Dine on Time: Win a Cooking Class and Dinner for 6 with Chef Martin Yan

Bowl of Noodles - MY China

Martin Yan is Everywhere!

Martin Yan

I grew up watching Martin Yan on television with my mom, so Chef Yan has a soft spot in my heart. It wasn't until I had a delicious feast at M.Y. China a few months ago that I started noticing Martin Yan everywhere. I saw photos of him on my Instagram feed posing with people that I'm friends with. He made many appearances at well-known food events and he was all over the internet on blogs and publications that I frequented. The weird and cool part is he was in Emeryville often, just a few blocks away from my home, filming Taste of Vietnam - and on a related note, I recently made a new friend named Rachel, who worked with Yan on the show during pre/production

In May, I teamed up with Sorabol and Westfield SF to create an exclusive dish that can only be ordered on Dine on Time, Westfield's new food ordering app.

If you haven't tried my (really good) Spring Mix Noodle Salad with Grilled Shrimp dish yet, now may be a good chance to check it out because you could win a cooking class and dinner with Chef Martin Yan simply by ordering some food for yourself. 

Each order made through Dine on Time will guarantee one entry into the sweepstakes. As a bonus, users who order from M.Y. China using Westfield Dine on Time during this timeframe will receive two entries per order. The sweepstakes runs through Monday, October 6, 2014.

Happy eating and good luck! There's a good chance you may run into me during lunch. 


Media Tasting Event: Chef Tim Luym (The Attic) Creates Unique Dishes with Pulmuone & Wildwood Organic Food Products

Can you imagine freezing tofu and deep frying it to be used as a substitute for tortilla chips? How about making a creamy mushroom soup using tofu instead of cream? Or using tofu as a ricotta cheese substitute? 

Last month, I attended a pop-up media tasting event with Christina of East Bay Dish and Grace of San Francisco Food for Pulmuone USA and Wildwood Organic Food, an all-natural food products company headquartered in Fullerton, California.

Chef Tim Luym of The Attic in San Mateo was put up to the challenge of using Pulmuone and Wildwood products, such as meatless crumbles, chicken patties and tofu, and transforming them into tasty dishes that can be made by anyone at home. Let me tell you that he is one hell of a inspiring chef. The 11 dishes he made take not only creativity, but skills to make the flavors work well together. 

Patrick Lemoine, President of Pulmuone Foods USA, welcoming all the guests. 

Patrick Lemoine, President of Pulmuone Foods USA, welcoming all the guests. 

Chef Tim Luym walking us through how to cook "cream" of mushroom soup without cream. 

Chef Tim Luym walking us through how to cook "cream" of mushroom soup without cream. 


The Food

Chicken Katsu Burger - Pulmuone

Katsu Slider Sandwich with Miso Yuzu Tofu Mayo

The crispy and breaded teriyaki chicken-protein patty (Fit Patties) was juicy, tender, and flavorful. The yuzu cole slaw had a nice citrus taste, crisp and refreshing. 


Onederful "Cream" of Mushroom Soup - Pulmuone

Onederful "Cream" of Mushroom Soup

While nothing can replace cream, an interesting substitute is blending in tofu to the mix. In this mushroom soup, it worked really well and is pretty tasty. It's a bit more grainy and earthy in comparison to an actual cream base soup. I can see this working well with other puree type soups, like butternut squash. 


Lasagna - Pulmuone

Gluten & Dairy Free Bechamel and Vegetarian Lasagna

Tim made a basic lasagna, using Onederful Tofu as a ricotta cheese substitute, Wildwood Meatless Crumbles to replace meat, and rice noodles instead of lasagna pasta. It was made so well that you couldn't even tell that there was no meat in it. I didn't even notice the difference in noodles. If you're looking for a vegetarian option, this may be worth making. 


