My dear friend Diane Boate, always wearing one of her wonderful hats, greeted us at the Omnivore Book store for our book discussion and signing event. Owner Celia Sack has made Omnivore the ne plus ultra for cookbooks in the Bay Area. A delightful and attentive group enthusiastically put forth interesting questions for us to answer. Many brought their collections of my books for us to sign. I started the talk by announcing the new name I have for San Francisco: City of Bakerly Love! Caitlin had arranged the perfect companions for our dinner at the State Bird Provisions despite her absence. Michelle Polzine, owner of the 20th Century Cafe, Caitlin's assistant Leah Rosenberg (who did many of the paintings for the restaurant) and Nicole Kransinki, pastry chef and co-owner of the State Bird!
State Bird Provisions has been honored as the Best New Restaurant in America with a James Beard Award and awards from other's like Bon Appetite. To accommodate more fans of their delectable dishes, they are opening another location adjacent to this one. Nicole gave us a tour of the stunning and original decor and state of the art equipment. After a champagne toast, Nicole had the dim sum carts rolling for a steady stream of the State Bird's dishes that have made them so well acclaimed. I knew dessert was going to be extra special as what else could it be when there are four pastry chefs at the table. It commenced with Nicole's take on S'mores, with lemon curd ice cream and chocolate macaron. When the dessert of milk chocolate toffee pudding and cheese cream crunch came out, I had to ask Nicole, after nibbling the perfect crunch, "what is in the crunch". "OMG! It's your flaky cream cheese pie crust!". She continue with: "and Michelle's toffee pudding." We all screeched with surprise and laughter at the incredibly surprise bonding moment. What a wonderful honoring finale to us both to top off Nicole's 21 course salute. Next week posting: An amazing visit to Kathleen Weber at Della Fattoria, and a return visit to Annie Baker and her Napa Valley Bakers.