Joanne Weir has an extensive culinary background in history, theory and technique of Mediterranean cuisine, as well as the regional foods of the United States. These elements are brought to life in her creative classes, written articles and television series.
Foraging Through The Farmers Market
When Joanne goes shopping at the new, permanent downtown Farmers' Market in San Francisco, she never takes a list. Instead, she forages for the best and freshest ingredients picked at their peak. After chatting with farmers and tasting her way to finding the best ingredients, she returns home to her city loft. There she makes a seasonal feast of tiny CHERRY TOMATO AND HERBED FETA SALAD, BRAISED CHICKEN WITH GARLIC served with OVEN FRIED POTATOE CHIPS WITH MARJORAM SALT, and a delicious PANACOTTA WITH RASPBERRIES.
Chefs rarely get an invitation to dinner, so Joanne pops into her friend Gary Danko's restaurant to chat and invite him over for a home-cooked meal. After sampling oysters in the restaurant kitchen, Joanne decides to serve them as the first course as OYSTERS MIGNONETTE along with a special Champagne. To surprise him she cooks TRUFFLE SCENTED CORNISH HENS WITH PROSCIUTTO AND WILD MUSHROOMS, and follows with a light dessert of INDIVIDUAL WARM RASPBERRY SOUFFLES.
Crab 3 Ways
Joanne's city is famous for it's Dungeness crab, and nowhere is it found fresher than at Swan's Oyster Depot, an old established seafood restaurant and store. Joanne chats with Steve, one of the owners, then cracks crab with him. Returning to her kitchen she prepares crab three ways: CRACKED CRAB WITH LEMON DRAWN BUTTER; CIOPPINO WITH CRAB, CLAMS AND SHRIMP; and PEPPER-SALT CRAB.
Joanne's friends set her up with a blind date and she decides to cook a special dinner at home for her surprise guest. Her nervousness is apparent as she prepares Radicchio, Arugula, Golden Raisin and Pine Nut Salad; and a rich meaty main dish of Braised Veal Shanks with Olives and Lemon; and a crunchy dessert of Chocolate Hazelnut Biscotti.
Ferry Across The Bay
Sometimes it's just good to escape the city for an afternoon playing hooky! Joanne packs a picnic basket of delicious treats and sets off on the ferry for a trip across the Bay and the chance to savor YELLOW TOMATO GAZPACHO, DUCK SALAD WITH PECANS AND KUMQUATS and LITTLE ALMOND GALETTES while sitting on the grass with friends in the summer sunshine.
Joanne explores Chinatown and discovers the abundance of fresh ginger in every produce market. At home she minces fresh ginger, chops candied ginger and spoons dried ginger to bake a Triple Ginger Upside-Down Cake. Turkey Filled Lettuce Wraps follow before Martin Yan joins her. They compete with each other to find out the fastest technique for mincing garlic and create Shanghai Noodles together.
Joanne and her brother, John join together to celebrate Joanne's birthday. John arrives early so that they can spend the day doing their favorite thing -- cooking and eating together. They make a very special CELEBRATION SALAD OF ENDIVE, CREME FRAICHE AND CAVIAR, tie HALIBUT PARCELS WITH CAPERS AND LEMON THYME and then bake a finale dessert of a CARAMELIZED CHOCOLATE AND ALMOND BUDINO instead of the traditional birthday cake. All this served with Champagne and a great wine.
Breakfast at Jo's
Joanne invites friends to Sunday brunch, an ideal entertaining venue since it fits in with everyone's hectic lifestyle. JALAPENO-JACK SCONES accompany BAKED EGGS WITH SUMMER VEGETABLES and a light and refreshing dish of SUMMER FRUITS IN SWEET SPICED WINE. BREAKFAST SMOOTHIES and sparkling BELLINIS, made fragrant from the puree of white peaches, round out this feast. A great way to start the day!
