Archive for San Francisco

Chef Tom – Istanbul Part 2

Posted in Opinion with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2018 by segarini

Previously on Chef Tom’s Big Adventure:

Istanbul, Pt. 1
One of my favorite parts of my Big Adventure was engaging my fan base back home in voting. They would vote where I would go and what I would do, and even what I should eat. People ended up being able to vote for a good half dozen mini-adventures. In Istanbul they had to choose between two different food items for my lunch. I figured out early on to make choosing difficult, too, to play up each choice as exciting and compelling, so that it would be tough.

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Chef Tom Herndon – Barcelona: Flamenco and the State of Grace Known as Duende

Posted in Opinion, Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2018 by segarini

September 24

On my bucket list for Barcelona was seeing an authentic performance of Flamenco. What I meant was Flamenco in the style that’s been around for centuries, since the dance form was first introduced by Gypsies; flamenco, con duende! The style that catches you up in deep emotion, takes you on an excruciating journey, and leaves you feeling wrung out.

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Chef Tom’s Big Adventure: Barcelona

Posted in Opinion, Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2018 by segarini


21 September

In Barcelona a Marisqueria (seafood place) called La Peradata is a popular mini-chain of seafood restaurants. The one I found was in the village of El Born, near the Picasso Museum. What a wild place. Queue was 45 minutes in the sun. When I finally got in, the din was three bombs. I didn’t quite know what I was in for, the line was moving, I was getting closer and closer, and my heart was pounding. Will I figure this out by the time I get to the front of the line, or will I end up screwing the pooch?

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Chef Tom’s Big Adventure: Paris, Day Three

Posted in Opinion, Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2018 by segarini

21 September

Paris, despite a relentless onslaught of techno-goblins, was glorious. My friend Mary, who happened to be in Paris when I was, told me yesterday that Mercury has been sitting square in retrograde for the last few days (Mercury being the god of communication, retrograde being the definition of “No way, Jose.”). Small frickin’ wonder. So many techno-dead ends, computer breakdowns and communications false starts could not have been my fault, right?

Right. Whatever.

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Chef Tom Herndon – San Sebastian, Part Three – Akelare: A Visual Feast!

Posted in Opinion, Review with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2018 by segarini

I always wanted to experience a three-star Michelin meal. I promised myself on this solo adventure that I would be generous with myself.  As I said in the last missive, I couldn’t gain access to the two restaurants in San Sebastian that are at the top of most food enthusiast’s lists – Mugaritz and Arzak.  So I opted for door number two – Akelare.  Still in the top 10% and boasting three Michelin stars of its own.

It’s been nearly three years and this was the one place I didn’t take copious notes about the food. Sorry. But I did get some good pics. Here are some images from the meal, starting with my approach to the restaurant, then the ambiance inside, and finally the presentation of the food. I even took some amateur movies. What it lacks in drool-worthy prose, it makes up for in visual sumptuousness.

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Chef Tom Herndon – San Sebastian, Part Two: Pintxos Crawl

Posted in Opinion, Review with tags , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2018 by segarini

(This is a long one, but worth the read.  Grab a cup of tea and enjoy.)

September 2017

Some background. This culinary adventure has been in the making for nearly two years. When I first heard about San Sebastian, Spain, I had no idea this sleepy little former fishing village had such an esteemed culinary reputation: more Michelin stars per square meter than any other city. For such a small corner of the culinary universe, San Sebastian has some highly-talented, world-celebrated chefs with truly inspirational relationships to food; a passionately gastronomical culture.

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Chef Tom Hits the Road – A Multi-Part Foodie Travel Adventure

Posted in Opinion, Review with tags , , , , , , , , on March 10, 2018 by segarini


Three years ago, I started to put together what was going to be my fourth culinary tour to Europe. My first was called Ten Days to Tuscany. We did Florence, Sienna, Rome, and some of the hill towns in Tuscany. Twelve people. The second and third were both a week’s cruise along the Canal di Midi in the South of France, on a slow-moving hotel barge, then most of a week in Paris. Twelve people each. One big reason I wanted the barges was because of their pace. Sometimes you could actually walk along the shore faster than the barge would meander up the canal. You were given a clear opportunity to slow down and savor the moment.

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