Waterbar and the Masumoto Family Farm have been partners in sustainability for over 5 years now. We have adopted countless trees and harvested them with our bare hands on the farm located just outside of Fresno. This partnership continues as the harvest comes closer, we just found out we're having twins! Our Elberta Peach trees and LeGrand Nectarines are bearing hundreds of fruits and we can't wait to add them to our menu. Last year the harvest coincided with our rooftop bee hive and the honey was ready just in time. This year shouldn't be much different and we can't wait!
Recently our Executive Pastry Chef Angela made the trek to grande Paris. Her cohort consisted of other pastry chefs from San Francisco. While they soaked in the sites and flavors of France, Chef Angela was plotting ways to bring back those flavors and incorporate them into Waterbar's already amazing dessert menu. She only just got back, but we're intrigued to see the influences France has had on our dear Angela.
Chef Angela, in her own words, describes her Valrhona Trip.....
I've always deeply believed that travel inspires. Meeting new people, seeing new places, tasting new flavors. I find inspiration in the architecture, nature, art, fashion and beyond.
When Valrhona invited me along with 8 other Bay Area chefs to their factory and classrooms in Tain L'Hermitage, I knew it was an opportunity I wouldn't want to miss. Our group was comprised of some of the best pastry chefs in San Francisco and the Bay Area.
It all started with a train trip from Paris to Valence, south of Lyon and straight into the culinary heart of the country. We passed through the town of Montelimar known for its delicious namesake, nougat candy. Our final destination was only a bit further to the town of Tain L'Hermitage nestled along the Seine. It's in this town that Valrhona chocolate was founded and thrives. What began as a small little factory has not changed a great deal, but with the evolution of industrialization, their chocolate and praline production was able to expand.
New machines made for more efficient processing, but what impressed me most were the small teams of workers processing, finishing and still packaging by hand. When I saw a team of four, hand decorating each individual Bon Bon that came off the processing line and the next team selecting and packing the little treats, I was stunned. I have an appreciation for the minutae and if you are wondering, like I was, where the "reject" truffles go, it's to the local pig farmers. I'd be interested to taste the terroir of that meat!
Another point of interest is that the factory abuts the school, so their team of chefs can literally shape the flavors, textures and profiles they need with direct feedback to the mix masters. This wasn't an elaborate sales pitch, since we were already all customers, but this was a nice confirmation and expansion of what we can do with their products. Another thing I enjoyed learning was how Valrhona's ethos echoes that of Waterbar. Valrhona sources beans from around the world by working with the individual farmers to help them grow the best beans with the best flavors. They pay above market rates to ensure quality, but it means more for the long term sustainability of the commodity. Valrhona is a relatively small chocolate producer, but they have such a varied product line. I particularly like their single origin chocolates, which have such unique qualities and identities.
It was a dream for us as pastry chefs - the class space was top of the line. Tempering machines, enrobers, the finest molds, ovens, the shiniest sheet pans I've ever seen, ice cream machines and so many other fun gadgets! Classes were taught by Chef Christophe Domange, who patiently demonstrated lessons in plated desserts, bonbons and ice creams. His assistant, Martin, worked magic in the background by finding and solving our every need. Even baking us treats to go with our morning espresso.
It was nice to step away from the hustle of service and enjoy the comraderie of fellow artisans. Back in San Francisco, where we are completely spoiled by the culinary gems lurking around every corner, I've been reinvigorated and motivated to create new pastry experiences for our guests at Waterbar. Looking forward to seeing you soon. - Chef Angela
THANKS ANGELA!!! We can't wait to see what comes out of that kitchen, and we can't wait to share it with San Francisco!
Enter the CAL/Stanford Food Innovation & Design Symposium. This is a culmination of academic researchers, entrepreneurs, chefs, designers and students sharing in their perspectives of food innovation and what the future of food will look like. Chef Parke is honored to participate in this community based event where he can share his passion for local, fresh and sustainable ingredients reflected in a menu that is inspired solely by the seasons. His focus on simple, delicious seafood has made Waterbar a force here in the San Francisco Bay. Hence, his contribution. We look forward to seeing others ideas and philosophies regarding something as important as food, especially in the future.
We recently welcomed Daniel Webster Elementary to our Oyster Give Back family. However, unlike other partners, Daniel Webster Elementary and some of its lucky students got to take over (kind of) Waterbar.
