How could she whip up home cooked meals like creamy wild rice and broccoli soup while spending just a $1.05, when their pre-packaged lunches fell flat? The answers started to come in August of 2008 when Morales founded her food blog, Poor Girl Eats Well, which is appropriately subtitled, “How to eat ridiculously well on a miniscule budget.” The site drew a following, accumulating more than 10,000 email newsletter subscribers, 15,000 Facebook likes and 3,500 Twitter followers. Now, after she received funding via Kickstarter on May 12, the popular blog is about to become a book. Morales, 35, will write a three-part book that includes at least 30 new recipes. The first section will be autobiographical and will explain how exactly she became a “poor girl.” The second section, which will be the majority of the book, will consist of her money-saving theory, tips and techniques, and the last section will be dedicated to recipes. Morales has not taken the traditional route to being an author. Though she never considered herself “well-off,” at one time she had a “gorgeous” apartment, car and plenty of spending money, she said.  That changed in 2008 when her finances plummeted due to a series of mishaps including past-due student loan bills and a car accident that caused her to […]

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“Live With the Chef” Cooking Class at Arden Hills Wednesday Evening!

Bursting with flavor and packed with natural goodness, everything is coming up berries at the next “Live With the Chef” cooking class at Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa on Wednesday evening, May 16, beginning at 6 p.m. Talented Chef Rina will demonstrate special cooking techniques and share secrets for incorporating fresh blackberries, raspberries and strawberries into dishes to create low calorie but high impact recipes that maximize the flavor and nutrition of every meal. This special monthly cooking class is focused on incorporating fresh ingredients designed for a healthy and well balanced diet. You’re invited to join this ongoing adult cooking series – couples are welcome, too! Due to the popularity of this class, space is limited and reservations are required. For reservations, please call 916-482-6111; for more information, please visit www.ardenhills.net.   Disclosure: Traci Rockefeller Cusack represents a number of businesses and organizations throughout the greater Sacramento region including Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa.

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Hype about Kru Restaurant

Kru Restaurant located in downtown Sacramento is one of the most gossiped about Japanese restaurants. Receiving an astonishing four star on yelp, many customer flocks to this restaurant for their dose of the Japanese cuisine. I visited this restaurant to see what all the hype was about. Working at two Japanese restaurants I have a very high expectation of Japanese food. I work at Nishiki in downtown, and Mikuni in Elk Grove. I grew up eating Japanese food often so I wondered if the food was as delicious as described in reviews. When I saw the place from the outside it looked pretty small. Once I walked in, it was as small as it seemed. To my surprise there weren’t too many customers and we were sat immediately. They brought us two menus, one with food and the other one which contained cocktails and wine. I ordered the lychee cocktail, which was very sweet, fruity, and delicious. My companion ordered a Japanese beer, Coedo White Shiro. They had many selections from the menu to choose from. The waiter notified us of the specials and we chose to try the pork belly. We also ordered the sashimi tapa, oysters, amaebi, and spicy d roll. The oysters came out first, and they tasted delicious and fresh. It was up to par with other oysters I have eaten […]

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“Live With the Chef” Cooking Class at Arden Hills Wednesday Evening!

Versatile and delicious, cooking with mushrooms adds flavor and flair to many gourmet dishes and everyday meals, too.  At the next “Live With the Chef” cooking class at Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa on Wednesday, April 18 beginning at 6 p.m., talented Chef Rina will demonstrate special cooking techniques and share secrets for incorporating mushrooms to create low calorie but high impact recipes that maximize the flavor and nutrition of every meal. This special monthly cooking class is focused on incorporating fresh ingredients designed for a healthy and well balanced diet. You’re invited to join this ongoing and popular adult cooking series – couples are welcome, too! Space is limited, so reserve yours today. For more information, call 916-482-6111 or visit www.ardenhills.net   Disclosure: Traci Rockefeller Cusack represents a number of businesses and organizations throughout the greater Sacramento region including Arden Hills Resort Club & Spa.

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