Beverage Director, Francisco Bazo

Francisco Bazo grew up in Lima, Peru. One of eleven children, Francisco started helping his mother in the kitchen at a very young age and found a genuine interest in cooking. While never professionally trained, Francisco's mother was a skilled cook and taught Francisco the importance of fresh ingredients, honoring the local bounty, and taking the time to make dishes from scratch.

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Francisco’s father was an accomplished musician and his family was known in the community for entertaining.  Throughout the year, friends and family from near and far gathered together at the Bazo house to celebrate good food, great company, and to dance.

Francisco moved to San Francisco in 1997 and immediately found a position at One Market Restaurant. Starting off as a dishwasher, he quickly made his way through the ranks and found that the bar and beverage program interested him most. He became involved in creating cocktails and found a new love, wine.

After holding a bartending position for over five years at One Market Restaurant, the Lark Creek Restaurant Group offered Francisco a management position at Lark Creek Restaurant in Walnut Creek. At the established eatery, he continued to impress ownership, who offered yet another opportunity for advancement, this time as the Bar Manager at One Market Restaurant.

Looking for a change, Francisco moved to Waterbar in 2010 and immediately became an integral part of the bar and beverage team, creating a loyal following of regulars and continuing to pursue his interest in food, drinks, and wine. 

Francisco brings a new commitment to education as the Beverage Director at Waterbar. He is pursuing his own educational goals and is a Certified Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers.  He is studying for the next exam and is involved in wine tasting groups and events in the local wine community. These achievements have motivated him to promote learning and staff education, and Francisco is an advocate for staff involvement and guides staff on trips to local wineries and breweries.

Francisco, his wife, and two daughters reside in Alameda. His love for entertaining is matched by his family and they are known to throw a great party. He and his family are actively involved in the community and whenever time allows, they love getting away for a camping or skiing trip.

Meet our new sweet expert, Erica.

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Let's get to know our new Pastry Chef Erica, shall we?

Q: Where are you from?

A: I was born and raised in a small town in rural Nebraska called North Platte. Climbing trees, wading for crawfish and spending Saturday mornings mowing my grandparents lawn were all normal things for me.

Q: What did you want to be when you were 12?

A: I've know since I was 10 that I wanted to be a pastry chef. I never left my grandmother's side in the kitchen and I was baking loaves of banana bread by the dozen before I was a teenager. I didn't realize it at the time, but I created my first recipe when I was a sophomore in high school. I still use the apple pie filling recipe to this day. 

Q: What's your favorite or spirit animal?

A: I love my dog Sam to death, but the hummingbird blows me away. There's something amazing about those tiny little birds and the way they have to live their lives. They have to be tough and resilient and that really resonates with me.

Q: Where's a destination on your bucket list?

A: I'm a huge national parks fan, but the next big trip will definitely be a road trip on the west coast of Norway. I want to hike the fjords and see the northern lights.

Erica likes to travel :)

Erica likes to travel :)

Q: What is your greatest or biggest fear?

A: Honestly, spiders and bees. I'm deathly afraid of anything that small that you can't see coming and attacking you. I'm excited that we have our own bee hives, but I will be leaving the harvesting to Eric. 

Q: What's a goal or lesson you have at Waterbar?

A: My goal here is to grow the pastry team and take it to the next level. I'm excited to collaborate with some amazing chefs and I look forward to mentoring the pastry chefs of tomorrow.

We can't wait, Erica.

 

It's Brittany! Our new Pastry Sous!

Say hello to Brittany!! She is our newest employee to climb the ranks here at Waterbar and we couldn't be happier! Let's see what she has to say!

Q: Where are you from?

A: California, home grown. I was born and raised in Elk Grove, about 2 hours east of San Francisco.

Q: What did you want to be when you were 12?

A: Being raised by parents that were both educators, as a kid I wanted to be an art teacher when I grew up. From a young age I was getting my hands dirty with art projects, which turned into a passion for photography as I got older. I never pursued teaching, but did graduate with a Bachelor of Arts with an emphasis in photography.

