Contact Us
866-321-CHEF toll free

Big City Chefs Personal Chefs Nationwide


Big City Chefs San Francisco Personal Chefs
Cooking Classes
Weekly Services
Locations

The Latest from Big City Chefs

10 Tricks to Fight off Hunger

April 2nd, 2010

by Caroline Gibbs, Big City Chefs Food Writer

I think we can all agree that dieting can be easy…if we weren’t so hungry all the time! As America’s premier private chef agency, creators of recipes for (VH1 Celebrity Fit Club panelist) Dr. Ian Smith’s New York Times bestseller The Fat Smash Diet, and experts at helping our private chef clients reach their nutritional objectives, here are ten easy tricks to naturally curb that hunger and keep you reaching your weight loss goals.

1. Let’s start at the beginning. Breakfast. It’s the first and most important meal of the day, so make it power-packed. Avoid the temptation of pancakes and syrup and take advantage of delicious low-carb, high-fiber breakfast favorites.

· Try a whole grain “quick” oatmeal mixed with natural peanut butter and flaxseed, topped with fresh fruit like blueberries, or whatever fruit is in season. If you have a little more time, opt to make Irish Steel Cut Oats for more fiber.
· Omelets and scrambles are always healthy and filling options. 3 whole eggs is great, but 4 egg whites is even better (avoid processed egg substitutes). Pack your scramble or omelet full of fresh veggies like bell peppers, asparagus, spinach and tomatoes. To top it off, add some Swiss or Emmental cheese, which is the lowest fat natural cheese (avoid defatted cheeses that are rubbery and processed)

2. Before eating out at restaurants, try drinking 12 ounces of water 15 minutes before sitting down to your table. It will start to fill you up and curb that voracious appetite.

3. Limit your alcohol intake. Not only is alcohol a source of fat and calories (alcohol has 7 calories/gram versus carbohydrates which have 4 calories/gram), it tends to inhibit your ability to put on the brakes… when it comes to eating that is. Drinking is of course, a large aspect of social culture, and is in many cases unavoidable. So instead of forgoing drinking altogether, simply drink in moderation and make the smartest alcohol choices, i.e. a glass of red or white wine, which are less fatty than beer and have been shown to have additional nutritional benefits such as antioxidants.

4. Bring your own snacks to work. It’s really easy just to pick up a bag of chips from the office kitchen or to grab a sugary pastry while you get your coffee but these snacks will only leave you wanting more. A well balanced snack will leave you feeling fuller longer, so trying bringing a snack from home that includes carbohydrates, protein and a little bit of fat.

· A pear or an apple with some cheese or some low fat yogurt
· Celery with natural peanut butter
· High-fiber and high-antioxidant fruits like blueberries or strawberries with a small side of low fat cottage cheese or yogurt

5. Find a new hobby. Keeping your mind off of food is half the battle so do yourself a favor and keep your mind busy with a new activity or hobby. Try finding a class or activity at your peak snacking hours (like right after work and before dinner) to keep your body and mind active and away from the refrigerator. For at home and daily distractions, try finding an activity that’s easy to pick up and put down whenever you feel the urge to snack, such as reading (try joining a book club to keep you on track), organizing projects (take on that box of photos that’s been sitting in your closet for years) or more creative endeavors like making jewelry or painting.

6. For a quick fix, try using a peppermint aromatherapy oil to help curb your appetite. Studies have shown that smelling peppermint when hungry or before a meal has tended to lessen one’s appetite and resulted in a decreased calorie intake as a result.

7. Try aerobic exercise. It may seem counterintuitive to think that exercising makes you less hungry, but studies show that aerobic exercise actually leaves you feeling less hungry in the hours after your work out than if you hadn’t worked out at all. Taking a thirty-minute jog not only helps stave off those cravings but you burn some calories in the process!

8. Be sure to eat something every three to four hours. Curbing your appetite isn’t about starving yourself – it’s about keeping you from binging on those things you’d wish you hadn’t. Keep yourself satiated throughout the day by having a small bite of something every few hours. The snacks suggested above are good ideas, and just keep in mind that the healthier and better balanced the snack, the longer you’ll stay full.

