Home to a growing number of the nation’s top chefs and restaurants, San Francisco’s culinary landscape impresses at every turn. We talked to six local star chefs to find out what local dishes from the city’s ever-evolving menus keep them coming back for more.
Q: What are you craving now?
The celebrity restaurateur, a former Bon Appétit magazine Chef of the Year, is the founder of 18 restaurants under the Mina Group, including his namesake Michelin-starred San Francisco restaurant.
A: I’m craving the soul-satisfying squid ink conchiglie pasta dish from Stones Throw. Served with spicy capers, clams, calamari, shrimp and tender greens, it’s just one of chef Jason Halverson’s many incredibly well rounded dishes.
A: At The Commissary in the Presidio, Traci des Jardins’ roast cuttlefish with arroz verde and squid ink is a winner. At Park Tavern, I crave chef Jennifer Puccio's fried duck egg sandwich... yum. I’m an egg sandwich fanatic.
Considered the father of modern Vietnamese cuisine in the United States, Phan owns seven restaurants, including Slanted Door in the Ferry Building, the 2014 James Beard Award winner for Outstanding Restaurant.
A: Chef Rymee Trobaugh’s rendition of classic chile verde with pork that’s served with beans at South at SFJazz hits the spot, especially during fall and winter. I also enjoy going to Shanghai House in the Outer Richmond with my family. One of my all-time favorite dishes there is one that my kids have dubbed “green noodles,” stir-fried glass noodles with pickled vegetables.
The James Beard Award-winning chef-owner at Benu and Monsieur Benjamin has spent the past 20 years working at some of the world’s most acclaimed restaurants (including The French Laundry) and will release his first cookbook in spring 2015.
A: Belinda Leong's kouign amann at B. Patisserie. I don't have a sweet tooth, but Belinda's version of this classic Breton cake—flaky, chewy, crispy and oozing a buttery syrup—is a sweet I crave.
A: It's been on their menu forever, but I’m obsessed with the melitzanosalata, taramosalata, tzatziki, favosalata and tirokafteri with housemade grilled pita at Kokkari Estiatorio. And I never crave pastries, but lately I want them at all times of the day—an afternoon pastry from Tartine, B. Patisserie or Golden Gate Bakery is almost like a tea time.
The executive chef at the Michelin-starred neighborhood restaurant Frances has earned multiple James Beard nominations for the Rising Star award and appeared on the Food Network.