RECIPES FROM PRIVATE CHEFS OF THE SF BAY

The following recipes have been developed by various chefs in our collective; many incorporate the ingredients from our Marketing Partners. These partnerships provide a unique way for you to experience some of the best small producers and purveyors in the Bay Area. Check back, our list is always growing….

You are welcome to request that the chef who created the recipe include it as part of a customized menu for your next dinner party

dandelion Chocolate
Almond Figs,
Chocolate Labne Crémeux/Port Sauce

Recipe By Chef Rose Johnson 

California figs and almonds combined with exquisite Dandelion Chocolate’s Kokoa Kamili, Tanzania Chef’s Chocolate  and an unusual chocolate/yogurt-based cream sauce make this delectable dessert some much more than the sum of it’s parts.

For recipe, follow this link.

At Dandelion, we believe great chocolate starts with the bean. Because we only use two ingredients to make our chocolate—cocoa beans and organic cane sugar...”

Frog Hollow Farm Warm Spinach and Pear Salad

recipe by Chef Rose Johnson 

A beautiful transition from summer to fall takes shape in this warm salad; braised pork belly adds a hint of umami, the Pear-Chevre Mousse adds elegance and texture!

See the recipe here!

Frog Hollow Farm is committed to sustainable practices. Sustainability is an important value that Farmer Al has embraced since choosing to go organic in 1989. They believe in sustainable labor practices. Many farms rely primarily on seasonal hires; because they tend to their trees by hand and have a commercial kitchen on premises, they provide year-round employment.

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frog hollow farm cherries & cheese, please!

Recipe By Chef Rose Johnson 

This super simple and versatile recipe from as a starter, a dessert or as a delicious snack!

For recipe, follow this link.

California Certified Organic Farmer since 1989, Frog Hollow Farm irrigates with micro-sprinklers and uses beneficial insects as part of their pest management. Concerned about the lack of affordable farmworker housing in the Brentwood area, the farm built six family housing units.

 
 


Dandelion Chocolate Almond Figs with Chocolate Labne Crémeux and Port Wine Sauce

By Chef Rose Johnson 

Impress your guests with this unusual dessert of figs, chocolate and almonds finished with Crémeux and Wine Sauce.

For recipe, follow this link.



Pomp & Whimsy

Poached Pears With Riesling and Thyme

by Chef Andrea Lawson Gray

The nuanced tones of Pomp and Whimsy Gin Liqueur transform a pear into an elegant yet simple dessert that looks as good as it tastes.

For recipe, follow this link.



(Photo by Bessie LaCap Photography, plate available through Piece of Clay)




















Arugula Salad with

Pomp & Whimsy-infused Bruleé Ruby Red Grapefruit

recipe by chef andrea lawson gray

Pomp & Whimsy Gin Liqueur’s herbal notes and sweet side are the perfect foil the grapefruit’s acidic nature. Brulée the grapefruit to enhances flavors and give this salad an extra special look.

See the recipe here!



(Photo/Bessie LaCap Photography)


















Seared Scallops in Brown Butter Pomp & Whimsy Pan Sauce

Recipe by Chef Rose Johnson 

We love Pomp and Whimsy Gin Liqueur for it’s versatility. The select blend of 16 natural and whole ingredients, including juniper, coriander, angelica, grapefruit, bitter orange, cucumber, lychee, raspberry, lavender and jasmine pearls makes it a perfect way to highlight the sweetness of the scallops in this simple-to-make and outstanding dish.


(Photo/Bessie LaCap Photography)





















POMP AND WHIMSY LACQUERED FOIE GRAS

Recipe by Chef Rose Johnson 

The herbal notes and perfectly-balanced sweetness of Pomp and Whimsy Gin Liqueur are the perfect foil for the earthiness of foie gras.

See the recipe here!


((Photo/Bessie LaCap Photography), plate available through Piece of Clay)






churros & dipping chocolate

Recipe by Chef Josh Garcia

Dandelion Chocolate takes this Mexican classic to a whole new level. We’ve also included instructions for making your own churros at home:

See the recipe here!

(Photo by Adriana Almazan Lahl from Celebraciones Mexicanas: History, Traditions and Recipes, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)





bacon-almond blue dates

Recipe by Chef Rose Johnson 

These appetizers are Rock Stars! They are sweet, tangy, smoky, salty, crunchy, chewy – they have it all! Like all our chefs, Chef Rose uses local ingredients, like California almonds and, in this case Cofield Bodega Blue Cheese:



See the recipe here!








private chefs of the sf bay in the news



CALIFORNIA COOKBOOK: NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CHEFS WEIGH IN ON GOLDEN STATE FOODIE CULTURE

BY LAURIE HAYNES 06/13/2018

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 Always iconic while constantly evolving, Golden State cuisine embodies the spirit of discovery and an unrivaled agricultural foundation.

Within this limitless bounty, destination-defining chefs who share a passion for fresh ingredients, originality and diverse inspiration are playing a foundational role in making California a global food destination.