9. Wait 20 minutes. Always wait a good 10 to 20 minutes (longer is better) before going back for your second helping. If you’re with friends, engage in conversation about a topic that will keep you interested long enough to judge whether or not you are really full. If you’re alone, pick up a book or newspaper and tell yourself to finish at least three articles or a whole chapter before you go back for me. You’ll probably find you aren’t as hungry as you thought.

10. Don’t stress. Over-eating is often an emotional reaction to stress and anxiety, so instead of simply treating the symptoms by curbing your appetite, try and treat the cause.

· When at work, take a couple of minutes to alleviate tension by giving yourself a hand massage. Hands hold a lot of tension and both reflexology and acupressure suggest that relieving tension in your hands can promote better overall body wellness.
· Focus on your breathing. Take a minute to gather your thoughts and take a few deep breaths. We often become so busy that we fail to notice our breathing has become rapid and shallow, often resulting in headaches and can increase one’s sense of anxiety. Take the time to slow it down when you’re feeling frantic and you’ll find yourself feeling better instantly.

The One Dish I’ll Never Tire Of

April 1st, 2010

By Betty Ho, Big City Chefs Food Writer

Recently, a friend ask me to list my favorite foods and I rattled off, without thinking, a list of breakfast foods: waffles, pancakes, French toast, steel-cut slow-cooked oatmeal. She raised her eyebrows and concluded, “So breakfast is your favorite meal of the day.” I thought about this and then corrected her, “No, brunch is.”

Breakfast for me, occurs before ten A.M.; anything later classifies as “brunch,” and this is when my need for something savory kicks in. On a normal weekday, I wake up around eight, and have, by nine A.M., breakfasted on a steaming bowl of oatmeal cooked with banana and topped with chopped nuts. This is breakfast. No need for something salty, just slightly sweetened hearty oatmeal and a nice cup of coffee. It is wonderful, necessary, and routine – but in no way does it compare to the riches of a decadent weekend brunch. Brunch normally occurs after nine A.M. and is best eaten in the company of good friends. It is a different affair entirely. I normally still opt for a sweet grain-based dish but am compelled to finagle a friend into ordering something savory.

“We’ll share,” I’ll say, pointing out which omelet sounds good. “That way, we can have both salty and sweet.”

It’s not so much an obsession with balance as it is the very human obsession of wanting it all. And I know I’m not the only one, which explains the popularity of and my personal fixation with the penultimate sweet and salty brunch combination: Chicken and Waffles. Much like Food Network’s popular program, “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” this is my personal food fixation.

I was in high school when I first ate Chicken and Waffles at Roscoe’s in Long Beach, the branch supposedly frequented by Snoop Dogg. I had just gotten my driver’s license and with my friends, all budding foodies, decided to drive down to Long Beach to see what all the fuss was about. It was like love at first sight, followed by love at first bite, and right then and there a life long hunt for chicken and waffles began. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to eat the two together: I love fried chicken (as does my father – this sort of taste is inherited, I believe, though my mother despises the stuff) and I love waffles, but food innovation is not my specialty, which is why I’m sitting here writing about food rather than inventing recipes with staying power. And Chicken and Waffles does have staying power. If, like me, you’re wondering about the history of chicken and waffles, let me direct you to this informative article. The article does not clear up the origin of this heavenly combo as much as it provides hypotheses proving that some great culinary ideas are a combination of histories: attempting to pin them to one single source would be missing the point. This is, I think, the essence of chicken and waffles: to enjoy the savory-sweet dish in front of you without thinking about its roots.

This weekend, I took my hunt to 900 Grayson, a small brunch place in Berkeley, CA that serves a fantastic Chicken and Waffles dish with a fantastic appellation: “Demon Lover.” This dish contains Spicy Buttermilk Fried Fulton Valley Chicken Paillard, a Buttermilk Waffle and Old-Fashioned Cream Gravy or Vermont Maple Syrup. And truly, who can resist?

