Saturday, February 27, 2016

Ignite your culinary curiosity on Saturday by exploring two unique approaches to cooking from some of the Bay Area’s premier local chefs: Jay Foster of Farmer Brown in San Francisco and Nelson German of alaMar in Oakland.

On Saturday, spend an idyllic time at the CUESA tent with two unique approaches to Southern cuisine from chefs representing both sides of the Bay. Well known San Francisco chef, Jay Foster, whose Farmer Brown restaurant will be celebrating 10 years in the heart of the city in 2016 and Nelson German and his more recent addition to Oakland's burgeoning culinary scene, alaMar. Relax into the start of your weekend with their laid-back style and honest tips for scrumptious bites.

CUESA (the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) envisions a healthy world nourished by environmentally sound, humane, economically viable, and socially just food systems. After picking up some professional pointers from Jay and Nelson, CUESA invites you to adventure into the vibrant Ferry Building Farmer’s Market and rustle up some of your own Bay Area-grown ingredients to try out what you’ve learned.


 Chef Jay Foster inside farmer brown in san francisco

Chef Jay Foster inside farmer brown in san francisco

North Carolina native, Chef Jay Foster, didn’t arrive in San Francisco with thoughts of being in the culinary industry.  A student of mathematics and later art, the Farmer Brown creator (which is celebrating its 10th year in 2016), actually ran from the idea of a career in restaurants, not realizing how big of a role they played in his life.  “My first job was as a dishwasher and every job I’ve had has been in a restaurant and my parents met in my grandmother’s restaurant.  I probably was running from a lot of that and ended up finding my way and I just kind of fell into it.”

At its core, Farmer Brown is not just a restaurant that serves Southern cuisine, but a place that also pays homage to those who helped grow and create the culture of food and along the way fueled the farm-to-table concept way before it became so trendy today.  “When I got the opportunity to create what I really wanted, I was looking around and didn’t see much soul food and then began asking myself, ‘What is soul food, what is the difference between soul food and Southern food and Creole food and American food.’ And the more research I did, the more I realized that so much of our food and because of that our culture came from farmers.”

Not one to give in to monotony, Foster meets with farmers at least twice a week to see what they have that may lead to a new creation coming out of the test kitchen and onto the menu. “I am inspired by things that I see the farmers growing,” Foster shares which often leads to new dishes daily.  Farmer Brown favorites that are menu staples include the catfish, seafood gumbo, crawfish and shrimp jambalaya, skillet pork chop and of course the Southern fried chicken. While Foster acknowledges that not all fried chicken is the same, the key to Farmer Brown’s is that they brine the chicken for 24 hours and the spice mix is simple yet full of flavor from fresh ingredients. “It is not that difficult.  You just have to make it crunchy, juicy and delicious.”  

Saturday, February 27, 2016
10:30AM - FREE
CUESA, Ferry Plaza Building, Embarcadero, San Francisco

 

 Chef Nelson German at his restaurant, alaMar, in Oakland's Uptown District

Chef Nelson German at his restaurant, alaMar, in Oakland's Uptown District

One part African American soul, one part fiery Latino and all New York attitude,  Chef Nelson German is a Dominican-American who was born and bred in uptown Manhattan’s Washington Heights.  He has trained countless hours in NYC kitchens and has spent over a decade creating his destiny. Nelson’s passion, drive and humble nature has propelled him through the hardships of the restaurant industry to finally reaching his dream come to fruition in his 1st chef driven eatery alaMar.

Nelson’s journey to the Bay area began in 2010 when he left the “Big City of Dreams” and moved to Oakland where he immediately fell in love with the culture and realness of The Town.  He was introduced to the rising food scene in Oakland from a visit and culinary stage at Jack London Square’s BocaNova.  He was impressed and started venturing out to other Oakland eateries and soon found out that Oakland had a very special food culture.  Even though he loved Oakland it was always one of his goals to work and hone his craft in San Francisco.  He was Executive Chef of the unique “Dinner in Bed” concept Supperclub SF and then helped open Marbella, a modern Spanish restaurant on Polk Street. Nelson made his return to Oakland in a big way by opening alaMar and he is very proud to have his first baby in the town he loves.  It didn’t stop there, as within alaMar’s first year he has earned a coveted 2015 Michelin Guide recommendation. 

Saturday, February 27, 2016
12:00PM - FREE
CUESA, Ferry Plaza Building, Embarcadero, San Francisco

 

Market to Table Seasonal Cooking demonstration at CUESA (the Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) during The sf|noir Wine & Food Festival in 2015 with Chef Romney 'Nani' Steele of The Cook & Her Farmer.