Q: What's your favorite or spirit animal?

A: Dogs are easily my favorite animal. I think that dogs can bring joy, comfort and love in a different way then people are able to. I look forward to the point in  my life that I can have a furry love of my own.

Q: What's a destination on your bucket list?

A: The seven new wonders of the world. At some point in the next ten years I will take a year to travel around the globe to visit these extraordinary sites. They will be great jumping off points to explore the countries they are located in, as well as the counties that surround them.

Q: What's your greatest or biggest fear?

A: The ocean. Nature is a beautiful and powerful force that I both respect and fear.

Q: What's a goal or lesson you've learned from Waterbar?

A: During my time at Waterbar it has been my ambition to gain as much understanding about the food science that is pastry. I want to gain a stronger  knowledge about the technicalities that go into creating food. It's one thing to be able to create a delicious dessert, but I strive to learn the background of the ingredients and what they are capable of doing.

 

Meet Megan O'Keeffe, everyone!

The year is starting strong with another amazing woman joining the ranks as a boss! Megan is our newest Sous Chef and it's time to introduce her properly...

Megan to the left LOLing!

Megan to the left LOLing!

Q: Where are you from?

A: Born and raised in Southern California and until about two years ago I lived in San Diego. I came to the Bay Area because my brother has lived here for the last ten years and has been twisting my arm the entire time to move up.

Q: What did you want to be when you were 12 years old?

A: I wish I could say cooking but I remember wanting to be a marine biologist or train horses. I was heavy into horses and couldn't imagine living without them, but what 12 year old girl isn't? I also remember baking pumpkin pies with my Mom when I was 5, standing on a step stool with a wooden spoon and bowl. I know that experience had a large influence on me, perhaps more than I knew at the time.

Q: What's your favorite animal or spirit animal?

A: I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a soft spot in my heart for horses but dogs may take number one. I don't go too ga-ga for babies but if I see a dog, my inner dialogue immediately changes to something along the lines of baby talk.

Q: Destination on your bucket list?

A: As of right now the next place I want to visit is Europe- France in particular. But true bucket list destination? I would have to say Thailand. White sandy beaches, coconut soup and crystal clear water sounds dreamy.

Q: What is your greatest or biggest Fear?

A: Being the hopeless romantic that I am, I would say never finding 'the one'.

Q: Any goals or lessons that stick out from Waterbar?

A: I learn something every single day form Waterbar- I've never worked somewhere where that's the case, it's amazing. I love it. The biggest lesson that I've learned and one thing I still have to work on is understanding. It takes so many people so much time and effort to make the wheels turn, understanding is vital. I few of my mentors have so much patience and understanding, I couldn't be in a better position to learn and grow to be a stronger leader.

 

That's a wrap!!!! Megan, you're the best!

 

Welcome, Jensen Bogan, everyone

Say hello to Jensen. The newly graduated, wine loving floor manager at Waterbar.

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Q: Where are you from?

A: San Diego, California

Q: What did you want to be when you grew up at the age of 12?

A: A veterinarian. I love animals! If there is a dog on Waterbar's patio there is a 99% chance I will offer it a dog treat made by our pastry team. 

Q: What's your favorite or Spirit animal?

A: A corgi.

Q: What's the next destination on your bucket list?

A: The next trip I would like to check off the list is a road trip through the fjords of Norway.

Q: What's your biggest fear?

A: The dark.

Q: What's a goal you have or a lesson you've learned at Waterbar?

A: The goal I am currently working towards is getting my Level 1 Sommelier Certification.  I am thankful to have many great, knowledgeable and patient mentors here at Waterbar willing to teach me all about the world of wine!

 

Thanks Jensen!!

The Masumoto Farm & Family 2017!

Another summer, another peach and nectarine harvest with our favorite farmers,

The Masumoto Family!! 

