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Waterbar's Shellfish Bisque Recipe

Some of your ingredients for the shellfish bisque.... crab and clams

Some of your ingredients for the shellfish bisque.... crab and clams

Today we're sharing our very own Shellfish Bisque recipe. We know the holidays can have the same menu all the time, but this might be a nice addition or change from your regular cheese plate starter or salad. Enjoy!

Shellfish Bisque

Ingredients:

  1. 1 quart -Shellfish Shells ( shrimp, clams, lobster, crab, etc.)
  2. 2 each- yellow onions, roughly chopped
  3. 2 each- carrots, roughly shopped
  4. 2 stalks- celery, roughly chopped
  5. 8 ounces- tomatoes, canned whole
  6. 1 bottle- white wine (Sauvignon Blanc)
  7. 8 ounces- butter, unsalted
  8. 2 cups- AP flour
  9. 2 quarts- shellfish stock
  10. 1 quart- heavy cream
  11. 1 cup- cognac
  12. 1/2 bunch- tarragon
  13. 4 tablespoons- cooking oil

Season with salt to taste....

Method:

In a large pot (two gallon is best) toast the shellfish shells on low heat in the cooking oil until fragrant. 

Next add the butter, onions, carrots, celery and sweat until translucent. At this point you can add a good pinch of salt to start layering your seasoning, but don't overdo it.

As soon as the liquid is gone and all that is left is the broken butter and oil, add your flour and toast until cooked. If it's under toasted, the bisque will taste gummy, over toasted and it will taste burnt.

Once it's cooked, add in the white wine and stir constantly scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to keep from sticking and burning. Do this until it no longer smells like alcohol. 

Next, add in the tomatoes, shellfish stock and cream. Continue stirring and scraping the bottom to keep the flour from sticking and burning ( don't scorch your bisque!)

Once it's at a simmer, season with a little more salt, add your tarragon and puree with an emersion blender. This will help with the flavor by breaking up a lot of the vegetables and shellfish. Strain through a fine strainer and season with cognac and salt to your liking.

SERVE AND ENJOY!

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Gingerbread 2016 : Ode to the Ferry Building

Holidays are Here!!!!

Every year our Pastry Chef Angela creates a gingerbread replica of something San Francisco. It started with a tribute to Candlestick Park in it's final year, followed by AT&T Park, then the Palace of Fine Arts and this year, her masterpiece: The Ferry Building of San Francisco with it's Tuesday Farmer's Market. This is truly amazing - a work of art and we couldn't be more proud. Chef Angela is calling it her swan song.....

Something this amazing you should come and see in person! We also wanted to share that Chef Angela did an interview for Martha Stewart Living explaining her inspirations and the time and energy it took to create. Check it out below along with the slideshow!

Chef Angela's Interview:

Q: Why did you decide to do the Ferry Building? What was your approach in creating it?

A: Each year I choose a San Francisco landmark, as the city is so full of them. We try and pick places that are newsy such as At&T Park after the Giant's World Series win in 2014 and Candlestick Park after the demolition ( we called it Candiestick Park). Last year was the Centennial of the Worlds Fair, so we constructed the Palace of Fine Arts. All along I've had my eye on the Ferry Building as it's a bustling scene and just a few blocks from Waterbar. Our chefs visit the Farmer's Market stands and most of us pass it everyday. I knew it would be a serious endeavor, so this year we were able to make it happen.

Q: What;s your favorite thing about working on these gingerbread structures for Waterbar every year?

A: I get a buzz out of the guests' reactions. But I also have a lot of fun trying to incorporate little fun, whimsical elements throughout the piece. It's fun hearing people take notice and spotting the extra details. This year, we incorporated a Pedi-Cab, which cycle down the Embarcadero daily. We have a little skateboarder, chefs shopping, etc. The national, state and city flags on top were made out of gumpaste which I painted with food coloring on the tip of a skewer. Each year, everyone talks about the big hotels and their gingerbread creations and it's been my goal to amke Waterbar one of those destinations.

