I’m downright giddy ‘cause I just learned that my Mexican Chocolate Pots de Crème recipe won Cook Taste Eat’s Food Blogger to Media Star contest! That means I’m going to get to cook with Chef Michael Mina!


I’ve been a fangirl of Chef Mina’s food for almost twenty years. Back in the early 90s – when Cheers was “Must See TV” and Kurt Cobain was still alive – Henry and I were starving students working our way through college. But even at a young age, we had our priorities straight: We routinely blew our earnings (and our student loan checks) on lavish dinners at hoity-toity San Francisco restaurants.

It makes me cringe to think back on our utter dorkiness: Two nineteen-year-olds, squirming and sweating in ill-fitting formal wear, pretending we were world-weary sophisticates, and hoping no one would card us. 


I doubt anyone was fooled, but once we tasted the dishes that emerged from the kitchens of San Francisco’s best restaurants, we couldn’t stop.

Of our favorite places in the city, Chef Mina’s Aqua was at the top of the list. We’d order the chef’s tasting menu and eagerly tuck into every course placed in front of us. Chef Mina introduced me to my first plate of perfectly seasoned steak tartare, and for that, I will be forever grateful. We’ve since dined at many of Chef Mina’s subsequently-opened establishments, from Redwood Park and RN74 to his eponymous restaurant in the original Aqua space.

It’ll be a thrill of a lifetime to cook with him. 

But what really gives me the warm fuzzies is that so many of you voted (and jumped through hoops to do so!), and helped get out the vote, too.


Even before I learned that I was the winner, I was so touched by your generosity and friendship that I went ahead and arranged another special giveaway for you guys. I’m putting the finishing touches on it, so stay tuned. I think you’ll like it.

(Want a hint? Two words: WATER OVEN.)

Okay – it’s time for me to sleep the day away, and for you to go enjoy your weekend!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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