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Tucson restaurant news: chefs, Chez Panisse, sweet potato fries

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Tucson restaurant news

Chef Demos at Williams-Sonoma – August 21 & 28
Join the chefs from the Dove Mountain Ritz-Carlton as they demonstrate the tricks of their trade at Williams-Sonona in La Encantada this Saturday and next from 2 to 3 p.m. On August 21,  Chef Michael Press, Garde Manager Kitchen, does his culinary thing and the following weekend, Chef Joe Tiano, Cayton’s at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Club. Meet these chefs up close and personal.

Ode to Alice Waters: A Night at Chez Panisse – August 25
Chef Adam Buzzalini of Maynards Market & Kitchen invites you to attend an exclusive six course wine dinner based on the cooking style of Alice Waters, chef, author, and founder of “California Cuisine” from her legendary restaurant  Chez Panisse in Berkeley.  Waters is an authentic American pioneer of a culinary philosophy that maintains that cooking should be based on the finest and freshest seasonal ingredients produced sustainably and locally – the model that Chef Buzzalini strives for at Maynards. The cost for the dinner with wine pairings will be $85 per person (tax and gratuity additional). This extraordinary dinner happens Wednesday, August 25  7 p.m. Please call to reserve your space. (photo: Alice Waters)

As an aside, I ate at Chez Panisse many years ago when a dear friend in her late 40’s went back to college in Berkeley to get her art degree. Upon graduating, we splurged at Chez Panisse. Alice Waters was so ahead of her time but then visionary pioneers usually are. The book Arugula Nation gives a meticulously detailed peek into how California Cuisine came to be and influenced the rest of us.  Those were wild times in the kitchen and out.

Restaurateurs Who Blog
I love when a restaurant blogs about its inner sanctum. I don’t mean one blog post and never to blog again which is the common affliction of many bloggers or to regurgitate the menu and assume that’s all we need to know.  Currently Doug Levy of Feast is blogging about the building of his new location further west on Speedway closer to Dodge. It’s great to see the progress; can’t wait until Feast, the sequel, opens.

Then, of course, there’s Janos’ new restaurant downtown called Downtown Kitchen & Bar. I’ve mentioned his blog on Circle of Food before, but heck, I’ll mention it again. These guys are not only creative chefs but they know how to build rapport and curiosity with their audience. (Hint: Chain restaurants cannot pull of this easy trick.) The first Tucson restaurant who successfully blogged (in my humble opinion) was the opening of Tucson Tamale Co.

Recommendation: Best Sweet Potato Fries
Monkey Burger in the Williams Center has the best sweet potato fries in Tucson. They are a generous serving of mini crispy waffles, not to salty, and definitely not greasy.

Please send your Tucson restaurant news and food news to karynzoldan@yahoo.com

  1. Damn you, Karyn, now I want sweet potato fries and it’s not even 9:30 a.m.! I agree, they are awesome.

    I also agree that it’s a great deal of fun to read the blogs of restaurateurs who are engaged with their diners. Makes me want to eat there even more than I already want to.

  2. Too bad Chef Adam Buzzalini will never come close to recreating Chez Panisse till he cleans up his service staff. Maynards repeatedly has the worst service in town.

  3. Interesting comments about service. I don’t care much for the American style because here a waiter pretends he/she is your great friend . . . until, of course, the bill arrives, at which time your new good friend wants his/her money. I think that particular style of service pesters people and intrudes on private moments. I like the service at Maynard’s because they are not endlessly asking me if I am happy. They serve quietly and well. When I eat out, I am not looking to forge a friendship with the waiter.

    I ate dinner one night years ago at Chez Panisse. I remember it as crowded and loud, though the food was simply great. Don’t recall the service, so it must have been unintrusive.

    Guess that “good” service is a matter of personal choice.

  4. For me “good” service doesn’t equal friendship but rather receiving food, drink and whatever else is ordered as ordered and in a timely manner. This has never happened in my visits to Maynards.

    I don’t think what I expect as “good” serivce to be my own personal choice. I beleive most people would expect the same.

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