fishy firemen

25 June 2011

I did something off my bucket list yesterday: set off a fire alarm and get a cute smile from a fireman.

It’s only day three of my culinary escapades, and I’ve already created enough smoke to impress Beijing’s airport smog a la 2005. Okay, a little bit of an exaggeration.

I tried cooking salmon by stovetop, but it turns out the pan had either too much oil or was just too hot (or both), so it cooked way too quickly and smoked up a storm. I called the company to try and disarm the fire department, but I was too late.

So round two I tried poaching my salmon in a mixture of red wine, rosemary, water, asparagus, garlic, and onions. It turned out tasting okay, but Aida really wasn’t kidding when she said it’s tricky cooking meat. I had to put the salmon back three times. Work in progress.

This week was all about film production for the upcoming telenovela for our Sriracha Flying Rooster truffle flavor. It’s top secret, but I will reveal that the chocolate bar costume is heavily involved. My main role with the whole production is filming and editing. Unfortunately, my acting skills didn’t let me make the cut. I guess my unsuccessful British accent in my 10th grade play might have played a part (my drama teacher came up to me a week before and told me that it was so bad I had to stick with my own accent while everyone else stayed British).

On Thursday I got to give out whole sample pieces of our Burnt Baby Burnt, Give It to Me Guava, and Vietnamese Coffee at a Bloomingdale’s bridal event. It’s intriguing to me to see different types of events and figure out what’s worth attending. Conclusion? Not really worth it.

With a signup of only 50 couples, we should have known that we would mainly be giving out pieces to the B-staff. Huge cost, not that big of a benefit. There were some people who were interested in potentially making a large purchase of truffles with custom logos for wedding goodies. Other than that, not much really went down.

I did a lap around the event and saw a wide range of products: wine, hotel vacation spots, photographers, wedding cakes, bedding, beauty products, etc. Most notable was the chocolate fountain company. I was intrigued because I always see those beautiful things calling my name at buffets, but I never really think about who’s behind the mechanics. Turns out the company even has competitors (based on creativity of the fruit set up). Weirdest thing to dip in the chocolate but still tastes delicious? Shrimp. I need to get on that.

Also got to try the sister of our Burnt Caramel with Hawaiin Sea Salt truffle: the Caramel and Hawaiin Sea Salt yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Equally delicious. One product that I also enjoyed was the San Franola granola – they use roasting techniques which keeps the granola constantly moving, instead of the usual baking technique. This lets them use less sugar and fatty products, making a healthier granola. Tasted delicious and nutty.

I failed to update you guys on a different event I attended last week with Socola Chocolatier: a pearl event promoting Mikimoto‘s Japanese pearls. We weren’t advertising our product, only making connections. Susan was really smart because she made an effort to talk to people behind the scenes – the people working at the counter, the cashiers, and the event organizer. She asked for advice on how to sell a high end product as well.

Susan holding down the fort.

It was weird being with such a fabulous crowd. Chatting with people at this event vs. people at a farmer’s market is incomparable. Everyone was dressed up in expensive dresses and suits while fawning over the products.

His pearls were fake, but he definitely felt fabulous.

Me trying on a $32,000 pearl necklace. Felt like I was wearing the horcrux from HP7 (#nerdreference).


Wendy looking like a star with the necklace.

I personally don’t like to attach myself to jewelry, because I wouldn’t want to waste part of my energy on worrying about damaging it (obviously a different story when it’s meaningful). I guess you could say my attitude is quasi-Buddhist in that I don’t like investing energy in lots of material possessions since change can always happen.

BUT THE FOOD = delicious. It was all small snacks (and of course, free alcohol as well): split pea pearl soup, pearl cheesecake lollipops, beggar’s sacks filled with caviar, and salmon cones. Obviously I am not doing any of these things justice with my poor descriptions. I do hope in the future to work with a catering company for a while, just to see behind the scenes.

The cheesecake lollipops.

“Salmon cones”

My foodie mind assumed this was a huge wrapped up chocolate bar. I was proven wrong – it was a book about Mikimoto pearls instead. Duh.

Afterwards I met up with Joss, Aida, and Hena (my other roomie for the summer) to eat Dine About Town (a discount set meal) at a downtown restaurant called Credo. The atmosphere was lively and the walls were covered with tons of quotes. We were caught a few times staring at the walls with fish mouths. Super cute.

Aida opted to order her own dish: Sedanini alla Credo. A rigatoni pasta with a tomato based sauce cooked in bowl covered with oven-baked pizza dough. The pasta wasn’t notable itself, but the pizza dough had me (us) very excited.

 The rest of us opted for the set three course meal:

Panzanella: cucumber, tomatoes, & Chianti vinaigrette – good but nothing special

Burrata Crostini – burrata is a type of Italian mozz cheese that has insane amounts of cream in the inside of the ball. Paired with black kale (“cavolo nero”), caramelized onions, and of course, a little toast (“crositni”). The kale and onions were heavenly, but there was definitely an overload of burrata (although it did have great texture).

Joss and Hena both got fish with pineapple. The fish was perfectly cooked but very light on the taste buds, so the grilled pineapple really made the dish.

THIS was amazing. The pork was juicy, tender enough, and flavorful. The apple and melted brie were wonderful with it.

Nothing too memorable about the desserts other than the killer cinnamon cream in the fruit tart. The molten dark chocolate cake was excellent, but seriously rich – I could only take a couple small bites.

I must say, it was pretty decent meal, but I don’t really have much of an incentive to come back and try their other dishes. Although there is a dish with chocolate pasta, I think Aida and I are going to tackle that one since we’ve already made chocolate pizza. High quality Italian food, great atmosphere, but nothing too creative.

Lesson of the Day: The SF fire department is a pretty reliable creature.

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Filed under chocolate, cooking, food, marketing, shopping

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