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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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High on the Hog in pictures

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High on the Hog in pictures

Our sister restaurant EPIC Steak has an event every year very similar to Waterbar's own OysterFest. Both are hosted on our patios overlooking the Bay and bridge while restaurants and wineries serve guests enjoying the sunshine while benefiting great causes. This year was no different with High on the Hog raising funds and awareness for Guide Dogs for the Blind. The event was a success! The weather couldn't have been more perfect, the pork and pinot were a hit and the days entertainment was in full swing. We couldn't be happier with the turnout or more grateful for a wonderful day. A big thanks to all that participated and volunteered, and next? OYSTERFEST 2016!!!!

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Tommy Yracheta has joined the party!

It's been some time coming, but we are happy to introduce Tommy Yracheta, one of the newer Waterbar Managers. We're sure you've seen him, pouring wine and looking dapper on the floor. He is also, one of our sommeliers, with his passion for wine bleeding into his other managerial duties. He and Steven Izzo, our beverage director, are in the process of bulking up our beer game, along with introducing new sake and seasonal cocktails to an already amazing list.

We posed the usual questions, and here's what he had to say........

Q: Where are you from?

A: Los Angeles

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

A: Food and Beverage is and has always been my life, well at least since I was 5.

Q: How long have you been at Waterbar?

A: Coming up on 9 months.

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

A: Coming into a restaurant with so many people who have been here since the beginning. That is something you don't see too often in this industry and makes it a challenge when you first start. This has to do more with wanting to help progress the restaurant, but first understanding what it means to the people who have seen all of the changes.

Q: What's your best memory here?

A: Doing my first inventory with Rich until 3am in the restaurant, while he talked in funny character voices.

Q: What are you up to lately?

A: Working on getting my sake verification.

Q: Plans for the future?

A: I would like to work and live abroad.

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

A: STONE FRUIT!!!! I'm really fanatical about stone fruit.

For those of you who have joined us and have been lucky enough to have interacted with Tommy, his knowledge and enthusiasm is contagious and we are lucky that he has joined our team. We also thought we'd share his debut video, discussing one of the newer beers on the list, Saison Dupont a Belgian farmhouse ale that he paired with the fresh anchovies we just got in from Marin County. ACTION!!!!

Tommy is a natural!

Above we have Local Cure

Above top we have the dish Tommy paired with the Saison Dupont, Cured Local Anchovies - roasted pepper coulis, summer squash, fried ricotta and almonds. We also show the Cured Local Anchovies with hearts of romaine, parmesan and caesar dressing along side the beautiful fish in its semi-natural state.

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