The sweet Demon Lover (with syrup):

Sweet Demon Lover

The salty Demon Lover (with gravy):

Salty Demon Lover

The Demon Lover Up Close:

Demon Lover closeup

900 Grayson Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
P: (510) 704-9900

Next on my Chicken n’ Waffles list:

* Little Skillet in San Francisco
* Home of Chicken and Waffles in Oakland
* Brown Sugar Kitchen in Oakland (Our friend Chef Tanya Holland used to have a show on Food Network, and also has her own cookbook!)

And…Highly recommended:

* Citizen Smith in Hollywood
* Roscoe’s!

What are some great chicken and waffle places in your city?

NEW! The Chef Question of the Week: What is Your Favorite Food Memoir?

March 26th, 2010

by Betty Ho, Big City Chefs food writer

I came across an interview with Anthony Bourdain, one of my favorite writer chefs and probably the man responsible for making me realize that food and literature do mix. I read his memoir, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly during my freshman year at NYU and thought briefly about dropping out of college to pursue a career as a chef.

“And how are you going to do this?” my parents asked.
“I’ll start by washing dishes!” I said.

Unsurprisingly, they were less than supportive, and I stayed in school. A few weeks after I’d finished his book, I read in the local paper that he was in town to promote his second book, a cookbook for Les Halles, where he was head chef at the time. I waited feverishly for classes to end, then ran to the Barnes and Noble in Union Square with my copy of Kitchen Confidential tucked safely in my backpack. I was about to see the man in the flesh.

He was just as I imagined him to be: lean and mean with a handsome scowl and a rich, deep voice tinged with the ravages of too much salt and cigarettes. I don’t remember much of what he said, aside from the various jokes he cracked at the expense of fellow celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse, but I knew that he had found an eternal fan in me.

His memoir started a hunger for other food-related literature from cookbooks to travel memoirs to books about very specific types of food: salt, spices, beer, and led me to other food writers whose works I’ve come to cherish along with Bourdain’s: Ruth Reichl, M.F.K. Fisher, and Jeffrey Steingarten. In a way, Kitchen Confidential began my literary food education which continues to this day, and I am ever-grateful every time I look over and see it on my shelf between Reichl and Steingarten. My list of food “must reads” grows longer every day, and while I haven’t yet read anything by Emeril Lagasse, I’ll be sure to shelve him far away from Bourdain.

That said, I’d like to inaugurate the weekly Chef Question and ask our own Big City Chefs private chefs: What is your favorite food memoir? Why? And when did you read him or her for the first time?

Washington DC Personal Chef Mikey Torres loves Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking, which he first discovered in his high school home economics class. Although not technically a memoir, Chef Mikey got from it “such a strong sense of [Child’s] personality…which was unheard of in a cookbook back then.”

Our Denver area Personal Chef Mike Herskowitz likes the now famous cookbook/memoir hybrid The French Laundry Cook Book by celebrity chef Thomas Keller, as well as Surfing the Menu: Two Chefs, One Journey: A Fresh Food Adventure by Curtis Stone and Bewn O’Donoghue.

Chef Rebecca Gruwell, one of our Personal Chefs in New York, shares one of my favorites as well: Ruth Reichl’s Garlic and Sapphires, a brilliant memoir about the ins and out of being a food writer for the New York Times. “It felt as though I stepped into her life,” says Chef Rebecca. “She’s a brilliant and engaging writer, vividly describing the people, places and meals in a way that one cannot help but be drawn into the experience as if it’s their memory too.”

The next time you’re in the bookstore or library, be sure to check out one of our chef recommendations! Happy reading!

Customer Review: Big City Chefs at Whole Foods Markets

March 20th, 2010

San Francisco Personal Chefs Teach at Whole Foods Markets

We recently came across an online customer review of a cooking class taught by one of Big City Chefs’ expert San Francisco Bay Area personal chefs at the Culinary Center at Whole Foods Markets in Napa. We were so pleased to know that this customer had such a wonderful experience from the partnership between Big City Chefs and Whole Foods!

