Coming And Going
Thursday, June 24, 1999
Ear to the ground, nose turned downwind, pivoting on the prowl for late-breaking, earth-shaking current events of the edible kind, I got hungry for cioppino. You can''t live within sight of the Monterey Bay and not love cioppino; we''ve got most of the things that go into making a great pot of this toothsome, tomato-ey seafood stew swimming around, right out there in the neighborhood.
Phil DiGirolamo could probably put together a whopping batch of the stuff blindfolded and with one arm tied behind his back. He''s sold a ton of it at Phil''s Fish Market and Eatery in Moss Landing over the years and is poised to sell a ton more. Assembling seven kinds of fish and shellfish in a savory tomato broth with onions and garlic and pesto is a deliciously labor-intensive endeavor, as he can tell you. But now, simply by clicking onto www.philsfishmarket.com, folks from Kalispell to Cleveland can get Phil''s Lazyman''s Cioppino delivered to their door.
It takes a lot of testing and tweaking to get the recipe just right, and after a year or so of experimenting, Phil''s Boston-style clam chowder and seafood gumbo are also available, ready to thaw, reheat, and pass off as homemade, for those so inclined.
Those so inclined might also benefit from a Saturday afternoon cooking class at Parsley Sage & Thyme at the Crossroads in Carmel. Claudia and Tom Long are extremely pleased with the response to their summer series of culinary calisthenics, where exercises like getting a proper edge back on your dangerously dull kitchen knives might be offered. Or, as this coming Saturday''s demo will detail, executing Caesar salad from scratch, along with blackened chicken. Classes are only $5, including tastings and a 10 percent store discount.
Other comings and goings abound. Coming to the Cannery Row site where TGI Fridays has been long gone, Cheeseburgers On The Bay is on the way. The same group that launched Maui''s Cheeseburgers In Paradise is nine-tenths, almost certain, just about ready to open in July, according to Gary Alfson of Cannery Row Co. Also down on the Row, under new ownership in the last year, Bullwhacker''s has completed a lengthy kitchen and bar renovation. Work has now begun on developing an outside patio behind the restaurant. And at the former site of Doc Rickett''s Lab, it''s as of yet unconfirmed whether Spaghetti Factory will be occupying the space, as rumor has it. Apparently they''re just one on the list of contenders.
In Carmel Valley, Thai Bistro II recently shut the doors due to an expired lease, according to Thai Bistro I, in New Monterey. Owner of the C.V. site, Wanda Couto, will be seeking a new location.
Anyone unfazed by all of these culinary comings and goings, and with a latent desire to come out of the pantry and accept the true calling of the righteous culinarian, this could be your chance. Producers of the BBC TV series, "MasterChef," are looking for you. Come up with the winning three-course gourmet menu for four people and knock their socks off in two-and-a-half-hours prep time, and you are the star of your own 13-part cooking show. For more information, beam up to www.MasterChefUSA.com or phone (800) 288-7834. Should you choose to accept this mission, good luck. And may the force be with you.