Bear's Bracket Challenge is Back!


It's that time of year again where we all gather around a portable radio to listen to our favorite bear-mascot teams attempt to cut down the nets on their way to the NCAA college basketball championship. I can only imagine the elation the next champs will be feeling in that moment. It's my hope the winners of the 3rd Annual Cow by Bear Bracket Challenge will share in that same joy.

Just click here to join the Cow by Bear group and make sure to share with your friends!

1st place: Two tickets to Cow by Bear dinner experience.
2nd place: Two tickets to Brunch by Bear experience OR $200 gift certificate.
3rd place: Two tickets to Wine by Bear experience OR $100 gift certificate.

Good luck!


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Introducing the Cub Club!


I hope your week is off to a fantastic start! For those of you that have been around here a while, you probably know my origin story; how I lost my parents to poachers at a young age, was bear-napped and eventually paraded around for years in a traveling circus. Eventually, I was able to escape to France where I had what I refer to as my "awakening," when I began to walk, talk and cook.

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Since then, I've no doubt had a blessed and entertaining life cooking all over the world, but while I've bounced from country to country I've often felt overcome by what's missing; namely, a family. Of course, when family literally came knocking at my door, I didn't quite know how to handle it. 

With that background, imagine how grateful I am that so many of you have come into my life at the Cow by Bear experiences, becoming new friends and yes, even family. I wanted to express this gratitude and make our club a little more official. It's in that spirit that Osa, Osito and I are happy to introduce the 'Cub Club,' designed to bring the most devoted Cow by Bear supporters further into the family circle. The club will continue to evolve as we move forward but here's the deal...

'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 and unique venue.
5. Entered into quarterly drawing for free merchandise.
6. Chance to have a cocktail named after you.

How to join the 'Cub Club:'
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!

We'll be reaching out soon if you've already qualified for the 'Cub Club' or if you're knocking on the door of eligibility. Thank you - we couldn't be more excited to have you in the club!

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Cow by Bear now offering catering!


It'll be summertime before we know it, and as you know I'm not much of a hibernator. If anything, I like to double down on my activity, get outside and bask in the sun and all it's glory. It's that time of year that many of you humans are planning your big summer events - be it a wedding, rehearsal dinner, or just a big ol' fashioned birthday bash. Whatever the event may be, I'd love to be part of it!

Cow by Bear is now offering catering services at these special events. Please reach out at if you'd like to discuss your party and how we can make magic together.

Loco in Acapulco


Osa, Osito and I were able to escape to Acapulco for some much needed R&R a few weeks ago, and let me tell you; I got into it! I'd been kicking around the idea for this cocktail in my head for months, and it finally came together while south of the border. That night, cocktail in hand, I was treated to an intimate show by a few remaining members of the Four Tops. You haven't lived until you've heard "Loco in Acapulco" live.

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.

Dear, Mama Bear.


I created this dish while living in Italy at a time in my life where I was really missing my Mama Bear. It was developed in her honor as a love letter of sorts. I have fond memories as a cub of tearing into the tents of unsuspecting humans and coming back to Mama Bear with cans of Chef Boyardee spaghetti. It was her favorite, and something I loved to surprise her with. I like to think she'd enjoy this even more.

5 lbs fresh bucatini pasta
1 lb crab meat
50 oz canned san marzano tomatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
1/4 c chopped garlic
1 tbsp red chile flake
2 tbsp salt plus more for pasta water
micro basil

1. Heat olive oil in a deep pot or dutch oven. Sauté onions until soft, then add garlic and chile flake and cook until the garlic is fragrant.
2. Add tomatoes, a cup of water and the salt, and simmer on low for 1 hour.
3. Taste, adjusting seasoning, and blend in a blender or in the pot using an immersion blender.
4. In a large pot of heavily salted water (it should taste like the sea), boil the pasta until al dente.
5. Drain and transfer to sauce pot, turn on the heat, add the crab and cook until everything is hot.
6. To serve, grab pasta with tongs and twirl to make a nest on each plate. Then ladle remaining sauce on top and garnish with micro basil and a drizzle of your fanciest olive oil.