“I recently took a cooking class at Whole Foods in Napa and I wanted to share my experience. The class was called ‘Organic Chicken Dishes.’ It was taught by a Chef, whose names escapes me, from Big City Chefs. When I arrived, to my surprise, I was greeted with a glass of Rombauer Chardonnay and a big welcome from the chef. The class began with a tour of Whole Foods. This could have been the best part. I don’t typically shop at Whole Foods because I find it to be intimidating. Not anymore though! This chef walked us up and down aisles teaching us about the Whole Foods brands and gave us a quick lesson in chicken. I have to say that I haven’t bought Foster’s Farms chicken since I took this class last month and I don’t plan on it. I learned the differences between Air Chilled Chicken and regular Chicken you see at the butcher. This was great! We headed back to the big demonstration kitchen and began to cook. We made four dishes that evening, italian chicken sausage in Pasta, Chicken, Arugula, Fig jam Paninis, Chicken fingers (i’ve made these three times already) and Mashed potatoes. I had a really fun time and I can’t wait to go back!”

-From user LisaD

Source: http://napalife.forumandco.com/forum.htm

Spring Cleaning for the Foodie

March 19th, 2010

By Betty Ho, Big City Chefs Food Writer

Spring Cleaning Your Pantry

Having just returned from the organic market the other day, I was struggling to fit all my purchases into my already full cupboards when my cousin walked in.

“You’re turning into your parents,” she said, warily eyeing the crowded rows. I looked up, my hands still inside the bottom shelf, which was much deeper than I thought. Jars of pasta sauce competed with bags of rice and other grains. Asian stir-fry sauces crowded around boxes of baking mix (when did I buy that bag of scone mix?) and a bag of yams, which I was glad to rediscover before they spoiled. Some things were on the verge of expiration, others long expired, some were unopened and still good, but would probably be there a year later because I have no idea why I bought them in the first place (I don’t even drink soymilk and yet there they were, five cartons in a row, sad soldiers who had lost to milk). My cousin was right – I was turning into my parents, who believe that starvation is imminent if their cupboard doors can fully close. They buy things in bulk only to come home and discover they still have a bulk of what they just purchased. I shuddered. This was definitely not the cupboards of an organized food-lover, as I envision myself to be.

Like a woman who wastes precious time deciding what to wear each morning because her closet is in disarray, a cook can lose valuable prep time if her pantry is chaotic. And while I don’t know anyone who takes Spring Cleaning seriously (if you do, introduce them to me), I love the idea of giving one’s pantry an organizational makeover. What better way to start the season of rebirth than to toss out old, expired items and begin anew with a freshly stocked pantry?

There are a variety of ways to go about this from simple changes to a drastic overhaul. Brian York, one of our Southern California private chefs who depends on both a well-organized kitchen pantry and a portable pantry to pull off gourmet dinner parties for clients, offers some excellent suggestions. “Regardless of your pantry size and the amount of time and money you plan on investing, the very first step is to get rid of old items,” he says. It’ll be hard at first, but compost and recycle what you can – they just take up valuable space! Everyone’s pantry has different essentials depending on your favorite cuisines and dietary habits, but realsimple.com has an excellent Pantry Organizing Checklist that should be a good general starting point. Next, invest in some space organizers and containers, choosing the right materials for different food items. Big City Chefs CEO Tom Stieber suggests checking out Amazon.com, Walmart, Target or The Container Store for deals on clear plastic and glass containers, all essential for accessibility and convenience. For inspiration from other organized foodies, check out our own private chefs’ favorite storage soultions, A Prudent Homemaker for an exhaustive list of pantry essentials (though refrain from going out to buy them all!), Tanna Clark’s article in Complete Organizing Solutions for those looking to take their pantries to the next aesthetic level.

