From top left to right: Douglas Monsalud and wife Kimberly Stevens, Yigit Pura, Will Werner and girlfriend Sarah Logan, Richie Nakano.
It's no secret chefs don't get much time off--certainly not on holidays. And Valentine's Day is a biggie. Folks make reservations well in advance and snatch up flowers and confections to bring home to their loved ones. After chatting with some of my favorite local chefs, it became clear that Valentine's Day really is just another day and there are many occasions to sit down, toast one another, and prepare a special meal. I asked three simple questions to get to the heart of what a romantic day looks like in their world. Here's what I discovered.
Douglas Monsalud: Kitchenette SF
So Valentine’s Day. Or let’s just say, on a typical romantically-minded evening, tell us about what you and your partner like to cook/eat together at home?
We LOVE to make food that takes a while to cook so that we can hang out, talk while we cook, and drink good wine ; ) With that in mind, we have cooked everything from bouillabaisse to pozole, porchetta to pot roast. You know...simple, rustic, one-pot meals that are comfortable and really make you feel like you are home.
Wow, favorite dessert is a tough one. I like desserts that are lighter and fruity...like the goats milk yoghurt panna cotta with blood orange compote that we've served at Heart Wine Bar. Similarly, I have always loved creme brulee and a nice, flaky crostata with a scoop of ice cream always gets my attention.
If you weren’t eating at home, where are a few of your favorite romantic spots in the Bay Area and why?
Aziza and Gitane ooze romance. They have great food and the atmosphere is at once exotic and warm. Also, I always think getting a dozen oysters from the Marshall Store up on Tomales Bay with a bottle of something bubbly and eating them on a bench overlooking the water is as sexy as it gets.