After an incredibly memorable two year residency in lovely Seattle, I'm tickled to say I'll be returning to San Diego next week to rejoin forces with my dear Osa and Osito. And we have some exciting things in store!
When we announced last year that Cow by Bear would be shutting down to explore new opportunities, it felt like the right decision. So much had changed in the seven years since the experience first started and we were jonesing to try something new. We explored many different options while keeping a small handful of our (un)traditional dinners on the schedule to stay sharp.
Spending the evening with you fine humans is always so inspiring, and these dinners were some of the most fun we've ever had. At the same time, I've been writing the cookbook. It's been an energizing process; pouring through recipes from the past to rewrite them for the book, remembering old characters I'd long forgot...just a joy. The cookbook was intended to be the Cow by Bear experience, in book format. But it began to metamorphosis itself back the other way. I couldn't help but want for guests to experience these recipes and these stories sitting around our dinner table, together.
It all got us thinking more about why we felt moving on was really the right choice. We took a deep dive into every single aspect of the Cow by Bear dinner experience. We asked ourselves what it would look like in an absolutely perfect world if we were to totally redesign the experience. And that's what we did.
We've come up with something that feels totally authentic to us and addresses some of the things we either knew we could do better or were inspired to do differently. It's an experience that will make us the happiest bears we can be, which ensures we will provide the best experience possible for all of you.
We are so proud and excited to introduce our newest dinner series, Food by Bear!
Announcing 'Food by Bear: France'
Food by Bear will be a one-year dinner series highlighting chapters from our upcoming cookbook. Each chapter's dinner experience will run for just two months before rotating to an entirely new theme - never to be repeated again. Dinners will be in San Diego on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8pm and follow our regular format of 1 table, 14 guests, 5 courses and pairings.
The series begins where it all started for me: France. This is where I had my awakening and learned to walk, talk and cook. Please join us as we go back in time and enjoy some of my favorite French cuisine, wines, stories, music and more! Tickets for the France experience are $195 per person.
Food by Bear: France will run in June and July before changing over to a new region in August. We'll announce each new theme two weeks in advance.
We look forward to spending an evening with you!
You're My Boy, Blue!
Osa's blue cheese panna cotta is a real showstopper currently on the menu in San Diego. There's a lot going on, so do yourself a favor and prep it in parts rather than all at once. The panna cotta component needs to chill overnight so prep that first along with the bacon fat shortbread, which will stay for two days.
3 ripe heirloom tomatoes
3-4 c frisee, washed & rough chopped
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lb bacon, cooked crisp, fat reserved/chilled
*bacon fat rosemary shortbread
*blue cheese panna cotta
*for the bacon fat shortbread
3.5 oz rendered bacon fat, room temp
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp rosemary, chopped
1 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp black pepper
*for the onion marmalade
3 yellow onions, julienned
1/2 c champagne vinegar
1 c sugar
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs thyme
salt and pepper (to taste)
*for the panna cotta
1.5 c buttermilk
4 oz blue cheese
1 c cream
2-3/4 tsp gelatin
1 clove roasted garlic
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 sprig rosemary
pinch of celery seed
For the Blue Cheese Panna Cotta:
Heat cream, blue cheese, herbs and garlic in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Let cheese melt, then steep.
Bloom the gelatin in 1 tbsp cold water.Remove herbs, add gelatin and stir to melt gelatin completely.
Add cold buttermilk and mix well. Pour in container suitable for panna cotta and chill overnight.
For the Bacon Fat Shortbread:
Mix bacon fat, sugar, pepper and rosemary with a paddle in a stand mixer on high for approximately two minutes.
Switch speed to low and slowly add flour just until incorporated. Remove dough, wrap in plastic and allow to rest in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes (can be made up to two days ahead of time if needed).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into similar shaped pieces to ensure even baking. Note: shortbreads will be crumbled to serve.Bake for approximately 12 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies start to show a bit of browning. Shortbread will continue to cook on the hot pan once removed from the oven.
For the Onion Marmalade:
Put all ingredients in a heavy bottom pot. Cook on medium/high for a few minutes to bring to a simmer, then reduce to low for approximately one hour until liquid has reduced to nearly dry and sugar has caramelized the onions. Chill before serving.
Slice tomatoes into wedges and arrange 1/2 tomato into a circle on the plate. Be sure to season tomatoes
Toss frisee with extra virgin olive oil and vinegar, season with salt and pepper and arrange in the center of tomatoes on the plate.
Slice panna cotta into six pieces and place between tomatoes and frisee.
Place onion marmalade on the slice of panna cotta.Sprinkle bacon bits and shortbread over everything, and enjoy!
Peter Panda’s Slow Negroni
My dear friend Peter Panda Bear has been visiting and we've had a jolly ol' time whipping up some cocktails together. He's one of the best darned bartenders I've ever known and I hope you all have a chance to meet him. We've been serving a white negroni at dinners in San Diego, but the Suze component is really tough to find these days so we wanted to offer up something that is a little easier to obtain all the ingredients. So here is our take on the negroni, using a sloe gin in combination with regular gin for this classic cocktail. It's a sipper, but nothing tastes better on a sunny evening.
1 oz. sloe gin
1 oz. gin
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1 oz. campari
Combine the gin, sloe gin, vermouth and campari in a rocks glass. Stir 10 times.
Add ice, preferable one large piece, and stir 10 more times.