4th Planet From the Sun


I developed this recipe during my stint cooking on a recent mission to Mars. Okay, okay, I've not been to Mars, but it's definitely on the short list! Who wants to go with me?

for the soup:
3 tbsp olive oil plus more for drizzling
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp ground vadouvan curry
1/4 tsp kosher salt, more to taste
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
pinch of ground cayenne, more to taste
1 quart chicken broth
1 c red lentils
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste

for pickled cauliflower
2 c water
1 c vinegar
1/3 c sugar
3 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
6 green cardamon pods
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
3/4 tsp tumeric
3 lb head of cauliflower

for green harissa
2 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 jalapeños, seeded and sliced
2 small scallions, sliced
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/2 c extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c flat leaf parsley leaves
1/2 c fresh cilantro leaves w/ tender stems
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
1 tsp fine sea salt


1. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes.
2. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.
3. Add broth, 2 cups water, lentils and carrots. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.
4. Using an immersion or food processor, purée half the soup then add it back to pot. Soup should be somewhat chunky.
5. Reheat soup if necessary and stir in lemon juice. 
6. Serve with a good olive oil, pickled cauliflower and green harissa.

Pickled Cauliflower:

1. Cut cauliflower into small florets.
2. Bring the rest of the ingredients to a boil and pour over cauliflower.
3. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours and eat within a month.

Green Harissa:

(Prep ahead if possible as it will last for 5 days)
1. Lightly toast cumin and coriander seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Let cool.
2. Purée seeds with jalapeños, scallions, garlic, oil, parsley, cilantro, lemon juice and salt in a blender or food processor until smooth. 
3. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto surface of harissa, cover and chill until use.

More Cake in '18

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Hello humans, Happy New Year! 

2017 was quite the year at Cow by Bear. We saw our family grow with the opening of our Seattle location and the Wine by Bear experience in San Diego, added ten new friends to the staff and partied with thousands of you amazing homosapiens. We continue to constantly tweak the dinner experience to make it the best it can possibly be, and my Lil' Osito Bear is making exciting strides with Brunch by Bear. While I can't wait to see what 2018 brings, I've been reflecting a lot on last year and want to thank you all so much for your enthusiasm and willingness to come out and be a part of something different. We've met so many fantastic people and it just makes this bear's heart sing. To express my gratitude, I wanted to send out a digital hug and offer a 10% discount for anything in our Cow by Bear Shop (gift certificates included) from now until the end of February. Just enter BEARHUG at checkout!

With the turn of the new year comes a lot of resolutions. I've personally always struggled to keep mine - learn to bobsled, hibernate, pursue ventriloquism. The list is long of my tried and failed resolutions. So this year, I've decided to try something more practical that I knew I'd be able to keep up with, and I'd humbly suggest you give it a try:

Eat. More. Cake.

I know what you’re thinking: “But, Chef Bear, how am I going to shed all the pounds I put on from the holidays by eating cake?” It's a valid question that I don't have the answer to (I'm just a bear, after all). I can tell you, however, that it's working wonders for me. I just continue to slap on the LBs and I gotta tell ya I've never been happier and have never felt better. Fat and happy, as they say.

So give it a try. Sit down and just eat a whole cake. Trust me, it'll put a smile on your face. I'll even get you started with a recipe for a recent concoction that you can even pair with an ice cold beer. Enjoy!



for cake
4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp brown butter
1 1/4 c white sugar
1/4 c brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 c buttermilk
1/3 c grapeseed oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt

for jalapeno pepper jelly
4 1/2 c finely chopped green bell peppers
1/2 c finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1 1/4 c cider vinegar
3 tbsp powdered pectin
2 c sugar
1 c honey

for cream cheese frosting
1/2 c butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese
3 1/2 c powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract

crispy bacon broken into small pieces, to taste

For the cake:
1. Combine the sugar and butters in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, and cream for 2-3 minutes on medium-high. Scrape down the sides and add the eggs. Paddle for 2-3 more minutes then scrape down the sides again.
2. Slowly pour in the buttermilk, oil and vanilla all at once while mixing on low speed. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for 5-6 minutes. The mixture will almost double in size and become very pale. Keep mixing if it has not, and then scrape down the sides.
3. Preheat oven to 350F.
4. While on the lowest speed, add the cake flour, baking powder and salt all at once and mix for about a minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides. Mix again on low speed for another minute until all dry ingredients have been completely incorporated. Using a spatula, slowly fold in the bacon.
5. Grease a quarter sheet pan, line with parchment or a silicone mat, and pour the bater evenly into the pan.
6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is set in the middle and no longer jiggly. Cool on a wire rack.
7. When cool enough to build, use a small cake ring to cut rounds out of the pan. If you can only get 2 circles, then use the scraps to make up the bottom layer (if you want three layers, which you do!)
8. Layer the cake in this order: cake, cream cheese frosting, jalapeno jelly, cake, frosting, jelly, cake, frosting, bacon sprinkled on top.

For the jalapeno pepper jelly:
1. Combine bell peppers, jalapeno peppers and vinegar in a large saucepan. Gradually stir in pectin. Bring mixture to a full rolling boil that cannot be stirred down over high heat, stirring constantly. 
2. Add sugar and honey. Return mixture to full rolling boil. Boil hard 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Let chill to room temperature.

For the cream cheese frosting
1. Combine butter and cream cheese in mixer fitted with paddle. Mix on medium speed until well smooth.
2. Add sugar and vanilla and beat on medium speed until creamy. Add more or less sugar to taste.

To Assemble: Layer the cake in this order: cake, cream cheese frosting, jalapeno jelly, cake, frosting, jelly, cake, frosting, bacon sprinkled on top. Give it a whirl and let me know what you think!

That Time I Cooked For Santa


Have I ever told you about the time I cooked for Santa? Long, long ago I was visiting family back in Alaska for Christmas. My cousins and I were in the middle of an intense game of 'Caribou Eyes' when we heard a crash louder than a hundred thousand ladies screaming at a Nickelback concert.

We made our way through the thick Alaskan brush and could tell we were getting closer, for the air became thick with the unmistakable scent of booze. As it turned out, Santa and Mrs. Claus had been going through a rough patch that particular season, and Santa had hit the hot buttered rums pretty hard before he and the reindeer set off on their mission. They'd barely even made it out of the North Pole before the sleigh came tumbling back down to earth. Upon our discovery as we finally came to the clearing,  a singular name we all exclaimed: "Santa!" A shout came from above: "Bears!" We looked up and found the poor guy holding onto the branch of a Douglas Fir for dear life. It took a little coaxing, but once we had him down and back at camp, it became painfully clear the old man needed a little TLC.

"Bear," he began, "my little mishap has set me back hours, and I'm afraid I've lost the pep in my step to make up the time. But I've heard about you. Word has spread across the globe that your magic in the kitchen can revive and rejuvenate. Can you help me, Bear?" Luckily I had the fixings for a carrot bisque, and my cousin Herb donated some pork belly from his swine farm to complete the dish. We fed Santa and his reindeer, warmed and sobered him up, and helped fill his sleigh with the necessary Christmas spirit. I named the dish 'Bisquey A Go Go,' in honor of getting Santa back on the move and saving Christmas. And that's the story of how this little number came to be.

You can find it on the current menu at Cow by Bear San Diego or make it on your own with the recipe below.



for carrot bisque
1/2 lb butter
2 onions, chopped
3 lbs carrots, peeled and chopped
5 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 bottle dry white wine (or try Mead)
6 c chicken stock (richer the better)
2 c heavy cream
splash cider vinegar
salt, pepper, nutmeg

for braised pork belly
1 large carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 celery sticks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
sprig fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 c high-quality cider
small splash vinegar, plus extra to season
4 1/4 c chicken stock
2.5lbs unscored boneless pork belly
2tbsp sunflower oil

for caraway cream
1 pint heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp caraway seeds
salt and pepper

For the carrot bisque:
1. In a 6-quart pan, over medium high heat, add butter, onions and garlic. Stir often until onions are limp. Add wine (or mead). Reduce by half then add stock, carrots and season with a hefty amount of salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until carrots are tender when pierced.
2. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender. Do not fill the blender more than half way (blend in batches if necessary). Be careful when blending hot liquids as the mixture can spurt out of the blender (use a kitchen towel to hold lid down). Pulse the blender to start it and then puree until smooth. Return to the pan and add cream and stir over high heat until hot. Add the splash of cider vinegar and season to taste.