The fun part is stocking your pantry to your own tastes. I always have whole rolled oats, brown rice, organic raisins, canned black, kidney, and garbanzo beans, lentils, split peas, and sardines in my pantry, but it’s always interesting to see what other people can’t live without. Now that I’ve cleared out unnecessary items, there’s plenty of empty space, which I feel compelled to fill. But I won’t – not for a while at least. A well-stocked, organized pantry does not mean an overstuffed pantry – so I’m going to enjoy being able to find everything as soon as I need it for as long as it lasts. Maybe I’ll be hosting a dinner party of my own soon. Happy Spring Pantry Cleaning!

Link: Our Private Chefs Rceommend their Top Pantry Storage Solutions

The 2010 StarChefs.com Rising Stars Revue

March 16th, 2010

By Betty Ho, Big City Chefs Food Writer

A while back, my friend went on a date at Rustic Canyon Wine Bar in Santa Monica, California. The date was bland, she said, but the food was AMAZING. “We have to go back,” she said, “It was probably one of the best meals of my entire life.” I planned to go back around the holidays, but could never get a reservation. And now that I’m back in the San Francisco Bay Area, the prospect of dining at Rustic Canyon grows dimmer…but no! I’ve just learned that the owners of Rustic Canyon, Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan, are being given the award of Rising Star Restaurateurs by Starchefs.com’s Rising Star Revue, and I am planning well in advance to ensure a reservation for the next time I’m in Los Angeles.

The awards ceremony, according to their website, honors “up-and-coming chefs and culinary professionals who represent the vanguard of the contemporary American dining scene.” Kind of like the Vogue CDFA Fashion Awards , but for chefs and food! Among those honored are Chef Diana Stavaridis of BLD, another place in Los Angeles I’ve been dying to try (their cookbook nearly moved me to tears) and pastry chef Adrian Vasquez of the two Michelin Starred Providence LA. The ceremony takes place on 7 – 9:30 pm on Thursday, March 18, 2010 at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel and Bungalows in Santa Monica. Tickets are a bit pricey: $95 to attend the Gala and Awards ceremony, but if you’re a serious SoCal foodie and personally know all the chefs at your favorite Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego restaurants, then you should be there to support them! Check out their website for the full roster of honorees along with a list of Los Angeles’s and San Diego’s must eat restaurants!

Official Food Network Press Release re Big City Chefs

March 10th, 2010

foodnetwork20logo

FOOD NETWORK TASTES THE GLAMOROUS LIFE IN “PRIVATE CHEFS OF BEVERLY HILLS”
New Primetime Docu-Soap Premieres on Friday, April 9th at 10pm ET/PT

NEW YORK – Wednesday, March 10th, 2010 – Food Network peeks into the high-demand world of culinary glamour in Private Chefs of Beverly Hills. Premiering Friday, April 9th at 10pm ET/PT, this delicious docu-soap follows six gifted cooks from Big City Chefs, Beverly Hills’ premiere private chef placement agency. On-call 24/7, the chefs must cater to the whims of their over-the-top and eccentric clientele in Los Angeles’ most posh neighborhood.

“Viewers go inside the world of private chefs who cater to the ultra high-end and even higher maintenance Beverly Hills clientele,” said Bob Tuschman, Senior Vice President, Programming and Production, Food Network. “These six chefs bring humor, skill and creativity to each encounter making for a very funny, compelling and entertaining series.”

With a litany of outrageous requests coming in to Big City Chefs owner Tom Stieber, each episode features the chefs tackling assignments like cooking for both humans and canines in a doggy spa, injecting flavor into a salon’s Botox party, pampering young millionaire’s glamorous camping (or “glamping”) trip, indulging aging 80’s hair rockers intent on living the rock ‘n roll lifestyle, and becoming unwitting participants in a medieval murder mystery party held behind the stone walls of Los Angeles’ only Scottish castle. The cast includes six chefs with varied culinary expertise and backgrounds.

Jesse Brune: As one of the break-out stars of Bravo’s show Workout, Jesse Brune is a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef, personal trainer, and lifestyle consultant living in Los Angeles. Specializing in healthy and organic cuisine, Jesse has catered a wide range of events and teaches cooking classes across America.