“California-style” cuisine is not limited to specific cooking techniques or methods but instead defined by shared values among chefs and served up in an endless array of sights, flavors and dishes.

Chef Tu David Phu of Oakland has worked in some of the nation’s top Michelin-starred restaurants, including Chez Panisse, Quince, Acquerello, Daniel Boulud, Breslin, Gotham Bar & Grill and Gramercy Tavern. He was a contestant on season 15 of Bravo’s "Top Chef" and named one of the San Francisco Chronicle’s 2017 "Rising Star Chefs." (Book Chef Tu).

Phu’s inspiration for Vietnamese-California cooking stems from his mother, an immigrant from the Vietnamese island of Phú Quốc, also famous as the birthplace of Asian fish sauce. He thoughtfully attributes the diversity of only-in-California cuisine to the array of people and cultures who have shaped it over several decades.

“The thing that makes California so beautiful is in its neighborhoods and in its people," Phu says. "You go to any neighborhood in California, like in San Francisco, Oakland and all the way down to L.A., it’s multiethnic, it’s immigrant-based.”

Phu shares stories of how his mother nourished his family with dishes from her homeland. Out of necessity, she incorporated the ingredients that were available in California into her traditional meals, representing the foundation of the unique intercultural experiences that foodies expect and crave in Golden State cuisine today.

“[That’s how] this second generation of Vietnamese cuisine is born," Phu says. "I think out of necessity from this multiethnic culture, these beautiful things come about."

To truly appreciate the diversity and originality for which California food is known today, it is important to remember the influences and immigrants who began shaping the state's culinary identity decades ago.

Chef, food historian and author Andrea Lawson Gray shares the story of her journey through the culinary world over the past 15 years. Her experiences in combining fresh, sustainable California ingredients with the traditional cooking styles and tools from Mexico have shaped her vision of "Californio" cuisine.

“Californio food is trending: Farmers markets are filled with avocados, squash blossoms, prickly pear fruit, cactus paddles, chayote, epazote and verdolaga (purslane),” Gray says. “Mexican ingredients that were hard to find a decade ago are finding their way into America’s kitchens in new and surprising ways.”

Lawson Gray uses traditional Mexican cooking styles and tools with fresh and local farm-to-table ingredients to create unforgettable dishes with true Californio spirit, because part of what makes the Golden State a renowned foodie destination is the embrace of the freedom and originality in intercultural cooking.

“Although I offer Modern American, French, Italian, Mediterranean and several other Latin cuisines that are not related to Mexico, more than 75 percent of the dinner menus requested by my clients are for Californio fare,” Gray says.

Outside of major cities in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, farmers are the ultimate source for the ingredients that constitute the backbone of Golden State cuisine.

For more info....



acclaimed San Francisco Chefs Hold Fundraiser to help daca recipients stay

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A serial entrepreneur at heart, Chef Andrea was part of the now defunct Kitchit, an on demand private chef startup. When that failed, she saw her fellow colleagues, all extremely talented chefs and suddenly without the steady stream of clients that Kitchit had provided, and had a vision for something different. A co-op of sorts, with shared costs, shared values, and shared talents. Thus Private Chefs of the SF Bay was born, an extremely high end personal chef brand that brings fine dining to you, whether it be an executive luncheon, a special treat in your home, or just a way to take your California vacation to the next level.

Chef Andrea first owned an ad agency and then discovered her love for cooking, spiraling those marketing talents into this wild ride of a career that has led her to dominate the personal chef industry—which is saying quite a lot, considering the talent in the bay area. We sat down for a scrumptious meal with Andrea to chat about everything everything from the unique funding for the business, how to work as a collective, and the importance of keeping your standards (and pricing) high.

Jenna Bostock: How long have you been a chef for – was it always a dream of yours?

Chef Andrea: I’ve been a chef for 15 years. I never envisioned myself as a chef, actually. I am what I would call a “serial entrepreneur” and started my catering company because I saw a business opportunity. Little did I know that I would fall in love with cooking! I discovered a passion and talent that frankly, I don’t know whether it was always there and just dormant, or came to me as a gift when I was 40 years old.

Jenna Bostock: Have you always been entrepreneurial then?

Chef Andrea: Yes! I owned an ad agency for several years that those skills really allowed me to brand, market and promote my businesses expertly.

Jenna Bostock: Tell me about the inception of Private Chefs of the SF Bay.

Chef Andrea: It rose from the ashes of Kitchit. When Kitchit (the on-demand private chef startup) folded, I could see how hard this hit many of the Bay Area chefs who had been dependent upon this marketplace to connect with customers and find work. Heartfelt and often almost desperate comments were appearing on the Kitchit Chef’s Table (FB group) and many of us were messaging back and forth about how we needed to do something. So I did!

I mentioned above that I’ve been an entrepreneur almost my entire life; well, during much of that time I was a marketing and branding strategist. I could see the opportunity to create something to fill the void, and do it better than Kitchit had done it, at least from a marketing perspective. From there, it was just about finding the right partner (I didn’t want to start this alone as I find starting a business with someone is just better if its the right person). I reached out to Chef Rose Johnson, and Private Chefs of the SF Bay was born.

