A Celebration of Our Vices

Vice / vīs /

 "immoral or wicked behavior or habit”

For good or for bad, we all have our own vices – some we’re ok with fessing up to and others we may prefer to keep to ourselves.

So this month, we chose to give our menu a little bit of a twist and found imaginative ways to celebrate those vices through our taste, touch and scent.

As guests arrived, we welcomed them with “Champagne & Cigarettes,” a Mezcal scented ceviche "cigarette" and a glass of bubbly.

Then we dove into our childhood vice, “PB&J” – considering fois gras was officially legal once again in SF, we had to take advantage. Our fois gras mousse and port geleé “sandwich” spurred a ton of great childhood reminiscing among our guests – we figured we’d start the night off on an innocent note.

That quickly changed with our next course, “Street Drugs,” a dish and experience that felt slightly dirty and wrong. Free-based balsamic injected into a spherical mozzarella ball, topped with a key bump of olive oil powder = a culinary speedball.

From there, we brightened it up a bit with the “Psychedelic Salad,” mesclun greens with a Dijon mustard vinaigrette and not to forget, the Buzz Button (otherwise known as the Jambú flower). The effects of the Buzz Button? First, your salivary glands activate. Then your tongue begins to tingle. That tingle turns to a prickle, and suddenly your whole mouth is numb. Yes, we had a reason for this dish addition ... activate your salivary glands for the next course. Don’t worry, the numbness fades after a minute or two.

After our brief ginger cocktail booze break, we moved on to “Arrogance” – a glass of White Burgundy and royal caviar, served on a square mirror to ensure you ample time to admire yourself as you as indulged.

Next up “Shrooms,” a Tuscan mushroom soup served with a rich glass of Brunello di Montalcino, a favorite of ours from our last trip to Italy.

And our final savory course, “Jealousy,” a local roasted rib cap served with a mix of root vegetables, accompanied by a glass of Chateauneuf‐du-Pape.

And last but definitely not least, our sweet finish, “Decadence” – salted caramel pot du crème and a sip of Monbazillac.

Thanks again to all of you who joined us, what an awesome night!

Until next time ...

Back from Bali!

Hello SPICE Friends!

First off ... apologies that you haven't heard from us since May. We've had a lot going on this summer and are finally coming up for air. We wanted to update you all on what we've been doing, where we've been and what's on the horizon for the rest of the year.

June brought some unexpected change for us with the news that Amberjack Sushi (one of our usual homes for our larger SPICE dinners) had been sold and has officially closed up shop. On a side note, we want to thank Raymond and the entire Amberjack crew for opening their doors and welcoming SPICE for the last year and a half! We will miss you all more than you know!

As a result, we have been on the hunt for the past few months trying to find a new home for our 30-person SPICE dinners. (If any of our members have ideas, we'd love to hear from you! Shoot us a note at spicemembership@gmail.com or on our FB page). We're open to any and all suggestions ... lofts, cafes, churches, restaurants, art galleries, etc. - the more creative the better ... only requirement is that it's got a kitchen.

The following month brought happier news. Nissa had a birthday and Chef Kyle got hitched! (we're anxiously awaiting to see honeymoon photos).

It also brought us (the Long's) a much needed break (and a ton of culinary inspiration for future events). With the help of many socked away miles, we hopped on a plane at the end of July and headed south east to Bali, Indonesia.

Along with scuba diving adventures, volcano hiking and hours of cocktail consumption on the beach, we also did a ton of "taste testing" through our visits to the spice fields, rice paddies, and some of the most amazing traditional warungs in Ubud (Naughty Nuri's was our favorite - best BBQ ribs and martinis in town!)

Once we find a new pad, we're hoping to host an Indonesian inspired SPICE soon! In the meantime, we'll be in touch shortly about an August event on our horizon. It's a joint event in SF with some close friends of ours AND this one will be outdoors, so cross your fingers for some warm weather in the coming month. It won't be a traditional SPICE dinner, but will of course involve some tasty treats whipped up by Chef Ben Long.

We're looking forward to hopefully seeing you all soon - it's been much too long and WE MISS YOU!

Until then, eat and drink well!