Waterbar and the Masumoto Family Farm have been working together for quite some time now. We adopted our trees over eight years ago and have gone up to harvest them every year, we are "The Mighty Waterbar "! Eric Hyman our Purchasing Manager along with Mas, Marcy, Nikiko and Korio have cultivated an awesome relationship. This year was special- one of our most dedicated and long standing servers Yetem and her sweet family of three went to Fresno, California last weekend and picked their little hearts out. The Masumoto's as always were gracious and enjoyed it every bit as much as Classic, Ethan and Yetem. She shared her pictures and from the looks of it, fun was had by all!

Taste of Potrero in Pictures

It was our pleasure to participate in this years Taste of Potrero. Benefiting our partner Daniel Webster Elementary, this event was fun and inspiring. What better way to raise money for a local school than get the best restaurants and bars of San Francisco together and share in the love of food, wine, drinks and education. Cheers to the future!

Oyster Giveback-Spring 2017

Waterbar welcomes the newest member of our Oyster GiveBack club; bay.org.

Our Oyster GiveBack Campaign is going strong and as we welcome Spring with open arms we also greet our newest beneficiary bay.org with enthusiasm. Bay.org is an umbrella organization that fosters and supports anything and everything having to do with the sea and its sustained health. With Aquarium of the Bay, The Bay Institute, Sea Lion Center, EcoCenter, Bay Model Alliance and GoPlaces we think Bay.org has it covered.

As of April 1st, we have raised $86,455 for local and national organizations that share in our love of planet and community. So, every time you order an oyster, just think you are doing something good and giving back. THANK YOU!

Below we have General Manager Rich welcoming Bay.org to the Oyster Giveback family.....

Easter Brunch 2017

Happy Easter from Waterbar

Hard to believe, but it is the first day of Spring! With Spring comes Easter and our brunch menu is something to behold. For $55 per person you have options for each course and a dessert menu that will make not getting dessert impossible. 

Choose One

Mixed Baby Greens - housemade focaccia toast, goat cheese, meyer lemon marmalade,   sunflower seeds

Ahi Tuna Crudo - avocado mousse, spiced cashews, keffir lime

Local Asparagus & Slow Cooked Egg - crispy parmesan, bacon, perigord truffle

Warm Halibut Brandade - easter egg radishes, fava beans, toasted baguette

Twice-Cooked Pork Belly - anson mills grits, bourbon poached cherries

Choose One

Anchor Steam Battered Rock Cod Sandwich - red sauerkraut, housemade ham, fried egg,      dill pickles, old bay chips

American Caviar Scramble - fromage blanc, toasted brioche, chives

Smoked Tri-Tip Loco Moco - gochujang fried rice, sunnyside up eggs, foie gras gravy

Grilled Mahi Mahi Salad - butter lettuce, dungeness crab aÏoli, english pea pesto, tarragon

Soft Poached Eggs - spring onion drop biscuit, gulf shrimp, miso brown butter hollandaise

Choose One

Lavender Panna Cotta - strawberries, mint, meyer lemon shortbread

Cardamom Phyllo Nest - ricotta fritter, pistachio ice cream, orange blossom sorbet

Angel Food Cake - candied fennel, grand marnier, orange confit

Cocoanib Brawd Pudding - salted caramel ice cream, frangelico, candied hazelnuts

Coconut Crème Brûlée - kiwi sorbet, mango, citrus tuile 

                             

Wrye on Rye

Wrye on Rye, until next time!

Sometimes when we do special things it's fun to share in the experience. Wrye on Rye was just that. The night was filled with delicious small plates by Chef de Cuisine Justin Baade and exquisite flights created by our Lead Bartender Joe Wrye. The location, our upstairs bar, was perfection with the night sky and Bay Lights showing through our floor to ceiling windows and the company wasn't bad either. Check out the pictures and come and join us for our next event Riesling Week! Starts Tuesday, February 28th through Sunday, March 5th.

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!

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!!!