Back from Bali

Hello SPICE Friends!

First off … apologies that you haven’t heard from us since May. We’ve had a lot going on this summer and are finally coming up for air. We wanted to update you all on what we’ve been doing, where we’ve been and what’s on the horizon for the rest of the year.

June brought some unexpected change for us with the news that Amberjack Sushi (one of our usual homes for our larger SPICE dinners) had been sold and has officially closed up shop. On a side note, we want to thank Raymond and the entire Amberjack crew for opening their doors and welcoming SPICE for the last year and a half! We will miss you all more than you know!

As a result, we have been on the hunt for the past few months trying to find a new home for our 30-person SPICE dinners. (If any of our members have ideas, we’d love to hear from you! Shoot us a note at spicemembership@gmail.com or on our FB page). We’re open to any and all suggestions … lofts, cafes, churches, restaurants, art galleries, etc. – the more creative the better … only requirement is that it’s got a kitchen.

The following month brought happier news. Nissa had a birthday and Chef Kyle got hitched! (we’re anxiously awaiting to see honeymoon photos).

It also brought us (the Long’s) a much needed break (and a ton of culinary inspiration for future events). With the help of many socked away miles, we hopped on a plane at the end of July and headed south east to Bali, Indonesia.

Along with scuba diving adventures, volcano hiking and hours of cocktail consumption on the beach, we also did a ton of “taste testing” through our visits to the spice fields, rice paddies, and some of the most amazing traditional warungs in Ubud (Naughty Nuri’s was our favorite – best BBQ ribs and martinis in town!)

Once we find a new pad, we’re hoping to host an Indonesian inspired SPICE soon! In the meantime, we’ll be in touch shortly about an August event on our horizon. It’s a joint event in SF with some close friends of ours AND this one will be outdoors, so cross your fingers for some warm weather in the coming month. It won’t be a traditional SPICE dinner, but will of course involve some tasty treats whipped up by Chef Ben Long.

We’re looking forward to hopefully seeing you all soon – it’s been much too long and WE MISS YOU!

Until then, eat and drink well!

The SPICE Crew

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Finally Forking Spicy!

The month of March brought an extremely special SPICE to life – Forking Spicy finally!

The entire evening has already been rehashed by our dear friend (and Kelly’s business partner), Jason Anello on his New York based foodie blog – Forking Tasty. So … we’re just gonna send you straight there.

There’s not a single word we could have used to tell the story any better! (I mean, come on now, he’s a Sicilian Italian from Brooklyn).

more pics here

Salute!

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A Very Spicy Valentine

For some reason, Valentine’s Day – a holiday that is supposed to encapsulate any and all things romantic – has somehow become one of the more stressful and almost despised days of the year for many. So … we thought we’d try to change that.

February’s SPICE brought together couples and singles, a menu more affordable than the standard SF Feb. 14th pre fixed menu, and an atmosphere that discouraged dresses, sports coats and by any means, red roses!

Actually, I take that back … we did sneak in a few petals but at least these kind were edible.

We hope our guests left February’s dinner with a slightly new (and more optimistic) outlook on Valentine’s day, and perhaps even excited for it to roll around again next year. And for those that didn’t, well, we hope you at least enjoyed the food. The full menu is below and more photos here. Until next month …

Cheers from The SPICE Crew!

ON THE MENU

Amuse Bouche

“Breakfast In Bed”

Roasted Bacon Rubbed w/ Ras al Hanout and Cayenne Pepper on Pain de Mie

Brut Sparkling Wine with Fresh Pomegranate, Vanilla, and Lemon Essence

“A Dozen Roses”

Salad with Hearts of Palm, Blood Oranges & Beet Juice

2009 Domaine des Cassagnoles, Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne, France

“Steak & Lobster”

Lightly Seared Beef Filet with Lobster Powder and Fried Potato

2009 Domaine des Cassagnoles, Vin de Pays des Côtes de Gascogne, France

or

2008 Strange, Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley

“Cupid’s Arrow”

Grilled Polenta Cakes with Sauteed Purple Cauliflower and Local Mushrooms

2008 Strange, Pinot Noir, Santa Maria Valley

or

2008 Vina Robles, RED4, Paso Robles

“A Box of Chocolates”

Roasted Chicken with a Homemade Chocolate Mole Sauce

2008 Vina Robles, RED4, Paso Robles

“Valentines Explosion”

Blue Velvet Cake, Conversation Heart Frosting, and Red Hots Ice Cream

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Around Our Table


Last month, we kicked off the 2011 SPICE season with our first ever “Chef’s Table” dinner. As we mentioned at the end of last year, we’ve decided to expand our SPICE options, so that there’s an event for everyone.

We still love our 30-person SPICE dinners and promise, those won’t go away! (not to mention, I think our wine distributor would kill us). But, we also want to vary the SPICE experience and try out new things, so our Chef’s Table is just one way that we’re doing that this year.

The Chef’s Table is an intimate, high-end food and wine experience right inside our (Kelly and Ben) own home in Noe Valley, San Francisco. We invite 8 people (friends and strangers) to sit down at our dining room table to eat and drink the very best of the best. (No, we won’t be joining you … except perhaps at the end of the meal to help you finish off some of that leftover wine).

For our January event, we were super excited to welcome a new member to the SPICE crew! Kyle Svete was kind enough to lend his talent to the evening and we are psyched we didn’t freak him out too much yet; we were lucky enough to have him back with us in the big kitchen last month at our February Valentine’s SPICE (more on that later in the next post).

January’s dinner was more fun than we could have ever expected. And even though the rain came down in sheets outside, we threw a few more logs on the fire, poured many glasses of jammy red and enjoyed the intimate conversations we were able to have with our new friends at our table of 8. A quick impromptu survey also found that the pan seared porcini dusted sea scallops with celery root remoulade & seared fois gras was the winning dish of the evening.

