They say, "Don't meet your heroes." They say a lot of things.
Hi, it's the [bracket-happy] BF-editor again. Please forgive the brief indulgence, but another great food date was punctuated by a seriously cool moment I can relate to.
For about a quarter century, in the music-journalist former life I was fortunate enough to meet or interview many people. Some were bona fide celebrities (Adam Levine, Lars Ulrich, Lionel Richie, Alice Cooper), but the ones that hit closer to home were non-household names—serious musicians, producers, or industry business-people.
Like Jac Holzman, who founded Elektra Records. He discovered The Doors, and signed everyone from MC5 and Carly Simon to Queen (in the US). Or Jack Douglass, a producer who spun knobs for John Lennon, Aerosmith, Miles Davis and The Who. Vinnie Colaiuta, a teenage hero of mine who drummers know by his first name alone, has toured with more artists and played on more albums than your phone's cloud account can hold. Among musicians, he achieved legendary status for his otherworldly drumming on Frank Zappa's 1979 album Joe's Garage. Interviewing and later meeting Vinnie at a music-industry trade show, not small thrills.
Last night I got to watch Jacquie meet her Vinnie.
April Bloomfield is a British chef probably best known for her New York gastropub The Spotted Pig and books A Girl and Her Pig and A Girl and Her Greens. The Birmingham, England native studied at Birmingham College and has a staggering culinary teeth-cutting pedigree. She apprenticed under Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray at The River Café (London), spent a summer in Berkeley at Chez Panisse, kicked butt on Iron Chef America, and has Michelin stars and accolades from every food periodical imaginable. She also, along with restauranteur Ken Friedman (the two behind The Spotted Pig), saved the near-century-old San Francisco staple Tosca Café (242 Columbus, North Beach) from imminent-eviction doom in 2012.
Politicians, writers, actors, models and rock stars have graced this former speakeasy for decades.
Chef Bloomfield is known for loving pig, and using every bit of the animal in her dishes. All apologies for lack of food photographs, as again the proper modeling releases were not served. Also, it's dang dark (technical term) in there. A quick rundown of what we sampled:
Basking in the pig-poultry afterglow, Jacquie then got the chance to be escorted to the front of the kitchen, and exchanged pleasantries and kudos with Chef Bloomfield, who we honestly did not expect to be in house. Very thankful she got to do that, considering the kitchen's bustling chaos. They even allowed a quick picture of the crew in full flight.
These guys don't mess around.
Many thanks to Chef Bloomfield and Tosca Café staff. We'll be back for dessert and that House "Cappuccino."
Oh, and that bit they say about "Don't meet your heroes?" Don't listen to them.
Your humble editor with Vinnie at National Association of Music Merchants, 2002.
I'm Jacquie, personal chef & recipe developer in the bay area. Living life with my wildly funny boyfriend and dog Marlowe. Lover of books, bourbon, chocolate and movies.