Lisa Murphy (above) came to CHOW's offices in San Francisco last year to show off some delicious ketchup she’d been making under the name Sosu. She was leaving soon for Southeast Asia—to do sriracha research, she said, eventually to produce some with a Sosu label. Lisa drifted back to my inbox last month, to tell me about her Kickstarter campaign and with something new to taste: barrel-aged Sriracha, the result of her vision quest in Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos. READ MORE
During a trip to the wine country north of San Francisco, stop by one of the olive oil producers in Sonoma or Napa to find fine-quality oils that may be difficult to purchase elsewhere. Chowhounds have their favorite oils, from the Meyer lemon version at DaVero's tasting room outside Healdsburg to the estate oils at Napa's Round Pond, which sets up tours and tastings.
Caribbean food reflects a melding of cultures in the islands, with touches of African, Spanish, French, and other cuisines. In the Bay Area, try the grilled dishes at Suya African-Caribbean Grill in Berkeley and Oakland, curry goat at Back a Yard in Menlo Park, and mod Caribbean dishes from a Barbados-born chef at Miss Ollie's in Oakland.
When seeking exceptional ingredients that are made in the Bay Area, the Ferry Building provides easy one-stop shopping for olive oil, wine, chocolate, and other products. Look farther afield, though, and you'll be rewarded with locally made treats like freshly milled flour from Josey Baker Bread, fresh rice noodles from Kun Wo, Sinto brand kimchi, and pickled green beans from Local Mission Market.
Kin Khao, the new Thai restaurant from Pim Techamuanvivit of blog Chez Pim and Chef Michael Gaines from Manresa in Los Gatos, has opened in the Parc 55 Hotel. Before the restaurant debuted, Techamuanvivit expressed her desire to produce dishes that felt true to what she ate as a girl in Thailand; early reports say Kin Khao succeeds, with entrées like steamed clams in house-made chile jam and a balanced version of khao soi noodles with sliced shallot, fried chile, and pickled greens.
Richmond's Tempero Goiano, a Brazilian restaurant, looks out for both bird-like appetites and big eaters. For a light bite, one Chowhound ponies up to the pastry case for a pastel de frango, a delicate eggy wrapper around a chicken and beef filling. Hungry diners might adore the buffet packed with Brazilian specialties like farofa and feijoada alongside the usual rice and beans.
Your new addiction is calling and it wants your $7.50. That's the price for 250g of a rare fermented French butter beloved by chefs; find Beurre de Baratte from maker and meilleur ouvrier Rodolphe Le Meunier in the take-out case of Berkeley's Cheese Board.
Kingdom of Dumpling in San Francisco, which moved last year to Taraval from Noriega, sells frozen dumplings and potstickers that you can turn into quick, easy dinners at home. What are the top picks of the Kingdom's many offerings? Pork potstickers, radish cakes, and pork and shrimp wontons are some favorites; note that the dumpling shop's website includes instructions on how to cook each item at home.