For the braised pork belly:
1. Day 1: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place all the pork belly ingredients except the pork and sunflower oil in a flameproof pan that will fit the pork snugly - a casserole dish is idea. Season, bring everything to a boil on the stove then turn down the heat to low and slide the pork into the pan. The pork should be totally submerged. Top with water if needed. Cover the dish with a lid or tight tent of foil and place in the oven for 3hrs. undisturbed. 
2. When the pork is cooked, leave it to cool slightly in the stock. Line a flat baking tray with cling film. Carefully lift the pork into the tray and make sure you get rid of any bits of vegetables or herbs as they will end up pressed into the pork. Cover the pork with another sheet of cling film and cover with a flat tray or dish (the tray must be completely flat as any indentations will be pressed into the pork). Weigh the pork down with another dish or some cans and leave to cool in the fridge overnight. Strain the juices into a jug or small saucepan, cover and chill. 
3. Day 2: Unwrap the pork and place on a board. Trim the uneven edges so that you have a neat sheet of meat. Cut the meat into equal pieces and set aside until ready to cook. Life off any bits of fat from the braising juices and tip what will now be jelly into a saucepan, then bubble down by about two-thirds until starting to become slightly syrupy. Add a few drops of vinegar, to taste.
4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan until hot, then turn the heat down. Add the pork to the pan, skin-side down. Be careful as it has a tendency to spit. Sizzle the pork as you would bacon for five minutes until the skin is crisp. Flip it over and cook for 3-4 minutes until browned. 

For the caraway cream:
1. In a saucepan, toast caraway seeds until fragrant. Add heavy cream and gently bring to a simmer, season with salt and pepper. Let cool completely in the refrigerator 2 hours or overnight, whip and dollop on just before serving.

To Assemble: Serve the carrot bisque in a bowl and top with the pork belly then a dollop of caraway cream. Delicious extra garnishes are: pumpernickel bread crumbs, micro sorrel, dill, pickled onions and diced apple.


Thanks so much for following along on the 'Bear's Necessities' newsletter! I hope you get as much out of reading it as I do writing. This is the place to get priority access on all of our announcements. I'm happy to say we will be hosting a special New Years Eve dinner in both San Diego and Seattle locations this December 31! As usual, each dinner is reserved for just 14 guests and will begin at 8pm. Price is $250/person. The dinner portion of the evening will wrap around 11pm, and we'd love you to stick around and celebrate the new year with us until 1am! Dinner is five(+) courses with paired fine wine and will include champagne at midnight and a few other surprises along the way. Tickets can be purchased here for San Diego and here for Seattle. Act fast as I expect this to sell out quickly!


I'm excited to have launched our website redesign this morning, which includes our new and improved shop! To celebrate and get into the Christmas spirit, everything in the shop (including Gift Certificates) is 15% off from now until end of day December 15. Just enter the code BEARDOWN at checkout!

Speaking of pricing, we need to make a small adjustment in cost for the dinner experience in San Diego by raising the ticket price to $195. Here's why: several months ago I made a change that resulted in both service fee and tax being inclusive in the ticket price, whereas before they were an additional charge. This has made it a cleaner process for guests, as it's just one flat fee and takes away some of the confusion that was present before. I decided not to increase the price at the time, but with this additional cost we are absorbing as well as rising costs from suppliers, it's necessary I make this adjustment in order to keep the dinners going. The price will remain $175 until January 1 and then increase that day. Seattle cost per ticket remains $195 and I intend to keep both locations at that price for the foreseeable future. Thank you for your understanding on this, and please reach out to me at with any questions!