We’re planning to host another Chef’s Table fairly soon (in between some other events we’ve got on the horizon like an upcoming wine, cheese and charcuterie pairing soiree), so keep a look out for future SPICE emails.

Hope to see you all at our table soon!

*Full January menu and wine pairings below, you can also see more photos here.

ON THE MENU

Chef’s Amuse Bouche
Cauliflower Panna Cotta with Tomato Gelee & California Osetra Caviar

2009 Albert Mann “Cuvée Albert” Riesling, Alsace, France

Pan Seared Porcini Dusted Sea Scallops with Celery Root Remoulade & Seared Fois Gras

2009 Scribe Chardonnay, Carneros, California

All Day Braised Pork Belly with Lentils, Local Fennel & Pan Roasted Black Mission Figs

2008 Domaine Charvin Chateauneuf du Pape, Rhone, France

Homemade Wild Mushroom Tortellini with a Thyme & Basil Cream Sauce & a Truffle Foam

2005 Tenuta Oliveto “Il Leccio”, Montalcino, Italy

Oven Roasted Marin Farms Rack of Lamb with Horseradish Potatoes & a Rosemary Jus

2006 Flanagan Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma, California

Cardamom Olive Oil Cake with Meyer Lemon Cream & Candied Rose Petals

2006, Londer Vineyards & Winery, Sweet Gewurztraminer, Anderson Valley, California

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SPICE Meets Michelin!

Some of you have been asking, “What’s the SPICE crew been up to lately?” … So we wanted to share with you our exciting news from last month!

After only less than a year of getting SPICE off the ground and up and running, we had the chance to experience one of our most exciting adventures as a team.

The SPICE crew was hugely honored to be invited to be a part of this year’s Michelin Guide Launch event, along with 5 other San Francisco based supper clubs. Each year, Michelin announces the restaurants in each major city around the world who have received (or lost) Michelin stars. In the foodie world, receiving a Michelin star is considered to be the most prestigious honor for a chef.

This year Michelin wanted to celebrate the real roots of the culinary world and the passion around why people cook, so they invited a small select group of private supper clubs to be the focal point of the event, and … we were one of them!

We had the chance to cook along side of an awesome group of other local supper clubs including graffEats, forageSF, Outstanding in the Field, Radio Africa Kitchen and Cooking with James. The SPICE crew served up a chicken liver pate appetizer, Ben’s famous Zinfandel braised short ribs and SPICE Bites for dessert.

And what would a SF evening be without the wine and cocktails flowing?! The noble rot (a traveling wine saloon) poured some ridiculous hidden gems (the Mueller Diamond Mountain District Cabernet was a favorite) and the frozen chocolate shots served by mixologist, Mayur Subbarao of Evoe NYC, were like nothing you could imagine.

Needless to say, we had a blast! And a huge special thanks to our NY based supper club friends, Whisk & Ladle and Forking Tasty, and also our extended SPICE team, Tessa Petrich, Eric Dorf and Emilie Klatte! Pictures from the event are here 🙂

Stay tuned for our next SPICE announcement and details coming soon …

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Fun In The Sun … And A Little Rain

Well … With a whole lotta work and a little help from the weather gods, our first SPICE-Y BBQ was a huge success.  Setting up a kitchen in the park was definitely a lot more work than Greg and I expected and we had to break out some sales skills and talk ourselves out of a little trouble.  Luckily for us, this is San Francisco.  Our new friends from the Latino Gay Pride Celebration came to the rescue.  Little did we know that we needed all those permits to host a BBQ in the park.  Ramon and his organization let us be a part of their event for a small donation and we were in the clear.  The first hour or so we had a few sprinkles but just after 2pm the clouds parted and the park was covered in sun.  Everyone was having a good time.  We had dogs and moms and dads and kids and even a few tight rope walkers.  We even made a few new friends.  It was another great SPICE event.  Thanks to everyone who came out to support us.  Kelly and Nissa made their fundraising goals and are getting ready for their races in a few weeks.  The rest of us are recovering and are excited to have the month of October off.  We’ll be sending out details on our November event soon so keep your eyes peeled for the invite.
Ben, Kelly, Greg, Nissa and EB

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SPICE-Y BBQ In The Park

This month is going to be a first for us.  We will be doing our very first SPICE-Y BBQ.  On Sunday, September 19th we will host a gourmet BBQ at Dolores Park in San Francisco.  We will provide food, wine and a special cocktail mixed up by none other than our own Emily Betty.  Even more exciting is that will encourage you to bring your kids.  We will have free hotdogs and drinks for kids and lots of games for everyone to play.  The monthly membership fee for adults will be $35 per person.  Also, a portion of all proceeds will support Kelly and Nissa’s fundraising efforts to fight cancer in their half marathon run for cancer.  If you’re interested you can purchase your tickets at link below until Thursday September 16th.

http://www.eventbrite.com/event/836553153

DETAILS

Sunday, September 19th

1pm – 5pm

Dolores Park, San Francisco

Palm trees at 19th St and Dolores St

$35 per person (free for kids)

Includes food, wine and cocktails

On the Menu:

Gourmet Popcorn

Greg’s Famous Coleslaw

Corn On The Cob With Truffle Butter

Pancetta Baked Beans

Roasted Lamb Sliders with Cambozola Cheese, Tomatillo Relish and Caramelized Onions

Smokey balsamic and garlic marinated portabellas topped with fresh pesto cruda, caramelized onions, chevre and roasted tomato chutney

Braised Pork Shoulder and Creamy Polenta Sandwich

Homemade Popsicles

Looking forward to seeing everyone there.  Again please purchase your tickets at the link below:

http://www.eventbrite.com/event/836553153

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