Midnight at the Oasis
Joanne scans the city for fragrant spices to make a Moroccan feast that will tantalize the taste buds. She invites her friend, chef Heidi Krahling of Insalata's restaurant, to make an appetizer of SMOKED EGGPLANT WITH PITA CHIPS, a main course of LAMB TAGINE WITH ARTICHOKES, PRESERVED LEMONS AND OLIVES and a dessert of CRISPY MOROCCAN PHYLLO WITH ORANGE CUSTARD AND ALMONDS.
At The Italian Table
Joanne brings to her city kitchen an Italian meal influenced by her travels through Italy and inspired by the warm Tuscan sun and the soil of the Veneto. She prepares BAGNA CAUDA, A WARM ITALIAN BATH, made with Italian olive oil flavored with garlic and anchovies, then makes crispy PROSCUITTO, PARMIGIANO AND PEPPER BREADSTICKS; GOLDEN-SAUTEED VEAL WITH ARUGULA AND TOMATO SALAD; and MISS JUDY'S SIENNESE ALMOND COOKIES with ITALIAN LEMON MILKSHAKES.
For The Love of Teaching
Joanne, the teacher, demonstrates the connection between the kitchen and the classroom and reveals her love of her trade. We follow her as she explains some of the basics of cooking -- illustrating essential tools, techniques and skills -- as we travel back and forth from her standing with her students in cooking school to her alone in her home kitchen. She answers questions and solves problems as she makes a PARMESAN FLAN, PAN SEARED PORK MEDALLIONS WITH REISLING AND APPLES and, for dessert, a CARMELIZED ORANGE RICE CUSTARD.
Jo's Taco Lounge
A visit to the Mission district of San Francisco finds Joanne shopping for traditional Latin American foods. She strolls through ethnic stores discovering new ingredients and finds freshly made tortillas being patted into shape by Sonia, a veteran tortilla maker, who shows Joanne the technique. Joanne takes them home, still warm, to make a Mexican feast of flavors with dishes like TORTILLA AND TOMATO SOUP; PORK AND TOMATILLO BURRITOS WITH FIERY GREEN SALSA, and a WARM CHOCOLATE, CINNAMON AND COFFEE TART.
Joanne grew up on the water, and loves to sail...so when friends invite her to join them for a day on the Bay, she jumps at the chance. For the Moveable Feast she prepares an elegant, transportable picnic to serve on board: HERB-CRUSTED TUNA SKEWERS WITH TOMATO AIOLI; FARRO, PESTO AND TOMATO SALAD; and the FLAKIEST APRICOT AND RASPBERRY TART.
Phyllo is easy to handle when you know how...Joanne, ably assisted by her brother, John, demonstrates the special techniques for working with this paper-thin dough. She rolls and folds fresh scallops and shrimp into MOROCCAN SHELLFISH CIGARS; lays cherry tomatoes and cheese on top of butter brushed dough to make PHYLLO PIZZA WITH FETA AND TOMATOES; and fills APRICOT, MEYER LEMON AND CARDOMOM TRIANGLES.
Far East Meets West
Joanne savors the Asian flavors of hot, sweet, salty and sour in this Far Eastern feast that includes her favorite Rice Paper Shrimp Rolls, Hot and Sour Soup (what she refers to as Chinese penicillin) and Thai Beef Salad With Mint and Cilantro. A simple fruit salad of Watermelon, Mango, Blueberries and Lime concludes the menu.
Skyline and Candlelight
Joanne prepares an elegant menu with special wines to celebrate good food, good friends and the good life. She makes CHAMPAGNE AND OYSTER SOUP WITH CELERY AND FENNEL; ROULADE OF HERBED LAMB WITH STEWED GARLIC (served with Olive Oil Mashed Potatoes and Minted Sugar Snap Peas) and finishes with a DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM WITH DRIED CHERRIES.
Day at the Beach
A trip to the beach inspires Joanne to create a menu that can be prepared ahead and cooked over an open fire close to the surf. She begins the day before in her kitchen then packs and transports everything to the sandy destination where friends are gathering to share ARTICHOKE, ENDIVE AND ARUGULA SALAD; CLAM AND MUSSEL BOIL WITH CORN AND RED POTATOES; CEDAR PLANKED LEMON SALMON WITH DILL and GINGER CRISPS.