Turkey Day Stories + Recipes

Hello my fabulous human friends! As I sit here watching the rain trickle down on a fog covered lake just outside of Seattle, I can't help but wonder whatever happened to Thanksgiving. These days I barely have time to put away my Don Flamenco Halloween costume before being bombarded with Christmas decorations and ads about black Friday and cyber Monday. Sale, sale, sale! Maybe I’m biased - being a chef and all - but that just ain't right. This is the one holiday devoted to remembering where you come from, who's been part of that journey and shamelessly stuffing your face, of course! There's simply nothing better than that.
One of my most memorable Thanksgivings was during my first year as an accidental chef in France.  As it turned out, the French have another word for this holiday -"jeudi," or simply, “Thursday.” I wanted to recreate the grand feasts I had growing up on Kodiak Island for my new friends, but finding all the fixings was more challenging than I had anticipated in a place that survives on butter, chocolate and bread (have I mentioned I love the place?). Needless to say, I had to get creative with some of my family’s old recipes, of which I'm including a couple below. To me, that’s what this day is all about; sharing what you have and know with family and friends. Oh, and the aforementioned shameless face stuffing, obviously. 

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Speaking of family, many of you are so sweet and continue to inquire about if and when I'll be seeing Osa and Osito. Sure enough, I've arranged for the three of us to rendezvous at a top-secret location near Lake Tahoe for a few days of fishing, foraging and bear-back bobsledding. It'll be the first time Osito has seen snow and I can't wait to get into a family snowball fight whilst teaching him the dangers of the yellow snow. After fishing with my paws and jaw all my life, I've recently been introduced to the wonders of a fishing pole and my oh my has it changed my life. Osa will be bringing her Dutch oven for bread and desserts over the fire, just like her father used to during their winters in Whitefish. As for Osito, he's been foraging his little heart out and promises to serve up all the fruit, veggies and weeds we desire. When all is said and done, we'll each bring offerings to the table made from the number one ingredient: LOVE.

Have a great Thanksgiving, friends. 

Fun fact: sweet potatoes and yams are not the same thing. They each have their own identity, but because of improper labeling at grocery stores they get confused with one another. But, hey, after you top them with marshmallows does it really matter?

Yam, Bam, Thank You Ma'am

8 (6 oz.) yams
1 c upsalted butter
1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
mini marshmallows (as many as you'd like)

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut the yams crosswise into ¼-inch slices, leaving about ⅛ inch intact at the bottom. Place the yams on an aluminum foil–lined baking dish; cover tightly with foil. Bake until slightly tender, about 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter with the sage in a large skillet over medium and cook, stirring often until golden, about 5 minutes.
3. Remove foil. Brush half of the butter mixture on the yams so it seeps in between the slices.  Return to oven and bake, uncovered, until tender, about 1 hour. 
4. Turn the broil function on in your oven. Wedge the mini marshmallows randomly between the slices and watch closely as the marshmallows will brown fairly quickly. 
5. Remove from the oven and brush the remaining sage butter over the tops and sides. Enjoy!


I came up with this when a truck-load of figs from Toulouse showed up at our restaurant one day. The chef wanted something interesting on the cheese board that night - a twist on a classic flavor. These babies are great on their own, paired with cheese, or as a funky substitute for cranberries on your Thanksgiving table.

Pickled Figs

1 lb. fresh figs*
2/3 c apple cider vinegar
1 1/3 c sugar
3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
3 allspice berries
1/4 tsp. cloves
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick

*A note on the figs: Figs are still available in the Seattle area but word on the street is they are now hard to find in San Diego. You can sub with dried figs, but you may need to cook a little longer on day two. Just make sure they are nice and soft.

1. Bring vinegar, 1 cup of sugar and the salt to a simmer in a small but heavy pot. Add the allspice berries, bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cloves. Cover the pot and remove from the heat, allowing the spices to steep for 10 minutes.
2. Add the figs to the pot and return it to a simmer, uncovered over low heat. Cook for 10 minutes, then cool, cover and refrigerate everything in the pot overnight.
3. The next morning, add the last 1/3 cup of sugar to the pot. Bring to a simmer over low heat and cook until the figs are soft and slightly shrunk, about 15 minutes.
4. Pour everything into a jar, cool and refrigerate before serving. Enjoy!

Halloween Memories From Kodiak Island

G'day humans, Bear here. It's been a while since I've checked in, and it seems there's quite a few more of you here these days. On behalf of my Osa Bear and Osito Bear, I'd like to welcome our new friends to the Bear family, and thank all of you that continue to come back!