Q: What was the hardest part about the process of building it? How long did it take?

A: This particular piece is our largest yet. So, collectively it took about 130 hours. From making the dough, baking, sketching blueprints, assembling and decorating. The hardest part is taking into consideration that we are dealing with gingerbread. It's a busy kitchen, so it's hard to find perfectly flat sheet pans. The pieces were limited to the size of our ovens and the sheet pans I could use. Additionally, the gingerbread warps slightly and the thickness affect the final fit. But at the end of the day, it's fun and the tiny imperfections are what prove it's homemade.

The final measurements for everything....

  • 61 cups of flour (that's 18 punds!)
  • 36 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 16 teaspoons ginger
  • 18 sticks of butter
  • 13.5 cups corn syrup
  • 11.5 cups brown sugar
  • 18 pounds of powdered sugar

That's pretty impressive!!!

 

 

 

 

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Shandel Story Time

The holiday season is here, and with that, we thought why not introduce one of our team? You might have seen him in one of his signature colored shirts or smiling at the host stand, but here is his formal introduction, say hello to Shandel Story! The new father and Oakland resident answered our standard questions, so let's get to it.......

Q: Where are you from?

A: The Eastern foothills of the Rockies, Colorado.

Q: How'd you get into restaurants? What was the attraction?

A: I took up working for an old Sicilian (later to be my adopted grandpa) to pay for college, and I soon realized that being involved with this industry was what I loved. My professional fulfillment comes from being a participant in the deliverance of a special guest experience. I strive each and every day to give something profound or transformative to at least one person, or to make one significant personal connection.

Q: How long have you been at Waterbar?

A: Most of my waking hours for three years.

Q: What's been the biggest challenge doing what you do?

A: Adapting to the ever evolving public. That, and giving up all of this precious time that I could be collecting virtual Pokemon.

Q: What's your best memory here?

A: Oh, so many..... Picking peaches with my friends at the Masumoto Farm. Making dear friends with all of our wonderful guests. Watching the fireworks with my lovely wife and colleagues on the patio for the New Year's Eve celebration to name a few. 

Q: What are you up to lately?

A: Raising my ten month old daughter, Stellena.

Q: Plans for the future?

A: Settle into a small town, open a small restaurant, and bring some big time, world class service to my new neighbors.

Q: What food/drink are you looking forward to working with this upcoming season?

A: My palate seems to have short term memory, because as each season approaches I find myself anxiously waiting for the first of the season's produce, as if I had never tasted it before. It's also a great pleasure working with such a well crafted and comprehensive beverage list as Steve Izzo's. Bottom line, the amazing cuisine from the very talented kitchen team is what brought me here, and I enjoy representing it almost as much as I enjoy eating it.

 

 

 

 

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Waterbar is On fire!

Waterbar is on FIRE!!

Recently everything has been coming up Waterbar. Pat Kuleto, our partner, designer and restaurateur extraordinaire was just given the Most Admired CEO from the San Francisco Business Times, our Managing Partner Pete Sittnick won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Golden Gate Restaurant Association and Waterbar won for Best Small Business from the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce. Not everyone can say this, we are so lucky!

Pete Sittnick accepting Waterbar's Best Small business Award form the Chamber of Commerce. 

Pete Sittnick accepting Waterbar's Best Small business Award form the Chamber of Commerce. 

As we celebrate the Holiday season and especially after the week we've had, we would like to say a big THANK YOU to our community and city, San Francisco. We wouldn't be anything without the support of our neighbors, friends and other businesses throughout the city. We really can't believe it! Enjoy the season and know how much Waterbar appreciates you.

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Tis the Season!

Every year we try and share in the spirit of the holiday with recipes from our amazing chefs. This year we're doing it again with a recipe from Chef Greg D'Alessandro. We're actually serving this dish as we speak with a seared Ling Cod - the balance is perfect for either meat or fish. Our Chefs are truly gifted.

