chef

State Bird Provisions, San Francisco. Inside the Kitchen with Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski.

Monday, March 18th, 2013

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Last August, Jeni and I had dinner at State Bird Provisions. It was already very popular and well-known amongst the locals and fortunately we were able to get a table quite easily. In the last seven months, many good things have happened to the quaint eatery run by husband-wife/chef-duo Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski including Bon Appetit’s “Best New Restaurant in America 2013″ and a James Beard nomination. From Instagram photos, I’d see 20-30 people already queueing up for a seat before the restaurant even opened. One would think there was a secret concert being held inside, but no – it’s just amazing food being made. Each time we return to San Francisco, we end up here. Not simply because of the food, but because of the whole experience. We love the chefs, the team and the service. Anyone that has been will probably speak the same.  Knowing we’re big fans of their food, Stuart and Nicole invited us in to photograph their food and team in action. I can tell you, it is very difficult to keep focus when your subject is a tasty piece of sea urchin atop a sourdough pancake with shoyu reduction.

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Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski. Their first date in 1994 was at a pho restaurant in Cupertino. Awesome. Follow his awesome tour of the Fish Sauce Trail in Vietnam with Top Chef Paul Qui of Uchiko (Austin, TX) and Edward Lee of 610 Magnolia (Louisville, KY).

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Stuart and Nicole infuse Asian ingredients into their dishes. Always delicious and well-balanced. I believe these ingredients are used to spice their pork ribs.

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Produce you’ll never find in Trader Joe’s.

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Into the Wolvesmouth. Scenes from Within.

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013


A few weeks back, I had the opportunity to experience one of Craig Thornton’s amazing dinners. Unfortunately, I was there as a bystander, holding a camera and no utensils. There is nothing more punishing than watching people take bites of food and exchange reactions. But this was also a rewarding experience thanks to Team Wolvesmouth: Craig Thornton, Julian Fang, Caleb Chen and the rest of the WM team, as I was able to show up early and see them prep. I had to leave about halfway through the 9-course meal and I reeked beautifully of dishes such as seared ribeye cap and sea bass. In the 2 hours I was there, here is what I saw.


Email Wolvesmouth to get on the waiting list. Also read about Wolvesmouth’s story in the New Yorker. Thanks for reading.

Bäco Mercat, Downtown LA. Photo Shoot for Bon Appetit.com and Food & Wine.com

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012


A few weeks ago, I was stoked to get a text from one of my favorite chefs in LA, Josef Centeno of Bäco Mercat, formerly at the Lazy Ox Canteen, Lot 1 Cafe and Opus. He asked me to come in and photograph some of his dishes and interior for some upcoming features in BonAppetit.com and Food & Wine.com. Hmm, let me get back to you on that Josef. Jeni and I came in the next day and we did what I usually do at any restaurant – take photos. The time of the day was nice, the large windows provided some of God’s best free lighting and the food was of course, going to be delicious and colorful as always. The only major complaint one can have when shooting food for a chef is – how in the world we’re going to eat all that food we shoot?  There’s no way that food will be served nor would you dare toss that food out. We photographed about eight dishes, including one large roast chicken that we thankfully did not have to eat  – it would have been overload! The shoot went really well, with a very happy Chef Centeno and a couple of happy photographers contributing to some of America’s best food publications/websites. Here are some of the shots from the shoot. I’ll post a live link as soon as it’s live. And if you haven’t eaten at Bäco Mercat, you must. Also, by October 2012, Chef Centeno will be launching his Tex-Mex concept, Bar Amá (in honor of his Grandma in San Antonio, Texas). Thanks for reading!


Happy diners. We love sitting at the bar.

Heirloom Tomatoes and Fresh Corn

Sautéed Baby Octopus with English Shelling Peas and Parsley

Sugar Snap Peas, Grapefruit and Burrata

Braised Lamb & Spinach Pasta

Grilled Mexican Green Onions with Romesco

Oxtail “Toro” Bäco

Hamachi, Avocado Mousse and Hash “Rounds”

Bäco Mercat Roast Chicken