Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 3 in California-part 1

simple and elegant

citrus and avocado salad

smoked steelhead salmon, marinated beets, potatoes and horseradish cream

shaved sunchokes and funnel salad with anchovy, garlic and parmesan

a bowl of Churchill-Breneis Orchards Kishu tangerines and Bahri dates

Yes, Chez Panisse was one of the reasons for this trip. It was my absolute favorite place to eat when I used to live in the Bay Area. I believe in food. Like most Koreans, I believe shin-toh-bul-yi which can be translated to: Human and Earth can't be two. We are what we eat and we should eat is what is grown around where we live. Our ancestors were wise enough to emphasize eating local and seasonal for well-being from long time ago. I believe this is similar to Alice Waters' philosophy which has been changing the food culture in America.

Dining again at the Chez Panisse Cafe reminded me once more that sometimes we don't need much more than a handful of fresh produce, a pinch of good sea salt and a spoonful of fragrant olive oil to make an unforgettable dish. I subscribe to the point of view that often less is more. Needless to say, the food at Chez Panisse was beautiful, delicious, honest and simple.

Right before this food journey, I had bought some tangerines at a local store. They tasted like diluted sugar syrup with hardly any flavor or taste of tangerines. It actually made me sad. As I popped a Churchilll-Brenneis Orchards Kishu tangerine segment into my mouth at Chez Panisse, a burst of flavor and essence of everything a tangerine should be flooded my senses. I felt so envious of those who are blessed to live near fresh produce all year around.


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