San Francisco-Part One: IACP Annual Conference 2013I always look forward to attending the annual conference of the International Association of Culinary Professionals, as it is a time to meet long time dear acquaintances and make new friends. Upon landing, Woody (my assistant) and my first stop was the Ferry Building to have our first cups of my favorite cappuccino at Blue Bottle Coffee, owned by James Freeman and Caitlin Williams. Our first San Franciscan dinner, was at Delfina's, in the Mission district. I had loved it several years ago and was delighted that it was as wonderful as I had remembered. We enjoyed sharing several dishes including house made Pappardelle with Liberty duck ragu and Wolfe Ranch Quail with spring onion panzanella. The bread had absorbed the quail juices and vinaigrette and was incredibly savory. We were seated by the window and had a perfect view of the outdoor tables where people who ordered pizzas from the sister restaurant next door could enjoy them. We couldn't help but notice the delicious thin crust pizzas with puffy rims, looking very similar to Punch's Pizza in Minneapolis that is one of my favorites so I resolved to try the pizza at our next opportunity and it was indeed as good as it looked--the crust tender but with just the right amount of bite. The next day we attended the Culinary Expo and Book Signing, my favorite part of the conference. I love being a participant, as I have in past years, but enjoy even more walking around, seeing all the new products, and visiting with friends. I was delighted to see Pamela Williams's (of Ecole Chocolat in Vancouver) impressive-looking, new, self-published book, "Raising the Bar: The Future of Fine Chocolate" Amazon link to the book: http://ow.ly/epPTQ For an overview of the book check out Pam's website. And it was great visiting with ex IACP president from New Zealand, Lauraine Jacob's beautiful new book "Everlasting Feast." The much esteemed bread baker Peter Reinhart was showing off his timely new book, "The Joy of Gluten-Free, Sugar-Free Baking" offering recipes for the increasing demand for gluten free baking. The renowned cheese-maker and ex IACP president Paula Lambert was offering samples of her exquisite line of cheeses from her Mozzarella Company in Dallas, Texas. Knowing how much she loves the Italian culture, I was pleased to learn that she is now leading culinary tours to Italy. I had a great visit with master bread baker Jeff Hamelman, who was manning the King Arthur booth. When I asked him if I could offer one of his recipes in my upcoming book, with credit to him, he said "No! When you make the recipe it will no longer be mine it will be yours!" (Have I not mentioned that bread bakers are the most generous of people?!) I also ran into one of my long-time friends, Jonathan Zearfoss. We first met when he was a chef at Marcel Desaulniers restaurant "The Trellis," in Williamsburg, Va. He went on to work at The CIA in New Hyde Park (check his card for title) There were many delectables to sample during the information fair but that didn't keep us from having a terrific dinner at Dosa, with my longtime friend, Lesley Harlib and her scientist friend Michael. We enjoyed a sampling menu of Indian fusion dishes including Day Boat Scallops with Lotus Stems, Paneer and Pea Dosa, and Tamil Lamb. We all shared one Mango Pudding for dessert. It was funny to observe that we weren't the only one's photographing!
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