So here it is, Chef Greg's Chestnut Bread Pudding Recipe!

Chestnut bread pudding: serves 8

  1. 6 loaves of brioche
  2. 6 eggs
  3. 1/2 quart heavy cream
  4. 1 T chopped thyme leaves
  5. 1/2 lb. roasted and peeled chestnuts
  6. 1 T soft butter
  7. 1/2 t salt
  8. 1/2 t ground pepper

Method

  1. Combine the whole eggs and heavy cream together with a whisk to create a custard base
  2. Tear brioche into 3/4 in pieces and mix into the custard base
  3. Add chopped chestnuts and thyme to the custard along with salt and pepper
  4. Pre-grease a casserole dish with soft butter
  5. Place bread pudding in a casserole dish and bake at 350° in a convection oven for about 30 minutes

Notes

A good way to check and see if it's done is to place a toothpick in the center of the bread pudding, if it comes out clean, it's ready. Also note you can find ready to use chestnuts at most supermarkets.

 

HAPPY BAKING

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Oyster Give Back - October 2016

To finish up 2016, we have picked our new Oyster Give Back beneficiary in correlation with National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. October is the beginning of the new quarter for Waterbar, and with that comes a new partner in sharing and spreading the love with our Oyster Give Back Campaign

We combine causes from both land and sea when donating, and last quarter we were happy to have The Watershed Project back as our comrade. This quarter we welcome the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC).  On average one in two of us will develop cancer in our lifetimes. This Bay Area non-profit research organization is dedicated to preventing cancer and to reducing its burden where it cannot yet be prevented. 

Waterbar is proud to donate 5¢ for every oyster sold in support of these community organizations. We will also be part of the festivities at CPIC's annual fundraising event - DanceFAR ( For a Reason ). This is the premiere Bay Area dance troupe performance on November 29th at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. ( www.dancefar.org )

........ This is why we love what we do.

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Meet the sweet Dotty, from our pastry team.....

This is Dorothy. She is one of the newer additions and has made a great impact on our team. So much so, she is now our new Pastry Sous here at Waterbar. We're always excited when someone new comes in and thrives, and we couldn't be happier to have her. So, here we go with the questions........

Q: Where are you from?

A: New York City, Spanish Harlem to be exact.

Q: How'd you get into restaurants? What was the attraction?

A: I am an only child and my mom would take me out to restaurants when I was a kid. I fell in love with the atmosphere and figured out that I really wanted to be a cook by the time I was 10. Sure enough, right after high school I went straight to culinary school and haven't looked back since.

Q: How long have you been at Waterbar?

A: I started February 16th.

Q: What's been the biggest challenge doing what you do?

A: Trusting my instinct and learning to be a leader. 

Q: What's your best memory here? 

A: On Mother's Day all the pastry chefs got to create their own desserts and name them after their mother. I made a carrot cake for my mom which I make for her every year on her birthday, it was really special to me.

Q: What are you up to lately?

A: Outside of work I love arts and crafts and being creative. Right now I'm really into my photography and painting.

Q: Plans for the future? 

A: I moved to California about a year ago, so right now my plans include growing at Waterbar in the sous chef position and getting to know and explore California.

Q: What's a food you're looking forward to working with in the upcoming season?

A: As the fall season approaches, I'm really looking forward to working with Quince and Concord grapes.

 

THANKS DOTTY!!!!!

 

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Another OysterFest Success!!!

It is amazing how fast time flies. It feels like we just started planning OysterFest 2016, and sad to say, it's already over! It was once again an amazing event filled with fun, sun, wine, oysters, great music, a Hot Sauce competition, an oyster shucking contest, silent auction, we could go on all day......

And of course, not unlike last year or the year before, we raised money for the San Francisco chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

We've put together some pictures in celebration of a great event. We would also like to thank everyone who participated and shared in an awesome Sunday funday! Cheers and thank you!