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Those that have been around here a while probably know that Fall has long been my favorite season. With the shortened daylight, cooler air (right, San Diego?) and over-abundance of root vegetable mash on menus, comes fond Halloween memories of my time as a cub on Alaska's Kodiak Island. It's not easy to transform yourself into disguise when you're a 900-pound bear, but that's never stopped me from trying! Whether it's the Guy Fi-Bear-i costume from last year's special Halloween dinner or wrangling up all my pals to form a Miami Sound Machine tribute group, I've just always loved playing dress-up. I suppose it goes back to the first time my parents put me in a dress.

Mom and dad operated a small playhouse on the island, and every Halloween the whole camp would come to see their production of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Something about bears chasing off humans really got the elders riled up, they'd say. So it goes on one All Hallow's Eve, our Goldilocks got violently ill after eating what she thought was a satchel of candy fish eyes. Well, it was my satchel, and they weren't candy. The show must go on, of course, which meant for one guilty cub of the now-desperate directors, the night was about to get interesting.

It was a pretty dress, with a loose collar and red ribbons, and ohhhh bear was it comfy. The show was a runaway success and the experience one of those defining life moments where everything changes. You could say it was a precursor for my days in the circus and all that was to come. But those are stories for another day. For now, on to some Fall recipes. Enjoy!

Twilight Pretzels: IPA Fondue

2 c bread flour
2 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 t salt
7 g active dry yeast
1/3 c warm water
1 T squid ink
1 c whole milk
3 T unsalted butter
1 1/4 c water
1 T baking soda

IPA Fondue
12 oz. bottle IPA
3/4 lb sharp cheddar, grated
3/4 lb gruyere, grated
1 1/2 T cornstarch
salt and pepper (to taste) 

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with hook attachment, add the flours, salt and yeast. Add the water, squid ink and milk and start kneading slowly.
2. After 2 minutes, add the butter, bits at a time, and turn up mixer to medium-high. Continue kneading for 5 minutes.
3. Lightly oil a large bowl and place the dough in it. Cover in cling wrap and let rise for at least an hour. Tip out onto a lightly floured surface and cut into five equal pieces.
4. Shape into pretzel form and place on baking tray for 20 minutes to proof.
5. Preheat oven to 400F.
6. Boil 1 1/4 c water and add the 1 T baking soda. Brush the water onto each pretzel. Sprinkle on salt and bake for 20-25 minutes.

IPA Fondue:
(Cheese can easily burn so make sure to stir frequently)
1. Pour the bottle of beer into a Dutch oven or similar sized pot, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to simmer for a few minutes.
2. Sprinkle the cornstarch over your grated cheeses and toss to coat. Add the cheese, a handful at a time, to the simmering beer. Stir after each addition and allow each handful to completely melt. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm over low heat.


Inky Seas

1.5 oz. dark rum (Barbancourt if you can find it)
1/3 oz. fernet branca
3/4 oz. orgeat syrup
1/3 oz. squid ink (with dash of water)
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
10 mint leaves, plus sprig for garnish

Combine the rum, Fernet Branca, orgeat syrup, lime juice, squid ink and mint leaves in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake it like crazy and strain into a glass with ice. Garnish with one mint sprig and drink it up like you're on the high seas!

'17 Summer Snippets.

I hope everyone is having a bear-tastic summer so far! I’m currently enjoying a beautiful morning in Seattle, popping oysters, listening to Jamiroquai with my shirt off and prepping for another Saturday night dinner. My time in here has been wonderful. I’ve met so many great humans and been exposed to new experiences. There’s a place here where they literally just throw salmon from one person to another, and you wouldn’t believe how easy it is to snatch one (or twenty) out of thin air.

That’s not to say I don’t miss my ol’ white Imperial Beach sands or taco-obsessed cohorts of San Diego, and of course I’m counting the days until The Five Kingdom Alliance gives safety clearance to   return to the arms of my sweet Osa and Osito. I hear of the amazing things they are accomplishing together and how they have been welcomed with open arms by the entire San Diego community. It warms by big bear heart and I can’t thank you enough. Well, except for the handful of you hounding Osa for a date...BACK OFF!

