For years I have used a finer mesh strainer, and still do, for so many things, but this larger wire strainer basket lifts dumplings, noodles, blanched vegetables, and more from a pot of bubbling water with ease, while the wooden handle stays touchable. You’ll wonder how you ever cooked without it. They come in many sizes – the 5” is my go-to – but I have many.
These are affordable, stackable, and easily hand out of the way. I am known to spend hours wandering the isles of Asian markets – and I take the time to do so wherever I go. This is where I find them, so I recommend a visit to one in your nearest city. You can also easily find them online.
Mushroom foraging – A late summer and Fall culinarians delight! You can forage on your own, as I do. I am a fanatic, scouring the woods almost daily in the season. I have studied the mushrooms my entire life. In our region, cep’s are prevalent. A meaty and large mushroom from the Boletus family. I recommend you read up on the types and even then it can be tricky to define a good from a bad. Seek out an expert to help you identify the mushroom type! Or make an adventure of it and take a guided tour – you can google several globally – but one I have hear is good is during the Mendocino Mushroom Wine and Beer Festival the first weekend in November each year – sign up for the tour!
Dandelion foraging – A Springtime must! You don’t have to venture far for this wonderful weed that makes a tasty and antioxidant full salad!
The recipe is in my first cookbook: Chef Frederic’s Best
Eric is a friend and is one of the best creative talents who puts a beautifully artful and modern spin on his delicious chocolates. Traditionally crafted – these are a delight not to miss.
Lighter and more flexible than western knives and ideal for chopping delicate ingredients. Models found in any metropolis’ China town or Korea town have many and they are affordable! They sharpen well and the best part – when you lose it or sharpen it past using – they are extremely affordable to replace!
If you cannot make it yourself, then Zingerman’s Bacon of the Month Club…
“I’m a big fan of my wife’s maple/pepper bacon. She skewers thick smoked bacon strips with a 6″ skewer, twisting it so it curls around it several times… then she spreads a maple syrup and pepper mixture on bacon and slow bakes it at 325degrees until done. Then she lets it sit for more than 6 hours to “crisp”. Great as a Bloody Mary stir stick or accoutrements or on their own at a brunch. But if you do not have the time or patience – Zingerman’s is a great site for this and many other great gift idea’s – including for yourself!
Santa Monica seafood – This wholesale vendor also serves the public. I use them commercially, an highly recommend them to you with 2 locations in Santa Monica and Costa Mesa – a fabulous fish market and café.
They have a flavorful and well balanced product and are a great value for commercial and retail purchases. As a restauranteur, I find that the professionalism, timing of delivery and pricing commercially are very easy to work with. I highly recommend this vanilla.
My go-to vanilla purveyor is www.vanillafromtahiti.com.