Foggy Night in the City
It's a cold night and Joanne is hibernating with three of her favorite comfort foods, after a busy week of travel and teaching: hot and steamy TOMATO RICE SOUP WITH TINY MEATBALLS, a tangy yet creamy RISOTTO WITH GORGONZOLA, and then finished with a twist on the traditional CARAMEL POT DE CREME.
Pacific Rim Grill
With Japan Town just blocks from where she lives, Joanne guides us to the local stores, piled high with dishes, equipment for the kitchen, teapots and special teas. She visits a Kimono festival and a Japanese bakery for a special dessert. She returns to the kitchen to make a Japanese-inspired menu of Miso Soup With Edamame, Yakitori With Red and Green Peppers and Japanese Pickled Vegetable Salad.
Fresh, Simple, Seasonal
Joanne prepares a Chez Panisse-inspired menu using the freshest-seasonal ingredients to create some of her favorite dishes. Assisted by her god-daughter, Sierra, the two share in the fun of making a FIVE ONION PIZZA with a misshapen dough that still tastes delicious. To complete the feast a ROASTED PEPPER SALAD WITH EGGPLANT CROUTONS is piled onto a plate and the whole event ends with a frozen PEAR GRANITA.
Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker
Joanne jumps on her bright red scooter and zooms off to some of her favorite haunts. She takes us along as she explores the city and introduces us to local artisans ready to supply the finest ingredients and decorations to make a great spring menu of ASPARAGUS SALAD WITH BROWN BUTTER AND MEYER LEMONS, GRILLED LAMB CHOPS WITH GREEN AND BLACK OLIVE SALSA, and REISLING POACHED FRUIT served with CHESTNUT-HONEY ICE CREAM.
Cookin' It Slow
Joanne slows down the pace of city life by preparing and then enjoying, along with two of her good friends, a slow-cooked meal. She makes a NAPOLITAN BRAISED BEEF RAGU and serves it in two courses, with roasted potatoes and Swiss chard and another as a sauce for pasta. This is followed by another comforting dessert of WARM POLENTA CUSTARD WITH GRAPPA-SOAKED GOLDEN RAISINS.
Warm Wintry Supper
Cozy up with Joanne for a warm wintry supper of hearty YELLOW SPLIT PEA AND CARROT SOUP, along with ROASTED BEET, AVOCADO AND WATERCRESS SALAD. A colorful CRANBERRY UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE follows. It's the perfect meal to take the chill off a cold night while enjoying a relaxing evening at home.
In Italy panini are thin, savory-filled snacks. But in cities across America, panini take the form of thick slices of focaccia are filled with huge amounts of all sorts of delicious fillings. Joanne takes us to the Italian section of the City to explore the stores, restaurants and narrow streets. We accompany her home to create three of her favorite panini: FONTINA, CAPOCOLLO AND ROASTED PEPPER PANINI; PANINI WITH MEATBALLS AND TOMATO SAUCE; and PANINI CAPRESE filled with fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and basil.
World in a City Block
Valencia Street, located in the heart of the City, is the area known for the melting pot of cultures, with restaurants from around the world. Joanne enjoys the diversity and loves to tuck into a spicy Middle Eastern sandwich with fiery hot sauce. After enjoying this sampling, Joanne returns home to make her own version of FALAFEL WITH TAHINI AND HERB SALAD, SPICE CRUSTED CHICKEN BREASTS WITH CUCUMBER RAITA, and an unusual cool refreshing dessert of ROSE PETAL SORBET.
Annual Office Party
Traditions can be created and Joanne shares hers with us as she invites us to her 14th annual office party to celebrate the holidays with some of her best friends. The menu of first plates includes SILVER-ROASTED SALMON WITH SWEET-HOT RELISH, FIERY PEPPERED FETA WITH PITA, SPICY BULGAR WITH LENTIL SALAD, and to finish, a DRIED PLUM AND WALNUT CARAMEL TART.