Jenna Bostock: How did you fund Private Chefs of the SF Bay?

Chef Andrea: The chefs all chipped in a small amount to get started; we really bootstrapped it (and still do). This is why we modeled ourselves as a co-op. A small percentage of each gig booked goes back to the “fund” that keeps us afloat. This way, we can offer the very best value to both the chefs and the clients. There’s no commission, which was part of Kitchit’s model and is the model for many of the platforms that connect chefs to customers.

Jenna Bostock: What do you think differentiates a private chef experience from a fine dining experience at a restaurant?

Chef Andrea: Where do I start?! In the first place, there’s the pleasure of being in your own home, the pace of the meal is of your choosing, there’s no worrying about driving home afterward, your friends can relax before dinner in your living room or out on your gorgeous deck, and you may even get a chance to use that fine china you never break out if you want to. And it makes you cool because you’re on-trend!

Jenna Bostock: Who is your typical clientele?

Chef Andrea: We get clients celebrating special occasions (milestone birthdays, anniversaries and graduations are big), executive team off-sites and board meetings usually at the CEO’s home, fundraising events, holiday dinners and parties, and even the occasion very special dinner date.

Jenna Bostock: How do you separate yourself from other private chefs, by acting a whole collective?

Chef Andrea: Each of our chefs has been chosen because of their specialties, consequently, we are able to offer a broad range at a very high level: 31 different cuisines and between our 9 chefs, we have a combined 70+ years of experience. Every chef has been vetted, not just for their cuisine but also for their skills managing service, pre-event prep and on-site kitchen organization, plating and number of years in the industry. I wear two hats, and as the concierge, I am able to match the chef that is best suited to each client request. For larger events, we often team up, so the client gets the benefit of the talent and experience of two seasoned chefs and the service level of a boutique caterer. We also have the ability to cover each other in case of any last minute chef emergency.

Jenna Bostock: Tell me about the focus on sustainably-sourced, organic and local ingredient aspect of the business.

Chef Andrea: This was one of the requirements for chefs to become part of our co-op, but it is so much more than that. It really is, for us Bay Area chefs, a way of life and cooking philosophy. We have chefs who forage for mushrooms and hunt for seaweed. We all shop the local farmer’s markets and have personal relationships with many of the vendors.

Jenna Bostock: What is the trend these days, is there a big rise in the demand for at home private chef experiences?

Chef Andrea: There sure is! Our clients enjoy opening their beautiful homes and, in many cases, this is the best way to welcome out-of-town guests and business associates. It’s just so much more personal and memorable than just taking them to dinner. We also get many clients who are visiting Wine Country and don’t want to dine out, but prefer to stay in and enjoy the beautiful villas they have rented.

Jenna Bostock: Tell me about your staff and how you create an elevated fine dining experience with Michelin experienced servers, sommelier, etc.

Chef Andrea: It has taken us a couple of years, but we now have an amazing on-call staff, whom we share. We are at an advantage here in the SF Bay area, as there are so many great restaurants that have trained support staff over the years and we pay top dollar, way better than restaurants are able to pay, so we attract and keep great people. We have a Mixologist, as Sommelier (as you mentioned) as well as FOH staff for our clients who request this, usually for large holiday parties or business events.

Jenna Bostock: What’s been a few of the biggest barriers to overcome?

Chef Andrea: There’s is a lot of competition in the marketplace, on the promotion side, it comes from platforms that are looking to connect customers and chefs but are almost always do not have a culinary background. This creates confusion, with home-cooks-turned-chefs and newbies undercutting pricing. The word “chef” gives the impression of expertise and experience, but there is no barrier to entry, so anyone can try their hand.

On the chef side, there are so many truly talented, experienced and amazing chefs in the Bay Area. I wouldn’t call it a barrier, but it does keep us all on our toes– keeping up with the latest culinary trends and constantly advancing our education in the field.

Jenna Bostock: What advice would you give to someone looking to start their own business?

Chef Andrea: You’ve got to have grit! If you’re not prepared to accept that nervous feeling you get when the phone doesn’t ring for a week, or there are no emails coming in as just part of the life-cycle of your business, it that is going to make you crazy, don’t become an entrepreneur. The other piece of advice that I like to share is that you never lower your prices.

Set your prices based on the value of what you have to offer and even if business is slow and you are desperate for work, don’t cut them. This only erodes your brand and people who underpay know they are underpaying and are looking to see what corners you’ve cut to give them that discounted price so they are suspicious of everything and much less likely to be impressed by what you deliver. (Of course, this only applies to service businesses, I am not suggesting a retailer should never have a sale!)

Jenna Bostock: What is your favorite aspect of the job?

Chef Andrea: COOKING! It is my happy place… no matter how stressful the situation (cooking in other people’s kitchen brings it’s own level of stress), it all melts away as prepare my sauces, perfect my soups and place the food artfully on the plate. It’s what makes everything else worthwhile. This is something all of our chefs share, this passion. For us, cooking is a way of life!