It started with a little lesson with Eric Hyman. He talked fish and crab and lobster AND THEN he showed them his bee gear and a little piece of bees wax from our rooftop bee hive. Next they made cookies with our Executive Pastry Chef Angela, (just in time for Mother's Day!). And finally they made T-shirts with our house artist Sophie Tivona. All in all we were lucky to have them and hope they had as good a time as us!
Above we have a little slideshow of what the kids were up to when they were here. And yes, that is a real fish painted for t-shirts they made!
Waterbar and Kristi Yamaguchi team up for a wonderful cause!
This event took place last weekend, and as supporters we thought we'd share in the fun that was had by our team and the guests at the event. It was hosted at the California Academy of Sciences, and the venue was perfect for the thousand guests that met with former Olympians Carly Patterson, Brian Boitano and Jonny Moseley among many others.
Proceeds from the event will support Always Reading, a literacy support program for schools that help provide 21st century technology to classrooms as well as benefiting Raising a Reader's award-winning parent engagement program. Needless to say we were happy to be there, and think these pictures prove it!
Mother's Day is a time that people come together. Last year in celebration our pastry team dedicated desserts inspired by their own mothers and this year we are doing the same. Here's a little peak at what we'll be offering, and a glimpse into our pastry team's influences and imaginations.
"The Clara" by Chef Angela: Mega Dark Chocolate Entrement - Bittersweet mousse and cocoa nib crunch
"The Vivien" by Chef Dottie: Classic Carrot Cake - Ginger Ice Cream and Cream Cheese Frosting
"The Chimnaz" by Chef Farzad: Rose Ice Cream Sandwich - Pistachio Praline Crust and Vanilla Chantilly
"The 'Lil Debi" by Chef Eric: Peanut Butter Fluff Tart - Peanut Praline Crust and Vanilla Chantilly
"The Angela" by Chef Angel : Coconut & Almond Milk Tapioca - Mango Sorbet and Candied Pecans
Daniel Webster Day at Waterbar
This Oyster Giveback Campaign we have going on here at Waterbar is pretty awesome. We've been doing it around 2 years now and have raised over $50,000. With each beneficiary being either rooted in land or inspired by water, we have cultivated relationships we hope to have for years to come.
Our current partnership with the local Daniel Webster Elementary School, located in Potrero Hill is one unlike any other. Not only are we contributing cash money to help develop programs and support extracurriculars, we are hosting a Daniel Webster Day at Waterbar! A lucky class will be coming to the restaurant on Monday, May 2nd, and test their skills at cookie making with our Executive Pastry Chef Angela (just in time for Mother's Day), fill their brains and maybe even their mouths full of some oyster/shellfish knowledge with Eric Hyman and finish the day with our house artist Sophie Tivona making T-shirts to commemorate the day.
All in all the day will be filled with contagious positive vibes and we are thrilled. Stay tuned for some inspiring pictures and videos from the day!
Waterbar is going to be on Check Please Bay Area!
One of the best ways to find out the hot spots throughout the Bay Area is through the local based show Check Please! Bay Area. Shown on KQED channel 9, this weekly show brings people together to discuss locals favorite places to eat, drink and be merry!
Waterbar was lucky enough to be chosen for a spring show! We will be on April 28th at 7:30pm. For those of you unfamiliar with the show, there is a panel of 3 guests with the lovely Leslie Sbrocco as host. One guest chooses their favorite restaurant while the other two give it a go and they all come back to a table and share in their experiences. It's always fun seeing how people react to things they wouldn't normally try, fall in love with something or, not. We look forward to our show and hope you'll catch it. Again, it's on April 28th at 7:30pm on local channel 9, KQED with encore showings on April 29th at 8;30pm and April 30th at 12pm. CHEERS!
Oyster Give Back Beneficiary : The Newest Addition
Our Oyster Give Back Campaign is something we are very proud of. We have partnered with the likes of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Glide, The Watershed Project to name a few. For this round we thought something completely local, and an establishment in real need of support would be a great addition to our already well-rounded family. Enter, Daniel Webster Elementary.
This kindergarten through 5th grade school almost closed back in 2005. In response, some of the parents went to the community and petitioned the district to keep the school open by altering the teaching staff and creating a Spanish Immersion Program. With almost 300 students and funding being cut on a regular basis, Daniel Webster has stayed open and ensured not only the building of community but also promoting neighborhood stability. With nearby families from the Dogpatch, SoMa, Bernal Heights, Bayview, the Mission and Potrero Hill itself, we are hoping to help in the development of this small community.