It’s just that QARTEL is a serious business with roots deeper than molasses runs thick, and I’ll be Ron Swanson’d before I let them have the upper-hand on ol’ Chef Bear. So I continue to wait it out, putting on epic dinner parties with new friends and exploring the Emerald City. A favorite find in my time here has been Hand of God wines. Based in Seattle but made in Argentina, I have been serving their lineup at my dinners to great response. If you’d like to try some yourself, I’ve worked a deal for ‘Bear’s Necessities’ subscribers. Just visit  and enter cowbearHOG at checkout for a $99 three-pack. You'll be happier than, uh, a bear at Pike Place Market.

Osa and I have been working collectively on menus across all the meals we serve, and I gotta tell ya it feels like old times. I can’t tell you how much I’m enjoying working with her again. She just makes everything that much better. Together we’ve also been working with Osito on his new summer brunch menu, and I can tell you it’s not to be missed. I’m most excited about his Short Rib Benedict. Here's how he explained it in a postcard he sent me the other day:

“I’ve been told stories about you, Dad, and your love of beef. So I guess I came up with the idea of this dish to feel a little closer to you. When most bearcubs in the neighborwoods were chasing and eating birds and pretty much just being a pain in the porcupine, I would stay up late studying and cooking short ribs, hoping one day if we ever met that we could sit around an open fire, and enjoy some cow by us bears. I'm calling this dish A Dream of My Father ." - Osito


Un Sueno De Mi Padre (A Dream of My Father)

Short Ribs:
Immersion Circulator

1 five-lb. boneless beef chuck short rib
black pepper
garlic salt
dried thyme

Green Peppercorn Sauce:
1 tsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. butter, separated
1 tbsp. shallots, diced fine
2 tbsp. brined green peppercorns
2 tbsp. brandy, cognac
2 tsp. all purpose flour
1 cup beef stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
For the Short Ribs:

1. Heat a water bath with the immersion circulator set to 185 F.
2. Dry the short ribs and season liberally with the salt, black pepper, garlic salt, and thyme.
3. Sear the meat in a hot pan with a little oil, until well browned on all sides.
4. Quickly put seared meat in a vacuum-sealed food grade bag and place into preheated water bath.
5. Cook for 16 hours, checking the water level of the bath for water loss due to evaporation. Make sure to maintain a constant water level, always above the food.
6. After 16 hours, carefully remove the bag from the water bath and let cool slightly.
7. While still warm, very carefully remove short ribs (they will want to fall apart), and place on a parchment lined baking sheet, reserving the cooking liquid.
8. Place another piece of parchment to cover the beef, and, using the bottom of a second baking sheet, slowly press downward on the short rib to compress to an even thickness. When you are happy with the size and shape of the short ribs, chill in cooler until completely cold.
9. Portion the short ribs into smaller blocks (or just shred it up). When ready to serve, place meat in pan and cover with reserved cooking liquid. Heat over moderate heat until hot to the touch and delectably falling apart.

For the Green Peppercorn Sauce:

1. Heat olive oil over medium heat, and add 1 tbsp. butter, the shallots and peppercorns. Cook until shallots are soft, about 3 minutes.
2. Move the pan off the heat, and add the brandy. Return to heat and cook for 30 seconds to remove alcohol.
3. Add the flour and stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed into a paste.
4. Add the stock and increase the heat to medium-high, stirring constantly to break up the starch in the flour.
5. Reduce the stock by about ⅓ to ½, about 5 minutes total.
6. Add the cream and reduce heat to low, cooking for about 2 minutes more.
7. Turn off the heat, and add the remaining butter, swirling the pan to combine. Season with salt to taste.

Pour the peppercorn sauce over the ribs to your liking, or try serving over crispy potatoes and with a poached egg!

An Update From Bear.

Good morning humans, Bear here. So sorry about the scare last week. I'm good and want to thank you all for the well wishes!

