Once you've gobbled up Joyce Goldstein's latest book, Inside the California Food Revolution, you may find yourself wanting to mull over the weighty topics with others -- what does California cuisine really mean, anyways, and does it depend on who you ask? Tomorrow night at a Taste Talk event at the San Francisco Cooking School, check out a fun and bookish event that promises face time with area culinary stars and a coffee and dessert bar from Neighbor Bakehouse and Crumb.
Expect a lively panel discussion moderated by Sara Deseran of San Francisco magazine, who will be joined on stage with: Cortney Burns (Bar Tartine), Laurence Jossel (NOPA), Brett Cooper (Outerlands), Catherine Pantsios (Director of Culinary Arts San Francisco Cooking School), Joyce Goldstein (Author, Inside the California Food Revolution), and Evan Rich (Rich Table).
An open forum Q&A follows and topics will include:
• "Farm to Table" and "Market Driven" are no longer just trends specific to the Bay Area. What does it mean today when we say "California Cuisine"?
• Does the traditional French brigade kitchen and style of cooking still have a place in California?
• How do chefs differentiate themselves when the community here has access to such a bounty of product at their fingertips? What's being done to make food feel unique or special while maintaining the integrity of ingredients?
• How do chefs and cooking instructors teach "California cuisine?"
One question we'd love to hear mulled over is the likelihood that area chefs will ever feel comfortable about serving a plate of perfect figs again -- maybe so, maybe not?
Catherine Pantsios, director of culinary arts at San Francisco Cooking School, is a panelist who has seen the California cuisine scene evolve over time (and, along with Goldstein, is one of the more seasoned and senior members of the group). As she explains, "When I started cooking in California three decades ago, a small movement was dedicated to seasonal cooking and sourcing as locally as possible. Today's generation has taken this philosophy to heart, and has deepened the relationship of seasonality and locality in many surprising ways. I'm looking forward to being a part of the discussion and sharing how we teach the values of California cuisine here at the school."
TASTE TALKS at San Francisco Cooking School
When: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 8 p.m.
Cost: $20, buy tickets on the SFCS website
Where: San Francisco Cooking School, 690 Van Ness Ave. (at Turk)