Manouschka Guerrier: A former model, Manouschka Guerrier learned all she knows about cooking from her mother Jacqueline and professionally-trained Haitian grandmother, Olga. As the quintessential single, Manouschka owns and operates Los Angeles based brand Single Serving, where she celebrates the single life and teaches other singles how to serve up chic, easy, and affordable meals.

Brian Hill: Brian Hill got his start in the culinary arts by catering parties for friends as a side job. His talent for American, European, and Caribbean cuisine quickly attracted celebrity clientele, such as Eddie Murphy, Mary J. Blige and Mariah Carey. In 2006, Brian appeared on the first season of Bravo’s Top Chef. In March 2010, he launched a gourmet street food truck in Los Angeles.

Stuart O’Keeffe: Irish-born Stuart O’Keeffe discovered his love of cooking at a young age while helping his mother and aunt prepare family meals. He studied at the Dublin Institute of Technology where he earned a degree in the Culinary Arts. After moving to Los Angeles, Stuart soon became a highly sought-after private chef and is the face of Tupperware® as their North American chef.

Sasha Perl-Raver: A self-taught freelance private chef in Los Angeles, Sasha Perl-Raver has been cooking since age 16, her clients currently include directors, producers and celebrities, and her recipes have been published in four volumes of the “Little Big Book” series (Welcome Books). In 2007, she made the jump to food and entertainment journalism and is currently a featured contributor to NBC.com.

Brooke Peterson: Brooke Peterson discovered her interest in food as a young girl, learning from her grandmother how to cook for large groups on small budgets. Brooke’s introduction to lifestyle entertainment began with her teen cooking show, Cook with Brooke, on Varsity Television. In 2007, she hosted the original Yahoo! Daily Web series, Cheap N Easy, teaching viewers to prepare meals in five minutes with five ingredients for less than $5.

# # #

FOOD NETWORK (www.foodnetwork.com) is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers’ best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring and empowering through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to more than 98 million U.S. households and averages more than 9 million unique web users monthly. In its first year Food Network Magazine doubled its rate base and passed the one million circulation mark. Headquartered in New York, Food Network has a growing international presence with programming in more than 150 countries, including 24 hour networks in Great Britain, India, Asia and Africa. Scripps Networks Interactive (NYSE: SNI), which also owns and operates HGTV (www.hgtv.com), DIY Network (www.diynetwork.com), Great American Country (www.gactv.com) and Cooking Channel, is the manager and general partner.

Chocolate, Chocolate, and more Chocolate

March 9th, 2010

By Betty Ho, Big City Chefs food writer

Big City Chefs at the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon

Some day, the urge for chocolate hits hard. This usually happens when a client books our “Ultimate Chocolate Workshop” and hires a personal chef to indulge her and her friends in a silky Mocha Hazelnut Mousse or a decadent Milk Chocolate Fondue with Tropical Fruit. On those afternoons, I’ll hit San Francisco area Charles Chocolates for a cup of intense hot chocolate (provided I bring back a cup for my Big City Chefs bosses, Tom and David, when they’re working at our San Francisco office). But for the hard chocolate lovers out there that can’t make a chocolate run or aren’t booking a private chocolate class, the upcoming 4th Annual San Francisco International Chocolate Salon might be a dangerous place! Held on Saturday March 20th from 10am to 6pm at the Fort Mason Center, the Salon will feature over 80 artisanal chocolatiers, confectioners, and wineries! There will also be author talks, wine pairing seminars and, of course, samples! Tickets are $25 for advance purchase from the website and $30 at the door and include all wine demos and tastings – that sounds like a great deal to me. I’m looking forward to trying new chocolate brands (Christopher Michael Chocolates, Dolce Bella Chocolates) as well as visiting some old favorites (Guittard, Schoggi).

Hope to see you there!

