Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Following the Chef- Chef Michael Touhy of The Grange

Finally, I was able to do the Follow the Chef tour of the Farmer's Market at Caesar Chavez Park with Chef Michael Tuohy of the Grange Restaurant. Of course it also had to be the hottest day of the year.

The tour group met at the restaurant where Chef Tuohy gave us a little talk about what to expect, what produce we would see and a little about himself. Chef Tuohy was originally from San Francisco but made his way down south and landed in Atlanta. There in Atlanta he had a couple of restaurants and was instrumental in getting the restaurant industry to move toward the fresh, seasonal local and organic produce. Since he has moved back to Northern California and we are lucky for it.

Chef Tuohy led our little group across the street to the farmers market where he instructed us in the importance of being able to taste the produce and if the farmer won't let you have a taste, move on. Produce may look nice but does it taste as good as it looks?

He knows all the farmers at the market and which has the best of certain produce. As we went along with him,he explaining about the different produce and we went from stall to stall trying various samples. There are beautiful produce out there and it's hard not to stop at the first stall and buy..go take a look at all the stalls first some might have something slightly better.

From farm fresh produce to honeys to jams to olive oil, there was a little bit of everything at the market. Chef Tuohy bought some okra, he said we in California don't appreciate it enough and he was bound and determined to have us try it. He also bought several other items then we headed back to the restaurant to cool off and relax while lunch was being prepared.
With lunch we had a choice of wine or the spritzer of the day. The Spritzer was, I think made with melon. The wines were a Chardonnay and a Rose. I chose the rose which was a Seaflower Rose. It was very nice, a little more on the dry side rather than sweet which was perfect. They said we got a complimentary glass of wine, but the glass kept getting filled..which was nice since I was thinking one glass of wine. The first course was a spritzer (maybe this is what they were serving) watermelon, sparkling water with a basil garnish

The second course was a salad of Casaba melon ( which I think he got at the market),beets with Pt. Reyes Blue cheese and heirloom cherry tomatoes

Next cane the fried Okra that Chef Tuohy was determined we should try. Personally I love Okra and his fried version was delicious with a light crunchy batter.

the main course was the Seared Scallops atop a very nice Ratatouille that had a decided acid bite that paired nicely with the scallops.
At this point I had to leave to pick up my mother so I don't know what desert turned out to be, but I'm sure it was great if it was anything like the rest of the meal.
It was a fun day, Chef Tuohy was both informative and very easy to talk to and a lot of fun. Of course his lunch was outstanding. I'm looking forward to do this again.
The Follow the Chef tour goes until October so make reservations and go it is fun.
The Grange
926 J Street
916 492-4450

No comments:

  © Blogger template Coozie by 2008

Back to TOP