Chilaquiles - Pulmuone

Chilaquiles 

Of all the tastings, this was my favorite of the night.  Everyone was amazed at the different ways Wildwood products were being used in every component. Chef Tim Luym turned Onederful Tofu into crunchy chips by freezing it and frying it. The "refried black beans" were actually Wildwood Black Lentil SpreaDip. The "eggs" were made of their firm waterpack tofu and the "meat" was made with Mexican-inspired Wildwood Meatless Crumbles.


Eggless "Chawan Mushi" - Pulmuone

Eggless "Chawan Mushi"

While this was the most beautifully presented dish, I wasn't a fan of the egg foam-like taste or texture made using Onederful Tofu. I've never had anything like this before, so I'm not sure how it's supposed to really taste.


Shrimp Wonton Soup - Pulmuone

Shrimp Wonton Soup

The wonton soup was done nicely. The broth was flavorful and clean, the Wildwood Onederful Tofu was delightful and firm, and the wonton dumpling, filled with shrimp and Wildwood Meatless Meatballs, was tasty. 


Asian Appetizers - Pulmuone

Mandu Dumplings with Kimchee X.O. Sauce

The "meat"-filled dumpling was made with Monterey Gourmet Foods Chicken Mandu Dumplings and Wildwood Flavored Tofu (Szechuan). 

Char Siu BBQ Pork Chow Faux Fun

This unique little bite resembled a steamed rice roll filled with bbq pork, a dish you can typically find at a dim sum restaurant.  The "char siu" was made using Wildwood Flavored Tofu (Mongolian), cooked in ketchup, hoisin, shao xing rice wine, and five spice. 

Pork Free Vietnamese Egg Rolls

This was my favorite item of all three options on the plate. The Vietnamese flavors were represented nicely using Wildwood Shiitake Burger and Wildwood Flavored Tofu (Indian Curry). The roll was very crispy and was accompanied by a vegetarian nuoc cham dipping sauce. 


Onederful Ma Po Tofu - Pulmuone

Onederful Ma Po Tofu

This dish was made using a combination of Wildwood Onederful Tofu and Meatless Crumbles (Italian-inspired). I wasn't a fan of how the meatless crumbles were used in this because the Italian herbs were a bit overpowering.


Purple Yam Tapioca with Bread Pudding - Pulmuone

Ube "Purple Yam" Tapioca with Bread Pudding

The last dish served for the night was this wonderful Filipino-inspired sweet bread pudding. I loved the doughy-texture and the ube flavor. The coconut cream is wonderful and simply made using Wildwood Soymilk, Wildwood Onederful Tofu, coconut, ube powder, tapioca pearls and sugar. You can bet that I'll be making these at home! 


Final Thoughts

Chef Tim Luym did a great job of highlighting these products in a simple yet inspiring way. While I left the event still slightly hungry, I was happy to gain all this new knowledge to incorporate in my own kitchen at home. Now that I have been introduced to Pulmuone and Wildwood, I am really excited to try out more of their products. 

Pulmuone sent me about 30 lbs worth of food to cook with, so I'll be spending the next few weeks reviewing their products and making tasty dishes with what they've given me. I'll be sure to share some of the successful recipes, so stay tuned.

Thanks for the "Onederful" products and for having me at the tasting event, Pulmuone! 

 

Doukkala Review: Flavorful California-Moroccan Cuisine Using French Cooking Techniques in Oakland

Doukkala Oakland - Bread and Salad

Doukkala is a new California-Morrocan restaurant located in Oakland's Temescal neighborhood that opened in May. The menu focuses on local farm-fresh organic ingredients and high quality meats and seafood prepared using French techniques by Executive Chef Eric Lanvert. Lanvert is former chef and owner of a number of San Francisco eateries, such as Rue Saint Jacques and Cote Sud. 

Patrick and I were invited to be guests of the house and had dinner at Doukkala on a Friday at 6 p.m. We arrived when it was empty but it quickly filled up within the hour. Our waiter, Michael, was awesome and helpful. He made the experience very pleasant and made sure that we were taken care of. 

