Contact Us

Friday, January 23, 2009

Pizza Love

My first kitchen job was at Gina's Ristorante in Southern California. I was the dishwasher and made the few pizza orders that accompanied the family style pasta dinners. For a short time I was the dough maker at Pizza Hut in Davis California. My first job at a good restaurant, Paragary's in Sacramento, was making hand tossed wood oven pizzas. My wife and I met there, and she says she fell in love with me because the flour dust on my forearms made me look so... manly.

Our son turned five the other day. So we did what any parent would do, threw a birthday party, and did what any restaurant type people would do, offered up lots of food and drink for the adults. Our 1930's oven managed to crank out 16 beautiful pizzas in just under an hour.

Sam's Five Year Old Birthday Menu

- Cheese Pizza
- Pepperoni Pizza
- Pepperoni and Sausage Pizza
- Spanish Chorizo, Torpedo Red Peppers, Cilantro, Sriracha Pizza

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Palmares is a cycling term meaning a list of great accomplishments. Our version of palmares. A thank you from Janet regarding their wedding at Three Rivers Winery.


We want to thank you for catering our wedding on October 18th. We had a great time. Thanks to your production. You set a beautiful classy table. The food was luscious, everyone commented on how much they loved the meal. It was the perfect day!

Larnie and Janet"


Monday, January 12, 2009

Saffron's Belated Christmas Party

How awful does this sound? Throw your restaurant's Christmas Party and then jump on a plane to Italy for two weeks of quiet gastronomic excess. (I would assume pretty great if you are not hung over.) Chris and Island asked us to come back and do their party again and we were honored to do so.

Chef Chris Ainsworth has a tattoo of a pig sectioned into its primal cuts (or does he just want to get that tattoo, I can't remember). The man likes porcine products. So I was really happy to bring our version of porchetta to the restaurant's Christmas Party. It truly is one of my favorite things to make. And the day he busts out the version he plans to make I will be the first customer on the reservation list.

crostini, white bean arrabiatta, seared shrimp
tapenade, feta, cucumbers, ciabatta
spanish tortilla and brava sauce

whole leaf ceasar salad and garlicky croutons
roasted fingerling potatoes and aioli
butternut squash manicotti, spinach, roasted garlic bechamel
roasted acorn squash, pearl onions, cauliflower, brown butter and fried sage
thundering hooves pork, porchetta (herbed, garlic, caper, lemon zest stuffed pork shoulder)

New Favorite Things:
  • I rarely get to make tapenade for parties. I have tried and tried (subtly) to get hosts to include it with appetizers and rarely is my suggestion taken. By now I have given up. And then Island calls and says make what you want John, and I love her for that, and then I get to make tapenade (a process I love) and I get to scrape the food processor with torn bread and bring the extra I made home, and eat giant spoonfuls slathered on ciabatta... and then I remember why I used to try so hard in the first place.
  • The idea when our kids are old enough we will be spending two weeks in Italy.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Good Old Days

A rare night in our house. Sam's friend Quinton spent the night, so he needed zero attention. Frances was asleep by 6:30. And I came home from the market with dungeness crab, scallops, and shrimp. So the wife and I did what we used to do before we had children... cooked a nice meal. For all you children-hopeful bride and grooms to be, live it up now, the opportunities for enjoyable meals become few and far between when the munchkins arrive.

The broth is crab stock, vermouth, and saffron. Sauteed cabbage, carrots, spinach, garlic, and celery leaves were added to the earthy garbanzos. For good measure we added a garlic rubbed toasted baguette, a pretty side salad, and a bottle of bubbly.
A great in home date night.
More Graze Catering news. I am a guest instructor at the community college culinary program for the winter quarter. I teach two courses. A lecture class about the food industry as a whole and a five hour block making stocks, soups, and sauces. It should be fun.