As you know, SF Chefs ruled the food event news of San Francisco this weekend past. Sunday morning brought together hungover souls recovering from Saturday night's Grand Tasting for an aphrodisiac-fueled cooking demo called Date Night: Seduction In Three Courses. It featured four easy-on-the-eyes gastronomes, brought in part by yours truly, Eater SF. Hip Tastes blogger Courtney Cochran was the on-hand witness of the day. Her notes from the field follow.
Though an early Sunday wake-up call isn’t exactly sexy, it’s downright hot when the call to action is a food- and wine-fueled romp featuring Eater’s reigning Hottest Chef in America David Bazirgan, Eater Hottest Chef In the Bay alum Louis Maldonado, Sweet & Skinny cookbook author Marisa Churchill, and Food Network FoodCrafters starlet and local gastro hottie Aida Mollenkamp. This cadre of insanely fetching – and bright-eyed, I might add – toques was on call to lead attendees through a sexy date night meal itinerary. The solution starts with a grip of aphrodisiac hits such as oysters, edible flowers, bacon, prosecco, tons of butter and spice.
1) Mini-clad emcee Mollenkamp kicked things off by acknowledging the awkward hour (“bear with us”), noting that the Chardonnay on offer should help with any lingering hangovers. The featured quaff hailed from Antica, the California arm of Italian wine powerhouse Antinori. Palates primed, the audience settled in for the first sexy preparation of the day.
2) David Bazirgan gamely referred to the prosecco in his oyster preparation as “love potion,” looking appropriately dreamy as he whisked a reduction sauce that also included heavy cream and “tons of butter.” When he remarked that a whopping three ingredients he used – oysters, caviar and bacon – are aphrodisiacs, Mollenkamp christened his offering a “hat trick aphrodisiac dish.”
3) Fifth Floor diners can look forward to über-indulgence in the form of Bazirgan’s newest idea: a foie gras burrata that’ll drop this fall. The hedonistic concoction is Baz's last-ditch effort to “use as much foie gras as we can” before the 2012 ban takes effect.
4) Aziza executive chef Mourad Lahlou, who skipped the affair to observe Ramadan, was replaced last minute by the restaurant's chef de cuisine, Louis Maldonado. He garnished his oil-poached Louisiana prawn with edible flowers he forages weekly for Aziza. Think nasturtium, radish, buckwheat and cornflower blossoms. When asked to specify his sources within San Francisco and the Oakland hills he demurred, “we’ve got David here, so I don’t want to give him my spots.”
5) Maldonado confirmed that Aziza's new digs should be open “before spring” of 2012, though he was quick to add a “tentatively,” noting the unpredictability of restaurant openings.
6) The event’s final hottie, Marisa Churchill, brought her signature effervescence to the stage. She kicked things off kibitzing with Mollenkamp about the unsexiness of guilt. Her new lower-cal cookbook shares dessert recipes in which she’s “lowered fat and calories by about 50%," something the pastry chef hopes will allow readers to both enjoy dessert and get lucky afterwards. If the flavorful "Seductive Lemon Dessert" she served is any indication, she’s onto something.