Haute Event: Local Chef Talks Salad With Patricia Wells

"Patricia Wells and Chef Roland Passot"

The Bay Area’s favorite bookstore, Book Passage, teamed up with Left Bank, the fabulous French brasserie in Larkspur, to celebrate prolific cookbook author and James Beard Award Winner Patricia Wells as she dished about her brand new cookbook Salad As A Meal.

About 75 guests enjoyed a scrumptious 4-course menu using recipes from the book, prepared by the talented team at Left Bank, under the leadership of Chef Roland Passot, proprietor of the Larkspur hot spot. Chef Passot is also top toque at San Francisco’s other favorite French restaurant La Folie, a respected mainstay on the City’s culinary scene since 1988. Chef Passot has recently opened La Folie Lounge, a sexy  boite where silky smooth French cocktails and champagne are de rigueur. Joie de vivre is free of charge.

But back to Patricia and her scrumptious new book. The table company was stellar–I had the pleasure of sharing my meal with Patricia, her charming husband Walter Wells, as well as Chef Passot and his wife Jamie. The menu was brought to life by the Left Bank team and included one of my favorites, Flammenkuchen, a pizza like tarte with steamed onions and bacon on perfectly flakey pastry. We also nibbled at a tongue teasing hummus that Patricia assured tastes best using home cooked chick peas rather than canned.  The asparagus, ham and poached egg salad was also divine. Though the recipe calls for white asparagus, Left Bank used green. They also soft boiled the egg instead of poaching, per the recipe. No worries though–the outcome was perfect and even hatched (yes, I punned) a question from a guest: “How does one get the egg so perfectly cooked?”

Chef Passot had the answer, “Fresh eggs from local farmers markets, placed in salted boiling water for half the time you’d cook for hard boiled.” So about 5 minutes. Egg-cellent advice.  (I just can’t stop my egg-sagerated desire to egg pun)

"Me with Salad As A Meal"

Kimberley Lovato is a freelance writer and, now, excellent egg poacher .

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