Belcampo picks San Mateo’s Hillsdale for second flagship restaurant

Less than a year after opening a flagship restaurant in the East Bay, the Belcampo Meat Co. has announced it will plant a flag on the mid-Peninsula too.

The organic butchery will close its smaller shops/eateries both at Palo Alto’s Town & Country Village and in San Francisco’s Russian Hill area and build a 7,000-square-foot restaurant at Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo.

A new commissary kitchen in the South of Market area will serve San Francisco clients with delivery of prepared meals and raw meats.

“It’s bittersweet for me,” CEO and co-founder Anya Fernald said in a statement. “We have had a great run in both our Peninsula and San Francisco locations but we could not be more thrilled to partner with Bohannon Development Company and bring the Belcampo experience to the Hillsdale Shopping Center.”

The company is also expanding to New York City; a Hudson Yards location will open in March.

Like the flagship at Oakland’s Jack London Square, the new Hillsdale operation will feature a sit-down restaurant and a retail butcher case. (Check out our First Look at that location.)

The focus will remain the organic, grass-fed, sustainable and humanely raised meats for which Belcampo is known. All of the meat and poultry — from cattle to quail — is raised on the company’s farm near Mount Shasta and butchered in Belcampo facilities. Heritage breeds are a specialty.

A summertime opening is forecast.

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The Palo Alto and San Francisco locations will stop serving hot food this Monday, Feb. 18, and close completely on March 2. …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


‘It was the worst day of my life’: Sister Ann founded the Bay Area Crisis Nursery 37 years ago. And then she got fired.

CONCORD — On a recent Christmas, Sister Ann Weltz received a letter from a mother who years ago dropped her 2-year-old daughter at the Bay Area Crisis Nursery for one night’s care. The woman had been jobless and homeless and planned to spend the night of respite working with social workers on a plan to place her daughter up for adoption to give her a better life.

But Sister Ann talked her out of it. And about 15 years later, the woman wrote to share her news: she was starting law school — and her little girl was heading to college.

“My heart is filled with love and gratitude for the families who have succeeded,” Sister Ann said.

There were plenty of success stories over Sister Ann’s almost four decades running the Bay Area’s only crisis nursery that provides free short-term child care when families face emergencies. Since opening in 1981, the Concord organization has admitted more than 29,000 children, many of them repeats.

The Bay Area Crisis Nursery is photographed in Concord, Calif., on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019. Late last year Sister Ann Weltz was fired as executive director of the Bay Area Crisis Nursery, that she founded 37 years ago. (Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group)

But such letters and mementos are now a distant memory as the nonprofit is experiencing its own crisis. At an abrupt, closed-door meeting last fall, the board fired the 79-year-old nun, shocking donors and volunteers.

“It was the worst day of my life,” Sister Ann said. “Half of my life has been spent right here doing what I was meant to do.”

Just how it came to this isn’t clear. It may have come down to the core mission. Sister Ann operated the nursery as a faith ministry, relying on the generosity of loyal donors that she cultivated over …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Health


How to make Decadent Liquid Truffle Hot Chocolate

About 10 years ago, I dined at a popular Los Angeles restaurant where they offered hot chocolate on their dessert menu. I had never experienced hot chocolate like this before. It was so decadent, almost like a pudding. As much as I loved it, I found it a bit too rich for me — so I set out to create my own version that was still luxurious but not quite so rich.

I use milk, instead of cream, for one thing. For the chocolate, I use disks of Ibarra Mexican chocolate, which are flavored with sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. (Most supermarkets carry it; just look for the distinctive yellow and red packaging.) And I amp up the flavors by adding a high-quality, bittersweet chocolate like Valrhona or Callebaut, a vanilla bean and a touch of salt.

Serve this luscious thing with whipped cream or marshmallows.

Liquid Truffle Hot Chocolate

Serves 8


8 cups whole milk

3 disks Ibarra Mexican chocolate, chopped

3 ounces high-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 vanilla bean pod, split lengthwise

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of salt

Garnish: Lightly sweetened whipped cream, cinnamon or chocolate shavings, or marshmallows


In a large sauce pan, combine the milk and the chopped chocolates. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add them, along with the pod, to the milk mixture.

Warm the milk mixture, whisking constantly, until the chocolate has melted and the mixture begins to steam. (Do not let it boil over!)

Remove the vanilla bean pod. Stir in the cinnamon and a pinch of salt, and serve in mugs, garnished with whipped cream.

Bibby Gignilliat is the founder of Parties That Cook, a San Francisco-based culinary event company;

For more food and drink coverage
follow us on Flipboard. …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


Quick Cook: Mustard and Brown Sugar Roasted Salmon

Right out of culinary school, I secured an internship on a Jacques Pepin TV series. I was a gofer and ended up not doing much cooking prep, but I was thrilled to be in Pepin’s presence and soaked up as much information as possible. Pepin was so kind and was always sharing great tricks, including this one for brining fish.

At the time, brining meats was just gaining popularity, but no one yet was brining fish. Pepin would place an egg, still in its shell, in a bowl of water and add salt until the egg floated, an indication that the brine has enough salt. Then he would add the fish. For a thin fish like trout, 30 minutes of brining is all that’s needed. Halibut, salmon and other thick fish need more time. Then roast the fish for 10 minutes for every inch of thickness.

The brown sugar and mustard rub in this recipe is so easy. It can be used on any fish, but it is especially good with salmon — and so easy, it’s perfect for last-minute company.

Mustard and Brown Sugar Roasted Salmon

Serves 4


1 quart water

1 egg

Kosher salt

1 pound of wild salmon, skin on

1 tablespoon coarse-ground Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon brown sugar


Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
Make the brine: Pour water into a large bowl. Add a whole egg in its shell, then add salt, stirring to dissolve, until the egg becomes buoyant; it will probably take ¼ to ½ cup of salt. Remove the egg and reserve for another use.Related Articles

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Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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