I had heard about this new player in the world of coffee called Perfect Coffee. What they claimed seemed outrageous. Pre-ground coffee that's good. I reacted the same way that all my fellow coffee snobs probably did. I scoffed at the idea and immediately discounted it as impossible, because, you know, we all think we know what's "right" when it comes to coffee. But, I decided them to give them a try, why not, what did I have to lose? So I signed up to be an alpha drinker.Read More
Blue Bottle recently opened their largest location at the historic W.C. Morse building in Oakland on Feb. 6, 2014. Though the post is a bit late, I made a visit the day after opening and already, the location was abuzz with patrons. The new cafe features high ceilings, mostly original tile floors, and a couple communal tables - one long table/counter like the one at the Mint Plaza location, and a large round table. I also noticed their awesome vintage speakers, which, are mounted high above the bar. Speaking of the bar, I couldn't help but notice the beautiful Kees van der Westen machines that they are pulling shots on. They have one Spirit and one Mirage. Absolutely gorgeous machines. On that note (wow, everything is flowing so well here), Blue Bottle Morse is putting a focus on the consumer espresso machine market. They will sell machines and have an area in the back for repairs and maintenance. This is pretty revolutionary in my opinion. Anyway, I could go on and ramble about everything I saw, but I'll leave you with a bunch of photos. Enjoy!Read More
I feel like I'm always neglecting my blog and I feel absolutely terrible. Nonetheless, here is a long overdue post on my trip to Seattle this past summer. The moment I landed, I fell in love with this city. There's something so special about it that I can't quite put my finger on. Maybe it's because the weather was perfect while I was there (save for a gloomy day in the middle of my stay), but everything just felt right. The food was delicious, the coffee was amazing, and the people were so beautiful! I may just have left a little piece of my heart out there. Here are some photos from my trip, hope you enjoy!!Read More
Wow, I've been away for so long! Forgive me for my extended absence here. This summer, I took a two week trip to Bolivia and Argentina on a medical mission trip with an organization called 4 Christ Mission. A group of about 50 young adults/college students from all over the US and Latin America travelled with doctors and dentists to provide medical care and ultimately, just love the people of Bolivia and Argentina with the love of Christ. I went as a part of the media team and captured all the sights and sounds with my trusty 5D Mark II (still a very capable and rugged camera!). In Bolivia, we stayed mostly in Santa Cruz and the outskirts of the city, while in Argentina, we stayed around Iguazu Falls and Buenos Aires. I can go on and on about the trip with my words, but I'll let my photos speak for themselves (and perhaps, interject with captions for context and other pertinent information). Here is just a very small sampling of the photos I took while I was on the trip. Because of the amount of photos in this post, I've opted to go with a gallery layout. Enjoy!
A couple weeks ago, I went on an eight mile hike at Alamere Falls with some of my friends. Here are some of the photos I took on the trip. Enjoy!Read More
Today, I'm going to take a short break from the regular flow of posts and introduce a new category of posts - people! These posts will probably be rare, but I think it's a fun way to change things up.
This is Bob. I met Bob on Sproul Plaza one day while setting up for an event. It was hard to not notice him and his soulful banjo playing. Now, if you know me, you know that I'm not the type to strike up conversation with a random person on the street (or on Sproul plaza in this case), but I had a little nudging to go talk to him. If anything, I could pick up some tips on improving my banjo playing (yes I play some banjo). So, I walked up to him, listened for a while, then as he ended a song, I initiated conversation, albeit very awkwardly (do you sense the awkwardness with all these awkward commas? - awkward). Hoping to learn something new, I asked him what the secret to getting good at the banjo was.Read More
This past weekend, I was up in the mountains playing the drums at the World Christian Conference. During my free time, I decided to do some photo exploration. All photos were shot on my new Sigma 35mm f/1.4. Boy, this lens is really something. The images it produces are simply beautiful. But this isn't a lens review, enjoy!Read More
About a month ago (yes, this post is a bit late), a group of my friends decided to trek into the City for a break from school and work. It was National Museum Day, so we got free tickets to the de Young Museum, wandered around, and ended up at Tartine.
On a whim, I stopped by Off the Grid, a Bay Area food truck meetup, in Berkeley. I had heard great things about The Chairman truck and it was at tonight's event. You can't miss it; it's big, bright red, and has a long line of hungry people. The line was long relative to the other trucks, but nowhere near what the lines were like when the Kogi Truck first opened up in LA. I remember waiting at least 2 hours for a few tacos, but that's beside the point.
The Chairman features baos, which are basically Chinese sandwiches on steamed or baked buns. They were out of baked buns, but that was not a problem because I love steamed buns. I was going get straight pork belly, but for the sake of journalism, I also ordered a Coca Cola braised pork bao.
I tried the Coca Cola braised pork bao first. This bao was packed with goodness - braised pork, a cabbage slaw, mustard seeds, and sauce. The pork was moist and tender. The Coca Cola they braise it in definitely lends great flavor to the pork. You get the great savory elements of Coke, but without the sweetness. Everything else in this bao complements the pork nicely and the mustard seeds really brighten everything up. It was good, but quite frankly, after eating the pork belly bao, I don't remember too much about this one.
This bao lived up to the hype. Dare I say, the pork belly was succulently sexy. Not only was it tender as the name says, it had a bit of a crunch from getting finished on the flat top. There was just enough fat left, post-rendering, to give great flavor and juice. Maybe my mind was over exaggerating the greatness of the pork from sensory overload, but this was one of the best pork bellies I've ever had. Everything was perfect from the textures to the flavors, and I was happy. The pickled daikon cut through the fattiness of the pork and acted as a breath of fresh air, not that the pork belly was bad in any way.
Everyone has to eat a pork belly bao from The Chairman. Preferably more.
The Chairman www.twitter.com/chairmantruck (415) 813-8800
We had a bunch of avocados sitting at home and couldn't finish them all before they over-ripened. So, my sister and I decided to make some avocado ice cream.
We used Alton Brown's recipe, which can be found here. It's very simple and we found that it is similar to many of the other recipes for avocado ice cream that we found.
The ice cream was spectacular. It tasted like avocado (a big duh) with an ever so slight hint of sweetness to it, which was great. The texture was smooth and silky, probably thanks to all that fat in the avocado and heavy cream. To further bring out the sweetness, we finished the ice cream with some salt. It really brings the ice cream to life and makes the flavors pop. In my opinion, the salt is absolutely essential.
Here's the lighting set-up I used for the shots. I had a LumoPro LP120 camera right shooting into a reflective umbrella at 1/4 power as my key light. For my fill, I had a LumoPro LP160 camera left in a softbox at 1/64 power. I shot with a Canon 7D and a 100mm f2.8 Macro at 1/250, f/5.6, ISO 200.