Meet Silicon Valley’s French Master Chef

Talking bouillon, black truffles and Bay Area cuisine with Executive Chef Xavier Salomon of the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay Executive Chef Xavier Salomon pictured in the kitchen at Navio, in the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. (Photo by Charles Russo) It’s not every day that you get to meet an esteemed French Master Chef, but a day when you can meet half a dozen of them stands out like a civet of duck leg with ...

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PEZ Palace: inside Silicon Valley’s quirkiest museum

PEZ Palace: Inside Silicon Valley’s quirkiest museum In Burlingame, collector Gary Doss has compiled a sweet tribute to a candy classic By Kasia Grobelny From Daffy Duck to Darth Vader: Pez has reflected pop culture for more than 60 years. (Photo by Charles Russo) Candy has a way of bringing out everyone’s inner kid, and Pez — the ubiquitous candy known as much for its dispenser as its taste — has remained perennially popular over the years. Dating back more than ...

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Short and sweet: our list of luscious (and local) dessert wines for the holiday

Silicon Valley wineries offer up some fantastic finishes to your feast By Carol Maskus Merry and bright: we found six local dessert wines to keep your holidays festive. (Photo by Charles Russo) Chocolate torte, Buche de Noel, rugelach, sweet potato pie: a big part of holiday feasting is the dessert. And while we often go all out for dessert over the holidays, we typically neglect to properly pair our sweets with appropriate drinks. This can leave ...

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The unknown varietals and exquisite oddities produced by Silicon Valley wineries

Moving beyond the obvious with the obscure offerings of Peninsula vintners By Carol Maskus Rows of grapes ready for harvest at Ridge Winery’s Monto Bello vineyard. (Courtesy of Ridge Winery) Wine tastings can often be a case study in the usual suspects: list after list of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay — typical varietals that have long-thrived throughout California. In the highly competitive world of wine, it can be a risk for vineyards to invest in more unusual varietals. ...

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Five of the best dog-friendly hikes on the Peninsula

Perfect outdoor spots entirely conducive to your canine By Juliette Spirson Like small children, bonsai trees and just about any surfer, dogs are simply happier if they get proper outside time. It’s a simple equation really, though one that can ultimately require a bit of know-now for navigating dog-friendly locations around the region. Luckily for Peninsula residents, the area contains some spectacular spots for man’s — and less face it already, woman’s — best friend. From beaches to hillsides to ...

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Our guide to six of Silicon Valley’s most stellar vineyards

Here is what’s fermenting at the local wineries of the Santa Cruz Mountains by Laura Ness Mindego Ridge: 10 acres of sun-warmed Pinot vines off Alpine Road. They are fairly anonymous and the majority are not open to the public. Their acreage is often small and they don’t benefit from the name recognition of places like Napa and Sonoma. Even still, a notable array of Peninsula vineyards have quietly made a reputation for themselves in ...

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Strangers with Candy: Reverse trick-or-treating in Silicon Valley

What happens when you go to Redwood City’s scariest Halloween houses to give THEM candy? You make some very interesting new friends… Stay off my lawn! Scary skeletors menace one and all on this Redwood City street. (Photo by Justin Smith) Traipsing down the dark cul-de-sac, I hear a frictious screech that resembles a haunted version of my favorite childhood playground structure. Sure enough, drawing near, I see a nightmarish seesaw with demented, bloody riders ...

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Pondering the Zen aesthetics of Stanford athletics

The new Home of Champions is not a museum, it’s a paradigm By Charles Russo Stanford’s new Home of Champions celebrates their most recent national titles in a marquee location by the front entrance. (Photo by Charles Russo) This past week I exited Stanford’s Home of Champions feeling inclined to quote the Hagakure. Yes, you read that correctly, but I’ll reiterate: the collective poise and purpose of the University’s new shrine to its athletics legacy left ...

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Crushing it with the winery world underdogs of Russian Ridge

How a San Carlos nurse won top wine awards (and developed purple hands in the process) Nicole Ruiz Hudson Russian Ridge Winery owner Scott Townsend (imbibing at left) and his son Spencer at their tasting room in San Carlos. (Photo by Charles Russo) The inside of Russian Ridge Winery is comfortably cool compared to the midday heat broiling the industrial San Carlos neighborhood just outside the roll-up doors. A huge skylight illuminates the winery’s interior workspace ...

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Four easy ways to feed your kids’ railroad addiction on the SF Peninsula

It’s the train’s time again in Silicon Valley. Caltrain electrification. High speed rail. Renewed interest in the dormant Dumbarton rail corridor. Railroads are more than transportation: they’re a visceral, ground-shaking, ear-splitting, whoop-whooping link to what brought people out West in the first place. All you need to see is the look on a kid’s face when one whooshes by to know why railroads still inspire bold ideas and big hopes in all ...

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