The cooking techniques and creative use of spices make this restaurant most notable and worth the visit alone. Our dining experience across the board was fantastic. The food is flavorful and delicious - and it makes me crave for more. 

Doukkala Oakland

Owner Jamal Zahid named the restaurant after a region in Morocco known for its agricultural fertility and coastal fishing towns. The front of the house operations and beverage program are overseen by General Manager Purnima Khandhadai. 

Doukkala Oakland - Inside

When you walk into the restaurant, you will first notice the golden silk canopy draping the ceiling, ornate handcrafted Moroccan lanterns, sconces and hanging lights. The restaurant is alluring and inviting with an eclectic design that showcases Moroccan's old world charm. The seats are engaging and comfortable, making it a a great place to have a comfortable and intimate conversation. There's also a lounge area with room for 15 more and features the low seating style of Casablanca.

Doukkala Oakland - Table Setting

THE FOOD

Doukkala Oakland - Rose
Doukkala Oakland - Sangria

We were greeted with a glass of rose and then went on to a very refreshing and well-made sangria. 

Doukkala Oakland - Bread
Doukkala Oakland - Butter

Bread & Butter

I typically avoid eating bread at restaurants because I don't want to get full from it but this bread was too good to pass up. The bread had a pull-apart biscuit quality to it. The unique butter served was off-the-charts, consisting of lemon, turmeric, cumin, and coriander.

The bread was best used to mop up the remaining butter from our escargots. The suggestion from our host was spot on! It was a rich delight that made us very happy. 


Doukkala Oakland - Escargot

Escargots (Half: $5 / Full: $10)

If you've never had snails before, this is the place that will make you fall in love with them. The snails are braised in a marrakech-style mint & spice broth, completely drenched in delicious butter. The escargots represent the perfect marriage between French and Moroccan food. This dish alone makes me want to eat here every week. It's the best escargot that I've ever had. 

Doukkala Oakland - Eggplant
Doukkala Oakland - Tomatoes
Doukkala Oakland - Carrots

Moroccan Salad Trio ($7.50)

If you appreciate vegetables, you will love the salad trio. The trio consists of roasted eggplant and fava beans, confit local tomatoes & mendocino peppers, carrots and cucumbers. 

I enjoyed all three but loved the brightness and flavors of fresh confit tomatoes the best. I would highly recommend getting this as a starter.  


Doukkala Oakland - Duck

Maple Leaf Duck Breast ($24)

The seared maple leaf duck breast is stuffed with olives, mushrooms, and Moroccan spices then finished in a fig sauce. There's a layer of fatty skin on the duck which made for a nice sear but the meat was a tiny bit tough to chew. The dish overall was very tasty.

Doukkala Oakland - Cheeks

Marin Beef Cheeks Tagine (Half: $12/Full: $24)

The beef cheek tagine was lovely and rich. The cuts had a nice gelatinous fatty texture, which is expected when you order a cheek dish. The meat was tender enough to melt in your mouth. 

Doukkala Oakland - Creme Brulee

Creme Brûlée

We ended our meal with a trio of creme brûlée selections. From left to right is vanilla, pistachio, and rose. The custard was rich and velvety with a crisp caramelized sugar shell. If you're a fan of creme brûlée, you will not be disappointed.


Final Thoughts

Our dining experience at Doukkala was absolutely lovely and the food is a perfect marriage between Moroccan and French cuisine. While our meal was complimentary, the price points are extremely reasonable for the quality, portion size, and thought put into creating the food. I would highly recommend eating here and look forward to my visit back. 

Thanks for dinner, Doukkala! 


VISITING DOUKKALA

Location

4905 Telegraph Avenue, CA

Website

doukkalarestaurant.com

Phone

510-653-8691

Hours

  • Tuesday - Sunday: 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. 
  • Saturday: 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
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