Big City Chefs' favorite chocolatiers will be at the San Francisco International Chocolate Salon

Private Chefs on a Coffee Quest

March 8th, 2010

By Betty Ho, Big City Chefs Food Writer

This past winter I found myself in London looking for good coffee. Walking along Monmouth St. in Seven Dials, I was shivering from the cold (it was around 15 degrees Fahrenheit at the time) when I came across a rather long line (or “queue”) outside an impossibly quaint shop. Monmouth Coffee Company, the sign said, and staring at the brave souls in the queue I thought, “That must be excellent coffee indeed.” I got in line, braving the cold, but the line moved quickly, and I soon found myself in a coffee lover’s paradise. The shop was tiny, with narrow antique booths that were packed with young intellectuals and elderly singles, enjoying a paper with their coffees. A team of young, energetic women who were quick on their feet and master baristas rushed about, taking orders and making coffee with dexterous hands. Inside, it was anything but cold. I ordered a plain black coffee, the day’s brew from Pasajquin (Guatemala) and was immediately blown away by both the coffee’s flavor and appearance. It was so dark as to seem thick, and though at first slightly bitter, a small amount of creamy milk from a local dairy farm turned the cup into a coffee lover’s dream. “Wow,” I thought, “So this is what good coffee tastes like.”

(continued below)

private chefs search for coffee in san francisco and new york

Until then, I had been making a weak daily cup at home with a Bodum French Press and beans from Trader Joe’s, which has a good selection of beans from all over the world, both organic and free-trade. Once I returned from London however, I have been looking for equally impressive coffee shops here in the States. There’s something special about enjoying a professionally brewed cup at a coffee boutique, and I was happy to find that my own San Francisco Bay Area took coffee just as seriously as London. Here at Big City Chefs, the general consensus is that a meal, whether out on the town or served to a client at a private dinner party, is not complete without a dessert and coffee pairing. And though dessert often takes center stage, for some, the coffee is the real treat. So we’ve been scouring each of our markets for the best beans in town, so that we might replicate that wonderful coffee boutique experience in our private chef clients’ homes, whether in Los Angeles or New York. One microroaster and brewery that has been gaining notoriety across the country is the Blue Bottle Coffee Companu, featured recently in the New York Times. A small company from Oakland, California, they specialize in artisanal microroasting and their website offers instructions on how to brew the perfect cup at home. Our private chef clients from coast to coast really enjoy the experience of a cup of Blue Bottle with their final course.

For the adventurous like me, it’s fun to discover the stand-out specialties of each coffee shop, so that we can bring real regional flavor to our dinner parties. In my local San Francisco Bay Area, Ritual Coffee Roasters specializes in a “sweet tooth espresso,” brewed from a single source. The flavor changes each month, with March’s Sweet Tooth offering being from Gedeo, Ethiopia. Philz Coffee specializes in custom blends made with three times the amount of beans in your average cup so that you’ll be “as high as a plane!” Four Barrel Coffee is another popular spot in San Francisco with a strong following on Yelp. They sell distinct blends directly from their website along with coffee brewing equipment. Now that I’ve got my list, I’m going to try them out and further educate my coffee palate!

What’s New on Foodie TV? – Bay Area Newsgroup 02/24/10

March 4th, 2010

The press is getting giddy over Big City Chefs’ new Food Network show, “Private Chefs of Beverly Hills!”

Catch Big City Chefs on Food Network's "Private Chefs of Beverly Hills"
Nationwide Private Chefs
Big City Chefs Homepage b_toolbar spacer About Big City Chefs b_toolbar spacer What Big City Chefs' Clients Are Saying b_toolbar spacer Is Big City Chefs in My Neighborhood? b_toolbar spacer Personal Chef Jobs b_toolbar spacer Big City Chefs Blog b_toolbar spacer Big City Chefs in the News b_toolbar spacer Private Chef Resources b_toolbar spacer Big City Chefs Website Disclaimer Like our Private Chefs on Facebook! Join Big City Chefs on YouTube! Join Big City Chefs on Twitter!