NYE Dessert

NYE Dessert
Pear Cake //  White Truffle Ice Cream
Honeycomb // Poached Pear
White Truffle Golden Syrup // Petite Sorrel // Gold Leaf


Eggnog "Cheesecake"

Eggnog "Cheesecake"
Poached Quince // Quince Paste
Spiced Sponge // Streusel

[Christmas Dessert 2 of 2]

Merry Christmas to my readers, friends & family!


Chocolate Tartlet

Chocolate Tartlet
Chocolate Ganache Tartlet // Honeyed Chestnut Puree
Milk Chocolate & Maldon Feuilletine // Vanilla Infused Cream // Chocolate Sauce

[Christmas Dessert 1 of 2]


Habitat for Humaity

Last Saturday, the restaurant cooked a vegetarian 5-course meal at a fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity.  It was held at a private home in San Francisco for a party of 18.

Brioche Toast, White Bean Puree & Radicchio, Sunchoke Veloute, House made Flatbread

5-Course Dinner
1.  Celery Root Tagliatelle - Beets, Creme Fraiche, Preserved Lemon, Pistachio
2.  Squash Consomme - Apples, Squash, Sage, Brown Butter
3.  Farro "Risotto" - Slow-cooked Egg, Black Truffle (not pictured)
4.  Kohlrabi - Green Garlic, Garlic, Olive
5.  Chocolate Ganache Tart - Honeyed Chestnut Puree, Vanilla Creme

Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel & Strawberry White Balsamic Macarons

The guests were each sent home with a box of macarons, just a small thank you for the $25,000+ that was raised for Habitat for Humanity that evening!


Rosemary Infused Pavlova

Rosemary Infused Pavlova
Pine Nut Ice Cream // Lemon Mousse // Huckleberries
Pine Nut Tuile // Huckleberry Sauce // Toasted Pine Nuts


Gingerbread House

The holidays are officially here!  And what better way to welcome them than a holiday baking project with some good friends?  

A lot of love went into our Gingerbread House - we are especially proud of our snow covered Peppermint Shingle Roof!

What is everyone else doing to get in the Holiday Spirit?


March of Dimes

Pacific Amberjack, Trout Roe, Pistachio & Buckwheat

Just wanted to share some pictures from the March of Dimes Signature Chefs fundraising event that Luce took part in along with numerous other San Francisco restaurants.  March of Dimes is a non-profit organization dedicated to healthier pregnancies and babies through research and education.

"Not working like a machine..."

The event was held at San Francisco's landmark Palace Hotel and took place the night after the Michelin event.  However, it was a huge contrast - it was definitely less hectic and more laid back.  (You might be able to tell from the pictures...)

The restaurant also donated a dinner in the private dining room for the auction and from what I witnessed, a healthy dollar amount was raised that night!


*Michelin Starred*

At the end of October, Michelin released it's San Francisco Guide.  After my first full year at Luce, I'm so proud of Chef Corey and the Luce team for maintaining its Michelin Star!  To my very pleasant surprise, the write-up even included a nice little bit about dessert...

The restaurant was invited to participate at the Michelin Guide: San Francisco 2013 Launch Party at Terra Gallery in San Francisco and I was excited to help out!  I even baked and packaged Pistachio Financiers for guest to take with them.  Luce was 1 of 5 Michelin Starred restaurants serve a casual "5-Course Tasting Menu" to fellow chefs, restauranteurs and members of the press.  

Getting ready to plate for 250 guests...

The finished product...

Sunchoke Custard - Pear, Chestnut Paper, Cocoa and Black Truffle

It was a little challenging plating a fully composed dish in such a tight space and at a type of event where canap├ęs are typically served.  But in the end, it was all worth it and very rewarding!

For information on other Michelin Starred and Bib Gourmand Restaurants, check out the full San Francisco Michelin list here.


Hammond's Candies

I spent a recent weekend in Colorado, more specifically Denver and Boulder.  One of the "sweet" highlights was a visit to Hammond's Candies factory and retail store.  Here's a short video of sugar being pulled to incorporate air giving finished candy canes it's shine and opaque color.

Below are some photos from the factory tour - I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures.  A candy maker at Hammond's is in charge of a batch of candy from start to finish.  And although they have an extra hand while forming, they are trained to do every step of the job.  They definitely take their candy seriously because each candy maker is trained for a few years before they are put in charge of a batch.  

A heated work table to ensure candies do not harden before they are formed
Teamwork & Assembly Lines

Seeing the factory brought back memories of culinary school for me.  I haven't made many confections since then and this sparked my enthusiasm a bit...we'll see what comes of it.  

