Smoke on the Water

This is one of my favorite recipes. I first made it for my dear friends, the Berenstain’s, and they would request it every time I came to visit. Now it’s a hit course at our final Cow by Bear dinners. While I’m not planning to publish the recipe in Food by Bear, I wanted you to have it.

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serves 6
special equipment:

ingredients for the pork:
2 lb pork belly (if purchased in slab, freeze remaining)
1/2 c kosher salt
1/2 c brown sugar
1 tbsp coriander
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp onion powder
1/2 tbsp allspice


ingredients for the coconut rice:
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp sugar
4 + 1/3 c water
1 small can coconut milk (2 c)
1 tbsp dried shrimp
2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed and smashed flat with a cleaver
1” piece of ginger, peeled and smashed flat
3/4 c jasmine rice, soaked for 2 mins & rinsed well in cold water
2 tbsp peanut oil
5 cloves garlic, minced

to cook the pork belly:
1. Mix all the seasoning and spice together.
2. Score the fat side of belly and season all around with spice mix.
3. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
4. Cold smoke with mesquite wood chips between 90-120 degrees for 90 minutes.
5. After smoking, braise the pork covered with 1 inch of water in the oven at 325 degrees for two hours, or until tender.
6. Allow to cool completely in refrigerator before slicing portions.

to cook the coconut rice:
1. In a pot, bring fish sauce, sugar, water, coconut milk, shrimp, ginger & lemongrass to a boil. Cook at a low boil for 10 minutes.
2. Steep for 20 minutes and strain.
3. In a clean pot sweat garlic in peanut oil, add the rinsed rice and toast the rice.
4. Add water and coconut milk, and simmer on low until all liquid is absorbed. Do not stir.

garnish suggestions:
lime wedge, ngo om, cilantro, very thinly sliced bird chile in fish sauce, peanuts

To assemble:
Reheat the pork in the oven at 350 until hot (about 10 minutes). Plate a spoonful of rice and sliced belly on top. Drizzle with bird chile and fish sauce, add ngo om, cilantro and peanuts. Squeeze lime on top and enjoy!

2019 Dinner Schedule

As announced last September, Cow by Bear has decided to wind down the dinner party experience after over seven years. Originally slated to end at the end of 2018, we added a series of dinners through March 2019 to accommodate the overwhelming amount of requests for one final dinner. We just couldn’t turn our human friends away! Now we’re approaching that final end date, and while we’re excited for our next chapter we can’t help but to feel bittersweet about it all. It’s been an amazing journey and we must thank each and every one of you humans for your support over the years! If you’re interested in a private dinner beyond the March 2019 dates, please reach out to us at as we may be able to accommodate some one-off private dinner requests. We have to keep our skills sharp somehow…and it’s really hard to say goodbye.


Bear, Osa and Osito.

Salmon Cycle

In the Pacific Northwest, trees snack on salmon.

1. It begins with the salmon's life journey. Born in the cool drift of shaded freshwater creeks, salmon swim out to the open ocean to grow and mature. After several years, they return to the waters of their birthplace during the autumn months to spawn. This is called the salmon run.

2. For bears and other predators, the return of the salmon is a time for feasting. Bears often carry our salmon catch into the forest to feed, scattering bits of fish carcasses along the forest floor. Scavengers such as eagles, wolves and inspects swoop in, consuming the rest.

3. Salmon are rich with a distinct form of nitrogen, an important nutritional element which promotes plant growth. The forest soil absorbs some of the nitrogen from the fish carcass, as well as from the predators' excrement and urine.

4. Scientists have determined that for some tree species, up to 80 percent of their nitrogen intake can be traced back to salmon.

5. Thanks to all that extra nitrogen, these trees grow tall and thick along the riverbanks. There, they shade and cool the water, making it an ideal temperature for salmon to spawn in, and the relationship comes full circle.

- courtesy of beside magazine


The Cub Club

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September 20, 2018 Update: As Cow by Bear shifts its focus to a new format in 2019, Cub Club members will retain their priority access on special event announcements and tickets. Please reach out if you have any questions about your Cub Club status or what the future holds!

The Cub Club is designed to bring the most devoted Cow by Bear supporters further into our family circle. While the club will continue to evolve as we move forward, here are the current benefits and eligibility requirements:

Cub Club Rewards & Benefits:

1. Exclusive emails about last minute reschedules (no more months-long wait!) with a 20% discount on these seats.

2. 20% off all merchandise.

3. An official 'Cub Club' badge.

4. Invitation to an annual 'Cub Club' dinner with special menu at unique venue.

5. Entered into quarterly drawing for free merchandise.

6. Opportunity for dish/cocktail to be named in your honor.

Eligibility Requirements:

1. You've been to three or more dinners. (If you've been to two, come on back and we'll have a special induction ceremony for you!) OR

2. You've been to a dinner in both San Diego AND Seattle OR 

3. You've been to all three Cow by Bear experiences (Dinner, Brunch by BearWine by Bear) in San Diego. Don't worry Seattle, we'll be adding those experiences down the road!

If you think you're already eligible for the Cub Club but haven't heard from us, please reach out. We're looking forward to inducting you into the family circle!

Poached Eggs

water (1 1/2-inch in bottom of pot)
2 tbsp vinegar

1. Pour 2 tablespoons of vinegar into the water.
2. Crack open eggs one at a time, into a small bowl.
3. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce to simmer.
4. Pour eggs into a ladle.
5. Gently transfer eggs into the simmering water.
6. Poach the eggs for 3 minutes, spooning the simmering water over the eggs.
7. When the whites become opaque and feel firm to the touch, they are done.
8. Gently remove eggs with a slotted spoon and lay them on sheets of paper towel to dry.
9. Serve immediately.

Loco in Acapulco


2 oz tito's vodka
3/4 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz ancho reyes liqueur
1/4 oz simple syrup

1. Salt half of one double rocks glass with chipotle salt rim.
2. Pour all ingredients into a Boston shaker over ice.
3. Shake for 10-20 seconds and strain into glass over ice. 
4. Garnish with a lime wheel.
5. Drink responsibly.