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OysterFest 2016 is here

Waterbar's annual OysterFest is just around the corner. Usually hosted the last weekend in August, this year is no different. Sunday, August 28th 2016 from 12-3pm we will see another year of live music, wine from all over the West Coast , local craft beer, oysters, passed hors d'ouvres  and small bites from the best restaurants in the Bay Area, an oyster shucking contest, a silent auction and once again all benefiting the San Francisco Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

Last year's event was the biggest ever, selling over 400 tickets - for $75, TICKETS include all of the festivities. Hosted on both Waterbar and EPIC's incredible patios, we're looking forward to this year's event. We have new restaurants and wineries joining us this year with a new local brew as well. Come and enjoy Waterbar's OysterFest 2016!

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Success! The Masumoto Family & Waterbar in pictures

Recently we had the Masumoto Family with us hosting an event on out North Terrace. It's one of the first of it's kind and we had a wonderful time. The wine flowed, the food was superb and the Masumoto family was as charming as ever. 

From left: Korio, Mas, Nikiko, Eric Hyman, Rich Troiani and Marcy Masumoto.

From left: Korio, Mas, Nikiko, Eric Hyman, Rich Troiani and Marcy Masumoto.

The event featured a menu designed by our in-house artist and server Sophie Tivona. She's done our New Year's Eve menus multiple years and helped when we hosted a Daniel Webster Elementary class here at the restaurant. Her talent is as sweet as the peaches and nectarines served last night! The Masumoto menu was actually created as a coloring page - something interactive and perfect for the event. The food served was spectacular. We posted some pictures on Instagram and Facebook and have added a slideshow here. It was too much fun!

With the harvest having just ended and our trees being very generous this season, we picked our fair share of both LeGrand Nectarines and Elberta peaches on the families organic farm just outside of Fresno. With nothing but the freshest of ingredients to begin with, this tapas style evening was something we'll remember. Thank you to everyone who came, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. 

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The Honey Harvest is Upon Us.... thanks Eric!!!!

As we've mentioned, Waterbar has a rooftop bee hive kept by our purchasing manager Eric Hyman. It is a beautiful thing. He recently harvested the honey and the process is quite amazing. We posted a video of Chef Angela cutting the honeycomb from the hive, and Eric has shown the hive on his own Instagram and whatnot, but our pride runs deep and we wanted to share more.

Our honey bees gave us over 2 gallons of honey, and we are using it already! The honey harvest coincided perfectly with the Masumoto Family Farm peach and nectarine picking and the dishes that have been created are summer perfection.

We started with a Masumoto Elberta Peach Salad, fresh mozzarella, fennel and our rooftop honey in a  muscat vinaigrette. Truly the epitome of a summer salad with perfectly picked stone fruit, our very own honey and homemade levain lace. On the dinner menu we have another Masumoto collaboration but with the LeGrand Nectarines. Also served with our own levain lace, this starter is served with Ibérico ham, arugula and of course our rooftop honey. We are inspired by everything this summer! 

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The Masumoto Harvest 2016

We know summer is officially here when we visit the Masumoto Family Farm. This year our adopted LeGrande Nectarine and Elberta Peach trees were bountiful, yielding a harvest that has inspired an amazing summer menu. From non-alcoholic drinks to summer cocktails, stone fruit salads and desserts, our menus are inspired by the harvest and the season.

 

Our Chef de Cuisine Justin Baade made his first trek to the farm country just outside of Fresno. The experience is like nothing else- meeting at the restaurant at 3am, driving the 3+ hours to the farm and picking the fruit you know will be served at the restaurant. The Masumoto's are the most gracious of hosts serving bagels and cream cheese, coffee and tea when you first arrive and serving a peach and nectarine themed lunch in the orchard midday. This year Mas read original poetry inspired by the fruit - this is truly his passion.

After 8 years of harvesting with the family in Del Rey, California, we have cultivated not only a partnership, but a friendship based on mutual respect and an appreciation of nature and sustaining it the best we can. Cheers to the Masumoto Family and Waterbar!

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