Alex + Parker

Alex and Parker met me on a gorgeous sunny afternoon atop Dolores Park. Dogs were frolicking, people were picnicking, and some homeless guy was ranting about his lost salad spinner.  I just knew it was gonna be a good day.

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Pressed Fresh Daily

Great news.  Prospect is up and running, and officially, doors open tomorrow, for all the public.  The PR campaign has been hot and heavy, and I am lucky enough to have a photo grace the front page of the Daily Candy San Francisco.

Check out the quick article if you like.

The bar at Prospect greets the patrons as they enter. The space is clean and modern, as is the food and drink.

The Correlation of Personality Characteristics and Pastry Chefs

For my university “senior project” (which in essence turned into a Master’s length thesis), I created a survey to sample the “Personality Characteristics of Marathon Runners.”  As the title implies, I wanted to see if there was any correlation between runners and their personalities.  For example, did someone who ran more than 5 marathons a year fit a certain profile, say, an introvert with an average age of 38?

Elise Fineberg - Prospect's Pastry Chef

Turns out, (for my study anyway) that I didn’t find any correlation between introverts and extroverts versus their running distances, races, etc…  This could have been based solely from my findings, or it could have been that I called my professor from Mexico on a pay-phone (after sailing down solo) from the old section of Puerta Vallarta to see if I had enough credit to pass, even though I wasn’t completely finished.  He said C, I took it for Sí, and that was that.

A decade later A few years hence, I found myself with another personality question. What is the average disposition of a chef? With the quiet seriousness that’s floating around Prospect right now, you might think they’re all biz and no fun. I tell you, it’s contagious. Walk into the kitchen, and the conversation and laughter that were bubbling out of your mouth quickly become muffled.  You don’t even have to look up before you round the corner to know it’s game time.  I was sort of walking around on egg shells for the past few days, trying not to disturb anything.

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Dinner First, Then Dessert

I know it sounds crazy, but when I entered Prospect a few days ago, it was almost surreal that meals were cooking on the plancha, bread crumbs were toasting in the oven, and ice cream was stirring with the freshest ingredients.  I was a pretty happy camper.  Reason A:  I would get to photograph the food in a few days.  B:  I would get to eat that food in a few days.

And since the test meals have been prepared, photographed, and eaten, here’s a sampling of what’s to come…

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Guest Blogging

Whew, it’s been a hurricane of activity around here!  Orders, shoots, and new clients are just filling up the time, but I have been writing too, just not for myself.  I recently posted a little comment on a Grub Street article and interview with the team at Prospect, and was asked by LiveSoma blogger Jeremy to add a little bit of inside knowledge for the local community.  So take a look and enjoy.  Also, I love the title, but sadly, did not come up with it on my own.

See you down the road.

-Todd

Cuesa Cocktailery

I don’t much like driving into the city.  It stresses me out.  Parking, traffic, pedestrians, and crazies are just a few of the things I have to worry about.  But when cocktails and sustainability get involved, well, that’s just a worthwhile cause.  So I fired up the Suby and got going.
Hosting the event at Ferry Building #1, the market where they sell fresh and local produce, Cuesa invited some of the best barkeeps and food engineers around to demonstrate their prowess with local ingredients and hotplates.  What came about was delicious goodness, whether it was in a slightly viscous or solid state.
Entering hungry, niblets surrounded me from all sides; the night was to be cornucopia of varying flavors.  I immediately headed for the Tacolicious stand where fresh cod ceviche was being plated up.  My oh my, I have gone to heaven!  On to the fresh waffles with chicken livers with spicy persimmon relish and Yuzu.  And finally to finish it off, I gulped down a few Spanish style tortilla de patatas.  My gut satiated for the time, I was looking for the main event.
Time to hit up a few drinks.  Looking around on this cold and blustery night, each beverage was seasonal.  Whether it was a persimmon, apple, or pear, you weren’t going to find a strawberry in the house.  Something that Cuesa preaches.
First on the list was a pure rum from Brasil.  Cachaça (rum) mixed with local fruits and spices warmed up my insides and got the rhythm going.  Walter, the SF Area Manger, informed me that the cane fields used to produce Cachaça are never burned.  That would leave a smoky flavor on the sugar.  Secondly, all of the cane is hand cut; another important step in keeping the cane in good shape before processing. I couldn’t argue with the process.  The taste was balanced very nicely.
I then moved to a delicious tequila mixed with pomegranate juice and eggs whites gingerly hugging the surface.  Next came the most interesting and amazing jello shot I have ever had the pleasure of placing on my palate.  I know I know… your imagination immediately takes you back to that night in Cabo where you made several poor choices after woofing down crap vodka jigglers.
Trust me, this is not Julio’s mother’s jello shot.  Scott, you are a mad genius and you’re right.  When life gives you lemons, make lemonade…lemonade that makes you feel damn good!
I was feeling it a bit.  They’re sneaky like that.  After a few more bites of food, I moseyed off to test a few more drinks here and there.  And as the clock wound down, just like that the event was finished and we packed it in.  I gotta say, I just love hanging out with food and drink people.
All they want is to stoke you out and see that smile on your face.  Thanks to all who were kind with their time and explanations.
See you down the road.
-Todd