Although other sweets are made, Hammond's claim to fame are their Candy Canes.  They're larger than the usual and come in endless flavors.  I wish I had taken pictures in the store to share with you, but here are some that I came home with...don't forget yours before the holidays sneak up on you!


Chocolate Pot de Creme

Chocolate Pot de Creme

Peanut Butter Mousse
Caramelized Peanuts // Peanut Butter Crumb

Earl Grey Panna Cotta

Earl Grey Panna Cotta
White Chocolate Ginger Cremeux // Orange Marmalade // Orange Segments
Orange Zest Tuile Rolls // Candied Ginger // Brown Butter Crumb


CUESA Seasonal Cooking Demo

Last Saturday, Chef was invited to do a seasonal cooking demo for CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) at Ferry Plaza's Farmer's Market.  Nearly every Saturday, these Chef demos take place right outside of the Ferry Building and are free to the public.  Here's a calendar of event: http://www.cuesa.org/events.  I ended up tagging along to help plate up some samples for the guests and to take a few pictures of course!

To start, Chef Corey made a salad of Fall Greens, Fuyu Persimmons, Baby Beets, French Breakfast Radishes, Goat's Milk Yogurt and Toasted Coriander.

After, he served an Olive Oil Poached Filet of Beef with Pearled Barley, Pickled Pearl Onions and a Broccoli di Ciccio Vinaigrette.

Both dishes were well balanced and deliciously light and satisfying.  The beef was my favorite, so tender it melted in my mouth.  


MOO MiniCards

Just got mine in the mail...SO cute!

I ordered a box of minicards and got to use as many pictures as I wanted - technically you could order a box of 100, each with a different design!  On the reverse is my contact info.  Moo also prints full-sized business cards, postcards and stickers!

Get yours here: http://www.moo.com/share/tm7gpq

And, yes...I promise to write a pastry or at least a food related post ASAP.

This week is craaaazy!


Chocolate Maple Opera Torte

Chocolate Maple Opera Torte
Candy Cap Mushroom Ice Cream // Candied Hazelnuts
Chocolate Tuile // Chocolate Sauce

Pear Pudding Cake

Pear Pudding Cake 
Compressed and Shaved Shinseiki Pears // Pear Gelee
Black Sesame Ice Cream // Sesame Brittle // Soy Caramel

Cinnamon Mousse

Cinnamon Mousse
Chocolate Sponge // Mocha Cremeux // Caramel Ice Cream
Dehydrated Cinnamon Milk Foam // Chocolate Sauce // Chocolate Crumb


Sweet Corn Custard

Sweet Corn Custard
Blueberry Confit // Blueberry Espuma // Blueberry Meringue
Lightly Salted White Chocolate Sherbet // Semolina Crumble // White Chocolate Corn Tuile


Summer's Sweet Ending

It's official - today is the first day of fall.  However, some of summer's produce is at it's very peak.  I decided to recreate a delicious salad I had about a month ago - it's one last bite of summer's sweet harvest.  

Fresh Corn, Mini Heirloom Tomatoes, Basil, Shallots, Olive Oil, S&P.  

This combination has it all - crunchy and juicy textures and sweet and tangy flavors with floral undertones.  Yum Yum...make your own while you still can!


Capture Wine Event

The Scenery...

On Friday, the restaurant teamed up with the makers of Capture Wines to host a luncheon at Tin Cross Vineyards in Sonoma, CA. 

The Menu...

Passed Hors d'oeuvres

Cured Salmon & Quail Egg on Toasted Brioche

Kampachi & Trout Roe

Green Tomato Gazpacho

First Course
Heirloom Tomato & Melon Salad, Fresh Ricotta

Second Course
Egg, Smoky Potato Puree & Black Truffle

Third Course
Filet Mignon, Green Onion & Freekeh

Fourth Course
Trio of Cheeses - Chevre Mousse with Plum Jam, Blue & Brie

Take Home Treats
Hazelnut Financier, Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel Macaron & Sour Cherry Marshmallow

All Finished...


Pink Pearl Apples

Although it may seem just a touch early for apple season, the gorgeous pink flesh and tart flavor of Pink Pearls are only around for a few short weeks.  So, as the saying goes, it was time to strike while the iron was hot.  Of course I wanted to make something that highlighted the apple's amazing color...

I made a typical pate brisee dough (pie dough) and made a few individual sized tarts - half pink pearl and half a mixture of different plums.  Instead of muddying the flavor of the tart apples with the usual warm spice mixture, I decided to bake the tarts with a thyme infused custard.  (Don't get me wrong, I love apple pie - I just though that this was a little more special.)  As for the plum tarts, they were baked with a cardamom infused custard.

Although melons, plums and tomatoes are at their peak right now, I can't help but feel the fall produce season sneaking up on us especially on this Labor Day weekend!