January 2014 San Francisco Dungeness Crab Class


   Some of you may know, though most of you probably don’t, that we were both born in San Francisco.  We were even born in the same hospital… though not at the same moment!  As old San Franciscans, we thought it was about time we did a cooking class that featured San Francisco’s most iconic product, Dungeness crab.


January is definitely the height of the Dungeness crab season.  Of course, the simplest and easiest way to enjoy it is boiled and picked fresh from the shell. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Simplicity can be absolutely wonderful. But there are many other things you can do with Dungeness crab that bring its luscious ocean freshness to the forefront. Together Chef Michael and I have assembled our three favorite Dungeness crab recipes in one class for you to enjoy. These recipes are not difficult - all of them have short ingredient lists! They all go together quickly and can be done either as a meal in themselves or as part of a larger meal. Try one, or all three, and you will see that there is more to our great local Dungeness crab than just picking...


For our first course, we are going to make a classic “old San Francisco” appetizer, CRAB AMBASSADEUR. This quick and delicate sauté of Dungeness crab legs takes only seconds, and has only four ingredients. The recipe, though, is an extremely versatile one.   It can be served in puff pastry shells, or with toast, or over rice… So it is a great one to add to your repertoire of seafood dishes.


For our second course, we are going to do one of our favorite seafood pastas, LINGUINE PASTA WITH FRESH CRAB AND ARUGULA.  This slightly spicy pasta dish also goes together very quickly, either as a pasta course or as a main course. The peppery arugula is a perfect complement to the fresh crab, cream, and Sherry.  It is one of those food combinations that just works perfectly.


For a main course we had to show you the seafood dish that San Francisco is just as famous for as Marseille is for its Bouillabaisse: CIOPPINO.   This fragrant and aromatic crab stew is one that everyone who lives in San Francisco (or near it) should know how to make! It is not hard. It depends only on the absolute freshness of the crab and careful timing when cooking the ingredients. But the final result is to die for!


To end the meal, we are going to do a riff on the Irish coffee that the Buena Vista Bar was so well known for introducing. These mousse-like BAILEYS IRISH CREAM POTS are scented with coffee, Bailey’s Irish cream and topped with a crisp chocolate crown and caramel sauce.  Mmmmm.   


MONDAY JANUARY 27, 2014  6:30 PM




Click our COOKING CLASS PAGES TAB for full details on signing up. Tuition is $90 per person.  Class will begin promptly at 6:30 PM in the kitchen of the Depot Hotel Restaurant.  (The doors open at 6:15.)  Dress comfortably, bring a pen or pencil, and be prepared to relax and have fun!   Class includes the four-course dinner with full portion servings, wines to match each course, and the recipes.  Students who have attended in the past know it is important to come will go home quite satisfied!





Directions to Depot Hotel in Sonoma
" ...a charming slice of classic Sonoma." Michael Bauer, San Francisco Chronicle
Open Wednesday through Sunday
Wednesday - Sunday 11 - 2
Wednesday - Sunday 5 - 9