The Culinary Temple of Learning

Kind of looks like a big fancy hotel doesn’t it?  When I walked by this building on my recent trip to San Francisco I was surprised when I saw the sign above the door:  California Culinary Academy.   It’s no surprise that this large culinary training ground with schools around the country would have such a grand headquarters; this is big business.  In many ways I think that San Francisco is the culinary capital of America, in part because of it’s location in a part of the world where there is such agricultural diversity and abundance:  you get great tomatoes and great figs, dates and everything in between.  What you also get in San Francisco is a dedication to local and organic that seems to be supported by everyone.  Organic Apples, which are a rarity at markets in NYC, are just $2 a pound here.  The large Asian population means you get things like persimmons, hot peppers, peanuts and bok choy all grown with the same attention to detail and love of the soil.

So it’s no wonder that after being home in NYC for only a couple of days that I am already planning my next trip west.  On my next trip I’m going to focus my attentions on Oakland which, from what I hear, is the new hotbed of culinary creativity and excitement.  If anyone is looking for a business opportunity they could use a good hotel!

It would also be nice to be nearer to Berkeley, a place I have come to love as much as San Francisco. I could spend days walking up and down the side streets in the perfect sunny Californian weather,  being envious of all the little houses with Meyer lemon, Grapefruit, Orange and every other imaginable fruit tree growing in their front yards.

San Francisco is always a place of great inspiration to me; if you haven’t gone you should seriously consider it and, as I hope my postings this trip prove, it’s easy to eat your way through a week in SF without breaking the bank!

“…I left my heart in San Francisco…”  or at least my appetite….hope to be back real soon. And in the mean time Asheville and Mexico loom large in my travel schedule over the next couple of months.

About urbanfoodguy

I'm a self taught cook with a dedication to buying and eating food that is as humanely and sustainably raised as possible. Which is why in addition to recipes you will see a lot of environmental/political reporting here. I started cooking when I was about 6, it's something I always loved to do. Watching Graham Kerr - aka "The Galloping Gourmet" - was what got me started and I have never really looked back. Over the years I've been a private chef, a caterer, and a food stylist for magazines such as Bon Appétit, Food & Wine, Real Simple, Oprah, Martha Stewart's Everyday Food and many more. I've also worked in the prep kitchen for the Food Network on the Bobby Flay and Paula Deen shows. Now I work at home in my kitchen sharing with you here recipes that I create or that other people have created that inspire me and I think you will like. I love my neighborhood (the Lower East Side of Manhattan) and I love to travel. Because NYC is such a big place I tend to focus mostly on my 'hood and the ones that are close by: The East Village, Bowery, Chinatown and Williamsburg. My love of travel has no limits really, I'm always ready to get on a plane. I was lucky enough to have a business for many years that allowed me to spend a lot of time in South East Asia. These days I've been spending time in Mexico, Germany, Canada and the West Coast of the U.S., but check back you never know where I might end up. I do consulting, cooking classes, and freelance lifestyle writing so if you are interested please send me a note:
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