It's just that I couldn't possibly believe it was my real Osa at the door ...not after all that has happened. So I ran. I ran up the coast along the city of angels, with the wildlife in the vast wilderness of Muir Woods, between the massive trees of the Redwoods. I ran through Port Orford - snatching up buttery salmon with every step, ate cheese in Tillamook and roasted artisanal coffee with Modest Mouse in Portland. I ran rampant in Olympia - where the forest and the water become one, boarded a ferry in Bremerton before sneaking past the Fremont Troll. Once in Seattle, I cooked. I cooked five courses and threw a party for new friends that welcomed me with open arms. The Great Oso once told me if I ever again felt in danger, this was the place I was to come.

I'm grateful to the Five Kingdom Alliance for locating me and explaining the true story with Osa and, amazingly, Osito. My cub! I had the opportunity to speak to them via secure internet connection a few days ago. I feel so blessed and will count the days until I get to see them in bear.

All that said, I have decided it's in everyone's best interest that I remain in Seattle for the time being. I don't trust QARTEL is truly as dormant as they seem and believe an attack may be imminent. Us 100 animals protected by the Five Kingdom Alliance have been targeted time and time again and I can't put Osa or Osito at risk. So I'll stay here until things calm down and do what I know best; cook and connect new friends. If you know any humans in the Seattle area, have them come see me and we'll have a party.

Osa Bear, well, she's the best bear and chef I know. She's the creator of many of the dishes I serve and the inspiration behind the others. She agrees it's best for her and Osito remain in San Diego, continuing to take the dining experience we created together to new heights. She has already classed up the joint during our dinner service, and my Osito is getting his paws dirty at Brunch by Bear. One of his recent creations is below. I couldn't be a prouder papa. If you go see them for a meal, give 'em a giant bear hug for me.

***(I hope you're all enjoying watching the story unfold! If you have any questions about your existing reservation, please email me directly at . Thanks for being a friend of Cow by Bear! We're just getting started.)


Lil' Osito's Blueberry Crumble

Blueberry Semifreddo 
1 pint blueberries
4.5 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup milk
2 egg yolks
1 egg white
pinch cream of tartar
1/4 c mascarpone
1/2 cup heavy cream

Buttermilk Crumb 
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tbsp. buttermilk

Lavender Syrup 
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 bunch lavender sprigs

Blueberry Semifreddo (makes eight 3oz. cups):
1. Wash the blueberries, combine them in a large bowl with the lemon juice and 1 tbsp. of the sugar. Let sit for 20 minutes.
2. Puree the blueberries in a food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside.
3. Bring the milk to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat.
4. While milk is heating, whisk the 2 egg yolks, 3.5 tbsp. of the sugar, and a pinch of salt together in a bowl.
5. When milk is boiling, pour about half of it into the egg mixture and whisk vigorously.
6. Pour the egg mixture back into the rest of the milk and place saucepan back on stove.
7. Heat the milk and egg mixture over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon to prevent eggs from cooking, until the mixture reaches 170 degree and thickens like a heavy cream.
8. Remove the saucepan from heat. Stir in the blueberries and mix with a spoon.
9. Pour the mixture into the bowl that contained the blueberries and place into an ice bath. Let the mixture cool to 40 degrees.
10. While the blueberry mixture is chilling, whip the egg white in a stand mixer until frothy. Add a pinch of cream of tartar and whipping until medium peaks form. Scrape the whipped egg white into a bowl and set aside.
11. Place the mascarpone and heavy cream into the mixer bowl and whip with whisk attachment until soft peaks form.
12. When the blueberry mixture is cool, fold in the whipped egg white gently with a rubber spatula.
13. When the egg white is nearly mixed, add the whipped cream you made and the mascarpone, and very gently fold to combine.
14. Pour the mixture into a large container, cover, and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours.

Buttermilk Crumb:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix the flour, sugar and salt in a stand mixer.
3. Add melted butter and buttermilk until the mixture begins to combine into small clusters.
3. Bake crumbs on lined cookie sheet for 25 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and still soft to the touch. Let cool for about 30 minutes and the crumb will dry and become crumbly.

Lavender Syrup:
1. Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat until sugar is completely dissolved.
2. Add lavender and steep, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
3. Remove lavender and strain. Cool before serving.

To Plate:   Place the semifreddo mold off center on a plate and surround with crumble. Dress lightly with lavedner syrup and garnish with fresh lavender.