This will be the most interactive beneficiary we've had. When our General Manager Rich Troiani created the Oyster Give Back program, this is what he had in mind. This school is another facet of giving back that we have yet to explore, a local public school in real need of support. We're excited to host a group of kids at the restaurant - showing them how to shuck some oysters and make truffles with our Executive Pastry Chef Angela Salvatore. We're also planning a trip to the school with our very own team of volunteers to help serve lunch to the kids and head a craft project. We'll be following up with some amazing stories, so keep checking back!
BABA AU RHUM
For those of you looking for the perfect dessert, look no further. This Baba Au Rhum is a classic dessert, made up of a super soaked brioche cake served with our very own Mt.Gay Black Barrel Rum, Apprentice Edition and housemade caramelized pineapple ice cream.
Not only is this cake the jam because it has our very own rum in it, but it is not for the faint of heart or anyone under 21, really. We also thought a feature would be great because it's so easy to make. And what's even better, is that if you ask very nicely, we might even sell you a bottle of our Mt. Gay Black Barrel Rum. If you're lucky! So here's the recipe, good luck!
Let's start with the most important part of this recipe, the Rum Syrup......
Sugar - 2 cups Water - 1/2 cup Rum - 1/2 cup
1. Bring the sugar and water to a boil, then chill
2. Stir in rum and let sit
Next let's make some Baba cakes! Here are your ingredients.......
You can use muffin tins for this recipe.
AP Flour - 1 1/2 cups Salt - 1/4 teaspoon Yeast - 1 Tablespoon Sugar - 2 teaspoons Milk, warm - 1/3 cup Butter - 1 cup Eggs - 3
1. Spray baba tins or muffin tins with pan spray
2. Bloom yeast in warm milk with sugar and 1 Tablespoon flour ~ 10 minutes
3. Rub butter into salt and remaining flour - crumbly
4. Add yeast mix and eggs to flour until smooth ~ 2 minutes
5. Proof until doubled ~ 45 minutes
6. Beat again for 2 minutes with spatula or hand
7. Fill prepared pans half way with dough (will be very loose, almost like a batter)
8. Proof, covered until dough reaches rim
9. Bake at 350° until golden and done ~ 20 minutes
Last but not least we're going to soak those little cakes! Soak cake until saturated and place on sheet trays to dry.
You have now made our Baba au Rhum. We serve it with a homemade pineapple ice cream. Enjoy!!!
Being in the food and beverage industry we are around a lot of great products. Steve Izzo, our beverage director extraordinaire, has shared with me something he's really into right now. We're going to be asking him on a more regular basis how he feels about certain things.
The breadth of Steve's knowledge is mind boggling. If you ever have a question about anything, truly, from wine to brandy and what we asked him about this time around - bourbon, you will get enough information to fill a glass. A very large glass. So Steve, what are you excited about? What do you want to wet your whistle with? His answer? Colonel E. H. Taylor Barrel Proof uncut and unfiltered Straight Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey.
So what's so special about this spirit in particular? For one it's bottled straight out of the barrel. Second, it's 129 proof. That means its ABV is 64.5%. Third it's a traditional bourbon, which means it's at least 51% corn, which we love. What all these facts add up to is a one drink that is quite versatile. When a liquor has such a high alcohol content, the addition of different levels of water creates a different flavor. You might get more of a toasted oak and black pepper flavor with less water, while more water will bring the creme caramel and vanilla notes to the forefront. This range makes for a great nightcap or even a digestif. That is pretty awesome, no wonder Steve is a fan.
That's it for this months recommendation. We'll be back again soon with yet another Steve Izzo referral. Cheers!
Say hello Kevin! Kevin has been around Waterbar for a while, and what better way to introduce him than with his cocktail?!
For those of you that frequent Waterbar, we're sure you've seen this handsome gent roaming around making sure you're being well taken care of. For those of you that haven't joined us, you should and for more than just cocktails. Although, they are a wonderful way to start the evening. Today we are inviting you to try Kevin's Tipsy Vine. We're going to start with 5-10 seedless grapes muddled, Cazadores Reposado Tequila (2.5 oz.), Agave nectar (.5 oz.) 3 dashes orange bitters. Combine, shake, pour and enjoy! Cheers to you Kevin!