For June's Q&A session, I'm featuring my cousin Bill and his wife Pam. Bill and Pam are what I would call the ultimate "foodie couple" -- they both have an immense love for food, particularly the artisan and exotic. They're probably one of the most adventurous couples I've ever met, with food as well as in the outdoor activity arena -- junkies for adventure I would say!
I grew up with Bill (crazy to think he's twenty years older than me!), so he was always like an older brother to me. We may not have always seen eye-to-eye during my formative years, but as I got older, we both found a wonderful common ground that we both hadn't noticed before -- food, cuisine, cooking, and the like. This paved way for endless conversations about our collective experiences, and once he met Pam (I swear she's his other half :P), the conversations only evolved in all sorts of dimensions. So while I've only known Pam for the last few years, the three of us always have so much to talk about, as if we've known each other forever. This phenomenon was explored even further when Marcus and I embarked on our trip to San Francisco last year to visit them -- they showed us so many of the Bay Area's culinary facets, adding so many new adventures to the annals of our gastronomic experience. What I love about Bill and Pam is that they're not necessarily into the "scene-y" places, but rather, they like to take the "insider's view" and somewhat "underground" approach to finding new haunts at which to dine and explore.
Thanks again to Bill and Pam for participating in this month's Q&A (and Four Tine's first joint session)! Looking forward to visiting you guys again very soon!
Bill and Pam snorkeling underwater together in Jamaica.
Bill & Pam
San Francisco, CA
FAVORITE ALL-TIME RESTAURANT
Bill: Bouley in early 2000s, Outerlands for its great food/people, simple menu, comfort, and no pretense.
Pam: Outerlands, for its relaxing atmosphere, fresh ingredients, and creative and constantly evolving menu
MOST REGULARLY FREQUENTED SPOT(S)
both: Outerlands as our regular go-to place; Ino or Sebo for omakase indulgence; Hog Island Oysters for fresh oysters & happy hour; Tartine Bakery for pastries and people watching
DRINK OF CHOICE
Bill: mineral water mixed with juice, simple drip coffee, good ginger ale (not too sweet with intense ginger), wine/beer depending on the food
Pam: tea, wine, good ginger ale, pomegranate juice
SOMETHING YOU SECRETLY INDULGE
Pam: Coca Cola. Not a secret, but I also like to indulge in oysters and chocolate.
DISH YOU MOST ENJOY PREPARING
Bill: I make only two things -- bread and chicken stock. Bread wins. It is about the process and the relationship.
Pam: Mom's recipes
THE HOMEMADE DISH YOU ALWAYS LONG FOR
Bill: Two dishes -- Mom's salted fish with minced pork and her chicken wings.
Pam: Mom's soups. Sorry Bill, you make a mean chicken stock, but she has so much variety, and they are all good.
GASTRONOMIC GETAWAY/ADVENTURE OF CHOICE
both: Any busy open stall market. We can't wait to eat what is made with the wonderful ingredients as well as interact with the the people behind the ingredients and the different people that consume them.
Bill: Pam, Chan Ngan (our family's beloved cook)...learned from reviewing books from Thomas Keller, Marc Bittman, Eric Ripert and Cook's Illustrated
Pam: Didn't realized it until recently, but my mom has been a huge influence on the way I cook. Way before farmer's market got popular, my mom was already out farmer market hopping to find the freshest and bestest ingredients. It didn't matter how busy she was, she would always cook everything from scratch. My mom built the foundation, and cookbooks from Thomas Keller, Mark Bittman, Eric Ripert, and Alice Medrich have kept me inspired.
MEAL YOU WISH YOU CAN REPEAT BUT SOMEHOW CANNOT
Bill: That describes just every meal that I have enjoyed. I wouldn't want to repeat it if I didn't enjoy it. Every meal is pretty unique -- the ingredients, the cooking environment, the dining environment, the people at the table, the conversation, etc. They are all part of the experience.
Pam: 2011 meal at WD~50... I would like to try replicate what we enjoyed, but time, patience, equipment, and resources all get in the way.
Bill: Someone in the kitchen using the "3-second rule."
Pam: Heavy sauces that hide the true flavor of good, fresh ingredients.
FAVORITE DESSERT OF ALL TIME
Bill: My dream of having a wedding cookie.
Pam: Mine is molten lava cake.
FAVORITE COOKBOOK/COFFEE TABLE BOOK
Bill: Stefie's cookbook omakase -- i.e., the cookbooks that Stefie has added to our library as gifts over the last three years.
Pam: Bittersweet -- the book I have used the most.
CULINARY WORDS THAT NEVER LOSE THEIR PANACHE
Bill: "You, donkey!" from Chef Gordon Ramsey -- ONLY KIDDING, LOL. But in all seriousness, mine would be bon appétit and enjoy.
Pam: fresh ingredients, savor